Why Staggered Car Redesigns Are Becoming the Norm


Everything old is new again, as the famous saying has it. This is also true for carmakers and their marketing departments, which strive to offer vehicles that consistently pull in the big profits, in the same way when a model washot and new, and exciting. We’re seeing this as a developing trend, where automakers rely more and more on periodic updates to keep the dream-and the sales-alive.

One recent example will be the 2015 Toyota Camry, which has received virtually all-new sheetmetal. That exterior restyling, with every panel except the roof redone, makes the Camry look like a brand name-new car. As the existing model, marketed for 2012, wasn’t that old, that may seem odd. Consider, too, the Honda Civic, which was redesigned-badly-for 2012, then swiftly upgraded for 2013, and then designed with a new and more economical CVT transmission for 2014.

Midcycle changes for example those may be good for the automakers mainly because they forestall the drop popular that often sets in as being a design ages. A new exterior, here, a spiffed-up interior there, a brand new instrumentpowertrain and panel, or possibly a raft of desirable new electronic features can bolster demand. Chrysler has done this successfully with the 300 and the Dodge Charger, both of which are derived from the Mercedes E-Class sedan from two generations ago. Freshened styling and new powertrains have kept the Chrysler products up to date.

Because a car that hasn’t changed all that much is more prone to be reliable, this game of incremental improvements can be beneficial to consumers too. When you have all-new everything, there’s that much more that can go wrong. The best example of the curse-of-the-new comes from Ford. When Ford starts selling an all-new design, it tends to get some pretty serious teething problems, as was the case with all the current-generationFiesta and Focus, and Fusion. After that they’re fine, although it might take two or three years to work the bugs out. Well, usually. But a number of the luster has faded, as the public eyes the latest, greatest models.

We’ve often advised people not to rush out and buy an all-new design just because it’s pretty and contains neat new stuff to try out with. That’s still sound advice, especially since a brief time after coming to market, an all-new car might get some even cooler stuff the automakers had up their sleeves.

Checkout our videos below on some recent midlife updates.

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