Wednesday 12 February 2014

Did Darwin Predict The Demise Of SAAB?

‘Natural Selection’ is busy weeding out weaker car brands and poorly designed models.  On National Darwin Day, predicts the ‘Car Dodos’ of the future. 

Dodo - Now Extinct - Wikipedia 
Darwin’s rules of natural selection are simple; the strong survive. The most famous example, the Dodo, failed to adapt and thrive and became extinct.  

Darwin Day

12th February is Darwin Day and the car review site considers today’s car dinosaurs and highlights potential endangered car species.

The recent recession nearly crippled the biggest car beast on the block – General Motors – who sought US Government cover and shed jobs and brands in order to survive.

SAAB is the highest profile car manufacturer to have failed in Europe with the last car being manufactured in April 2011.  Part of GM, SAAB’s future before the recession, must have seemed assured. 

The plight of SAAB is more a story of a weak car brand than a weak parent.  Known for small and nimble cars in the 50s, 60s and 70s, its models grew ever bigger and less agile.  It failed to take advantage of innovations like the transverse engine developed before the Mini and its lead in turbo technology quickly ebbed away.

In retrospect, there can be no other automotive example more worthy of a Darwinian analysis than SAAB.  Under investment and the failure to adapt to the market – much stronger for smaller cars like the VW Golf – meant that SAAB crept into the crevices of the luxury market and failed to spot niches where other manufacturers leapt at opportunities such as the growth in MPVs., the Manchester based car review site, has close to 430,000 car reviews and the sheer number of ratings drivers submit give clues to the potential ‘Motor Dodos’ of the future.

Lowest Rated Car Manufacturers - Overall Rating Scores
What Car Would Darwin Buy?

1. Chevrolet reviews scored 3.69 out of 5
2. Daewoo reviews reviews scored 3.76 out of 5
3. Proton reviews  scored 3.81 out of 5
4. Renault reviews scored 3.82 out of 5
5. Aston Martin reviews scored 3.90 out of 5
6. Fiat reviews scored 3.91 out of 5
7. Rover reviews scored 3.93 out of 5
8. Vauxhall reviews scored 3.93 out of 5
9. Peugeot reviews scored 3.93 out of 5
10. MG reviews scored 3.95 out of 5

GM, SAAB’s erstwhile parent, announced that it would stop selling its Chevrolet brand in Europe, based on cars manufactured in South Korea.  There are still a number of Daewoos on the roads – the same models before the re-brand to Chevrolet.  The cars are the lowest rated according and, according to Darwin, there should be no surprise in the demise of the unloved car marque in Europe and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Fiat 500 Reviews - A Car Brand With Two Identities

There are a few surprises on the lowest rated lists.  However, it is worth noting that Darwin himself said it was individual performance which matters most.  Fiat is a company of 2 halves; before the Fiat 500 and after the world beating mini model was launched.  Models built before the 500 pull down the performance of the Fiat brand which is now resurgent not just in Europe but worldwide.

The Good Cars, The Bad Cars and The Ugly Cars

The spokesman said of the bottom rated car manufacturers; “The worst and the best can be found in most manufacturers.  Our massive car review database means prospective buyers can find the better Renault, Vauxhall and Peugeot models and avoid the worst. Most manufacturers are producing superb new models as they realise that people power, sharing experiences, a car’s performance over time, can no longer be a secret.  With our car review site, their models; the good, the bad and the ugly will be rated for all to see no matter what.” 

Photocredits and find out more about Darwin on  Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment