The world’s major car makers have agreed to pool their resources to make just one model of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) to sell across all their global markets.
The decision was sparked by a bizzare hotel carpark “bingle” towards the end of the regular gathering of representatives of car manufacturing companies held in Switzerland this week.
An industry insider said the meeting at a Geneva hotel was held annually to enable all manufacturers to discuss industry developments and regulations imposed by governments in various jurisdictions that can affect manufacturing costs and the export of the vehicles each makes.
“It’s a tradition that every company official attending the meeting usually drives there in their company’s latest model vehicle, air-freighted in where necessary,” the insider said.
“Each day this week, everyone has turned up in their latest SUVs and parked them in the hotel car park.
“But unfortunately while they were inside on the second last day of the meeting someone stole the badges off the grille of each vehicle (pictured).
“I guess it was just a random act of vandalism or the work of someone who collects car badges.
“In any case, when the company reps emerged from their meeting none of them could tell which vehicle was theirs.
“It was just chaotic and very embarrassing. You had Volvo people trying to use their keys on Fords, and Peugeot reps approaching Kias wondering why their remote keys wouldn’t unlock their vehicle’s doors.
“You can just imagine how embarrassing it would have been for those Peugeot reps if they had been seen near a Kia. Luckily, Hyundai didn’t attend this meeting.
“Eventually they all went back inside the hotel for a few more drinks and talked it over. The upshot was that they all agreed that they couldn’t tell the difference between each other’s vehicles.
“That led to the idea that they were all wasting money and resources making SUVs that all looked alike.
“So on the final morning of the meeting, they decided to pool their talents and make just one which they could all sell in global markets under their own badges.”
The manufacturers also resolved that their individual grill badges would in future be double welded to safeguard the practice of badge engineering that will remain a vital part of the car-manufacturing industry.
The Bug understands the design of the planned pooled SUV is still being finalised but a leaked image (pictured) indicates the basic specifications of a prototype.