Welcome to Ridiculous Rebadges, a series of articles in which I go through and examine the details and circumstances surrounding some of the more infamous and some of the more esoteric vehicular rebadges throughout automotive history.
Hello to all, it has been a while since I’ve posted on Oppo, preferring mostly to lurk and comment on articles as school started up again. But today, I decided to post a few of my own automotive-related contributions.
The first thing you may have noticed about me lately is the fact that I have changed my username. I was tired of being “Alexander Moore” and having no profile picture which made me feel like I had no identity on Oppo, so I renamed myself to “Amoore100” to keep it in line with all my other online accounts and gave myself the Volvo/Saab logo as my profile picture, displaying my loyalty to these two Swedish car brands.
Anyways, the other day I was on the internet, being bored and procrastinating from doing my English homework when I decided to do some research on the numerous vehicular rebadges throughout history. I have no idea what inspired me to do so but something did, because the next thing I knew, I was plunging through years and years of GM badge engineering and examining the Renault-Nissan partnership in detail. That was when I decided that perhaps I could share the interesting stories of these orphaned vehicles on Oppo. This is the first of those odd corporate partnerships.
Today’s Ridiculous Rebadge is the result of a Nissan and Isuzu partnership in the late 1990’s. At the time, Nissan had just begun production of the [awesome, RWD] E50 Elgrand as the luxury minivan segment began picking up in Japan. Its predecessor, the Homy, was a forward control utility/passenger van that was nothing close to the Elgrand’s bonneted design and luxurious intentions. At the same time, Isuzu was starting to be absorbed by GM, and most of its vehicles later became rebadges of their GM counterparts (as we all know). However, today’s rebadge dates before GM’s assimilation of Isuzu when their vehicles were more Honda than Chevy. In 1997, the first generation E50 Elgrand debuted, and Isuzu, wanting a van to compete against the likes of the Toyota Alphard and preceding Granvia, asked Nissan with utmost respect to rebadge the van for Japanese markets. At least I assume they did, because in 1997, the Isuzu Fargo Filly debuted two months after the Nissan Elgrand (in July and May, respectively). Now, some sources still call the Isuzu the Fargo Filly, and I have yet to distinguish the difference between these two nameplates besides the fact that the Fargo moniker was dropped after 1999. The Filly itself was named after the English word “filly”, which means a female horse under four years of age. Both versions of the same van carried the same Nissan-sourced powertrains and styling cues, with four cylinder diesels and gasoline V6s offered. The Nissan to Isuzu exchange most likely ended after GM bought out all of Isuzu in 2002, because the E50 Elgrand was the only Filly to ever reach production.
There’s my first attempt at this type of article, please leave feedback below as well as if you want to see this series continue or if you want to contribute/leave suggestions for future articles. Thanks for Reading!
Nissan Elgrand E50
[Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]
Isuzu [Fargo] Filly
[First two images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]
[Third image courtesy of Cars-Directory.net]