Jude: Ah, well, how do we start this? It is a funny thing for me, I don’t want to call it ego but for me this doesn’t work. I have seen a Toyota Noah with a Mercedes Benz wheel cap. Just because the tyres are of the same size, to me it doesn’t make sense to have a different logo on a different car. I mean Toyota is Toyota likewise Mercedes is Mercedes, why mix the two?
Mustafa: I will tell you one thing, many times people don’t know. You may find a Nissan wheel cap on a Toyota. It is something that may not bother them, they don’t care.
Paul: I had a case of a client who has a Mercedes Benz and a Noah. He had new tyres he had bought so when he was changing them, he asked us to put the Mercedes tyres on the Noah. He is a well thinking person, but he didn’t care. He moved the Mercedes rim onto the Noah. These are isolated cases.
Jude: I think some people do it to kind of “elevate’ themselves.
Mustafa: They do it consciously. Like Paul said, it is my car, no big deal about it. People don’t consciously do these things. By the way, there are cars that come like that. The other time I saw a Progrès with a Lexus logo. I often see Harriers with Lexus badges. I have even seen a certain Progrès with a Mercedes Benz sign. It is even worse online, someone has a BMW and consciously puts a Nissan logo. Now what happens if I want to put a Lexus badge on my Toyota Aristo? Don’t you think I will get more props?
Jude: For those in the know, these two cars are related, it is the same family. So it may not be a very bad job.
Paul: I am glad, Mustafa, you didn’t put a Mercedes logo on your Aristo. You would be embarrassed (laughter). Lexus is in the Toyota family but it works, you would get away with it.
Mustafa: But you see, now you present a whole different conversation of how people have used such badges to give their cars premium status and it works a lot with Lexus and Harrier.
Jude: Oh, that happens a lot with the Harriers and Lexus. It is some dealers that dupe unsuspecting buyers.
Mustafa: You see, in this country, not many people can make such a distinction to know which is which.
Paul: I think some of those cars come from Dubai or Japan when they are already “souped up” by a previous owner who maybe liked their car so much and wanted to show that it is of a higher spec. I have actually seen people in Dubai buying cars and taking them elsewhere and they are souped up. They rebadge it and they do all sorts of things only falling short of putting twinkling Christmas lights.
Jude: Haven’t you seen people with say a “simple” car but with a sticker saying, “My other car is a Lamborghini.”
Mustafa: But rebadging for me has mainly worked for Toyota and Lexus. And maybe Honda and Acura, what is the other one?
Jude: Infiniti and Nissan.
Paul: What of owners of “ordinary” BMWs going for the M sport badge?
Jude: I have seen basic Mercedes Benz cars with the AMG sign and I am like, really?
Mustafa: It is called, “feel good factor”. You see, when one is buying these cars from the bonds and they see these logos such as AMG, they feel good. But the question is how do you tell an original from a fake?
Jude: Usually, with the originals, if it is an AMG, a BMW M sport, the stitching is all over the car (exterior and interior). For the fake ones, usually, it is usually the exterior they tamper with. For some cars, the labels/logos are within the dashboard, the steering wheel, the windscreen, on the lights. For the M sport BMW, even the door seals and the engine have the logo.
Paul: You have a point there. When it comes to car tuning, the tuners set out to meet a certain standard and usually it is engine tuning and the interior and some features on the exterior. If it is a Kompressor AMG Mercedes, the wording will be on the engine as well. Apart from in-house tuners such as AMG or Brabus for Mercedes, there are other private tuners who may put their badges instead of the Mercedes one. For Lexus, it will be everywhere, on the lights, the interior but Mustafa, you have got to have an eye for that to know what you are looking for. If you are not informed, you may fall for the badge and think you have got the real deal! You should look beyond the badge.