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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/2/24 12:30 p.m.
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Some might joke that Porsche could sell just the 911 and still be profitable, but is that actually the case?

Which mainstream car companies do you think could reduce their lineups to a single model and still make a profit?

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rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
1/2/24 12:35 p.m.

Define single model.  I ask because the first thing that comes to mind for me is Ford with the F150.  They already sell millions of them in multiple configurations and powertrains.  If you could extend the model to a "platform" I could seem them using it as an SUV platform, too. 
This would only be in the U.S., however. 

-Rob

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/2/24 12:41 p.m.

Rivian barely sells more than 1 model (but they don't make a profit).

I like the F150 answer.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 12:44 p.m.

All of them COULD. 

White board a design that allows a single expandable light mid size chassis. Allow for a front engine front or AWD format. Allow for a 2 door, 4 door, estate and high roof estate delivery and Ute built off same underpinnings. Allow for e-hybrid option along with pedestrian economy 4 cylinder and wicked turned up turbo six. Create a worldwide manufacturing system with regional assembly centers to reduce transport costs. Build the same vehicles for 10 year cycles with ultimate improvements on next rollover. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
1/2/24 12:48 p.m.

Morgan

fidelity101
fidelity101 UberDork
1/2/24 12:51 p.m.

VAG and the golf platform I guess...

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/2/24 1:03 p.m.

I doubt it.  With the sales people screaming "we are losing sales because we don't have X!"

 

 

calteg
calteg SuperDork
1/2/24 1:08 p.m.

That's kinda sorta been Lotus for the last 20 years. Elise/Exige were essentially the same car and accounted for the lion's share of Lotus sales

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/2/24 1:52 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis :

I like the F150 answer, too.

I also get that Caterham pretty much only makes a single model, but I look at them as a low-volume manufacturer.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/2/24 2:07 p.m.

Porsche - 911
Toyota - RAV4
Ford - F150

I think these explain themselves. #1 selling crossover, #1 selling pickup truck, and hugely popular sports car that the brand is known for.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 2:18 p.m.

Tesla, Model Y. They're already basically a two-model company, so it would just be a matter of peeling off the lower selling 3. Heck, the two cars are so closely related they've basically the same - the Y is just a taller hatch version of the 3.

I don't think Porsche could survive on the 911. They've almost been forced to try in the past and it was dark days. The Cayenne is the one that saved the company and is why we can have so many 911s.

Ford uses F150 powertrains in a bunch of other models worldwide. If the volume of those models disappeared, I think the margins would shrink enough to make surviving a little challenging.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/2/24 2:20 p.m.

I don't think Porsche is the answer. Didn't they have to start selling the Cayenne so they could keep selling the 911? 

I also think F150 is the answer. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/2/24 2:22 p.m.

Isn't that Ram? 

 

It is basically a brand with 1 model for the most part. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/2/24 2:22 p.m.

JEEP. All they'd need is the Wrangler.

jmhonnold
jmhonnold New Reader
1/2/24 2:25 p.m.

A single model, maybe not.  But I think that many car companies can reduce the number of models they sell.  For example, BMW has way too many models in their lineup.  It is too difficult to have many models and make all of the cars in the lineup with high quality and reliability.  It would be better to focus on fewer models making those models to a higher standard.  BMW used to have higher quality/reliability getting into the SUV market (IMO).  Not saying SUVs can't be made with high quality, but when you spread your resources thin the quality on other vehicles will suffer.  Just my $0.02 worth.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 2:32 p.m.
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) said:

Porsche - Macan
Toyota - RAV4
Ford - F150

I think these explain themselves. #1 selling crossover, #1 selling pickup truck, and hugely popular sports car that the brand is known for.

Fixed that for you. Porsche sells more Macans than everything else combined. 

Same story with Audi, they only need the Q5.

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
1/2/24 2:54 p.m.

Considering economy cars are all but dead I kind of doubt anyone has any models left that don't at least break even. Maybe some of the newer to market EVs but that's a short term problem. So the boring answer is pretty much any brand.

But yeah porsche with any model they sell would probably be the strongest, of the mass market brands at least. The macan probably has the smallest profit margin of the limeup but it makes up for it in volume.

Triplesn8s
Triplesn8s New Reader
1/2/24 3:11 p.m.

This post has received too many downvotes to be displayed.


ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
1/2/24 3:18 p.m.

I think basically any profitable automotive company could sell its top selling car ONLY and still be profitable.

Msterbee
Msterbee Reader
1/2/24 4:01 p.m.

Caterham has basically been building the same, single model for 50 years.  (We won't talk about the 21)

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
1/2/24 4:20 p.m.

GM Should have been doing this since the bailout. Instead they keep being General Motors about everything and competing with themselves.

The should break themselves down to a few brands:

Chevrolet for entry level junk like it's always been

GMC for trucks. Just have one truck brand and stop being stupid about it.

Cadillac for luxury vehicles.

Corvette as it's own brand, selling only one thing. The Corvette. Make it a proper halo car.

But what do I know, I'm just a guy who's not stupid enough to pay $20k more for a Tahoe just because it has Cadillac badges on it.

bjinright
bjinright GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/2/24 4:39 p.m.

I like how so many change the question so they can give their answer (like I'm gonna do).

Yes . . . But good lord I hope they never do.  If you notice all the answers are midsize-SUV's and trucks.

Porsche- Cayenne 

Toyota- Corrolla ( i would hope) but it would be  Rav-4

VW- GOLF  Global market choice

Hyundai- santa fe

Kia - whatever Hyundai does but sporty

Honda - Civic (but only because of global market) CR-V here

Ford-F150

Chevy-tahoe

GMC- whatever chevy does because why do we exist?

Subaru- outback

I'm ending with the Subie because if we all drove some type of wagon we could maybe have our cake and eat it too. 

Track it or truck it, It's a wagon so f*** it.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/2/24 5:23 p.m.
jmhonnold said:

A single model, maybe not.  But I think that many car companies can reduce the number of models they sell.  For example, BMW has way too many models in their lineup.  It is too difficult to have many models and make all of the cars in the lineup with high quality and reliability.  It would be better to focus on fewer models making those models to a higher standard.  BMW used to have higher quality/reliability getting into the SUV market (IMO).  Not saying SUVs can't be made with high quality, but when you spread your resources thin the quality on other vehicles will suffer.  Just my $0.02 worth.

And the stupid naming system where the changed it to even is 2 door, odd is 4 door, then have all these different variations that don't match the numbering scheme. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 5:29 p.m.

Yep Porsche would have a much easier time surviving on Cayennes alone than 911s alone. Sad truth.

bjinright said:

Toyota- Corrolla ( i would hope) but it would be  Rav-4

"Corolla" could kind of be cheating because it isn't one model, the name has been applied to a range of sedans, 2-door coupes, hatchbacks, and wagons. They might be able to survive on just plain-jane Corolla sedans though.

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
1/2/24 5:36 p.m.

Land Rover could do it with one model.  The Range Rover sport is 85% of JLR rolling stock on the road.  The full size is in more than enough demand with enough profit that it could keep them afloat also.   They could do it with either.

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