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State of Independence


martc

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The Bristol, factoid and "most rebadged car" threads got me thinking about the interconectedness of the car world.

 

It seems that every car company is owned by another (which does help in sh*te badge engineering) but how many truely indpendent companies are left? ie ones which have no financial/sharing technology links to another.

 

Off the top of my head I think there is only Honda which operates completely independently of any other manufacturer(and even they dabbled with Rover in the '80's - once bitten, twice shy). The smaller companies (eg Bristol and Morgan) may be financially independent but are dependent on others for engines etc.

 

Can anyone think of any other company?

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E-R Mode

 

BMW are still family owned I think?

 

Yes, the Quandt family, who bought out the company in the 50's for a song, I believe.

BMW would be about as close as a major solely car manufacturer could be to true independance. Even at that, they probly bank on doing engine design in collaboration with Bosch, transmissions with ZF or Getrag, and so on. They're big enough, not to need to use proprietary engines or transmissions; but the huge development costs, have caused some financial problems over the years. Any time there's any question like that, someone will point out that a bigger group, say Daimler-Chrysler, VW or Toyota, could buy BMW for petty cash. I'd think they're a pretty safe bet not to encounter 'TVR syndrome'.

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Ford actually sold most of their Mazda shares when they were close to the 'wall' in 2009. They went from owning 25% of Mazda (or near as) down to 7% now, and are currently reducing their holding down to 3%. I doubt they will break all the product related links though - in particular I can see the pick-ups and MPV stuff continuing.

 

BMW have links with Mercedes for making components, also I though they were linked to a French manufacturer for diesel technology, could be mistaken though.

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Surely the answer is a small company who make their own engines and don't sell anything to anyone else.

 

Is there one? I'm struggling trying to think of one now TVR have, as you said, gone.

 

Can't even think of a supercar maker other than Koenigsegg?

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Surely the answer is a small company who make their own engines and don't sell anything to anyone else.

 

Is there one? I'm struggling trying to think of one now TVR have, as you said, gone.

 

Can't even think of a supercar maker other than Koenigsegg?

Won't be long before they use the GM 3.0TiD V6 out of the Saab 9-5, on cost grounds. A sad day :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:wink:

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Surely the answer is a small company who make their own engines and don't sell anything to anyone else.

 

Is there one? I'm struggling trying to think of one now TVR have, as you said, gone.

 

Can't even think of a supercar maker other than Koenigsegg?

Won't be long before they use the GM 3.0TiD V6 out of the Saab 9-5, on cost grounds. A sad day :(:wink:

 

It is a very difficult question, as above I did initially think of TVR but as they are no longer with us they don't count. Neither do Koenigsegg as they now own Saab.

 

For a brief moment I thought i'd hit on another true indepnedent - Subaru - but it turns out they are part owned by Toyota (as are Daihatsu).

Which again leaves us with Honda. But even then, if we stretch the definition a bit and include motorbikes, Honda themselves are up to their necks in joint ventures across the world. Of course there are plenty of independents in the motorbike world - but they would take us off topic!

 

I wonder if there are any true independents in China?

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Ford Friendee? No no no! It was the "Mazda Bongo Friendee", and the Ford Freda.

 

No, there are no indie car companies left, when you rule out Geoff Who Builds 2 Fibreglass ShitHeaps A Year. Basically, anyone who wants to be known for selling cars hooks up with another manufacturer (usually Volkswagen).

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Perhaps I gave in too early, Mr_Bo11ox is right, Honda are not dependent on Ariel and I guess that their selling Isuzus as Hondas in Australia is more convenience than dependence (in the same way that LR Defenders where badged as Hondas).

 

Therefore I will still maintain that Honda are the only independent car maker in the world - they are not dependent on any one else for major componant supply/design/platform sharing (baring the occasional badge enginering as above) nor do they own or control anyone else.

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I imagine the K20A used in the Atom will be gotten rid of soon due to high emissions, although I suppose they may keep it just to sell to other small manufactures+motorsport.

 

..Obviously as said Honda are not reliant on Ariel.

 

If TVR do return, I seriously doubt they'll try to use their own engines again. LS* lumps were mentioned recently in the press.

 

..It may get to the stage where there's some electric cars that are independent, if they ever get produced.

 

Koenigseggs use the Ford V8s.

 

McLaren perhaps? I know they were in partnership with Mercedes, but I'm sure they bought back some shares recently.

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