“Sure, we make cars, but you know what we don’t make? Not cars.”
~Car Companies, apparently?
It’s no real secret that car companies don’t just use their vast infrastructure and manufacturing facilities to sell cars. Nissan makes boat engines, Toyota makes luxury yachts, and Hummer makes you look like a douche. But some items that car makers manufacture are, let’s say, surprising. So surprising, in fact, that we had no idea they existed until it was brought to our attention by loyal reader Mark from Foosball Zone. He did the bulk of the research for this article, which we then scrapped and re-wrote ourselves, because we’re kind of jerks like that. But seriously, hit up his site and give him some love, and thanks Mark for working with us on this as our primary researcher.
Oh, what’s that? You want to know what the article is going to be about? Okay, fair, we got a bit ahead of ourselves with our legal disclaimer of how we stole an article but like, didn’t steal steal an article, but here you go.
10 Ridiculous Items Built By Car Companies (That Aren’t Cars)
10: Audi Foosball Table
Well, considering the fact that our researcher Mark runs a foosball blog, it’s not surprising that he’d include a foosball table in this article. It is surprising, however, that a luxury car company would even think to make such a thing. The existence of this table is truly baffling, as is the price (Jesus Christ, it costs $17,000). Now, Audi only made an initial run of 20 of these suckers, but apparently those sold out (what?) as this item is now “manufactured to order” and as such could be even more expensive than it already is by the time you get it.
And…like, we don’t want to look a gift “ridiculous item made by a company” in the mouth here, but…what is the logic behind this? What on Earth does a car company have in common with foosball? “Ah yes, when I think of driving down the Autobahn, I envision being skewered in a line with two armless dudes who look exactly like me, spinning furtively to hit a ball into a plastic goal. Classic Audi.” Like, we get it, Germans are weird, but what?
9: BMW Bobsled
Now, here is a German company that at least understands that a car company should be making things that look cool and go fast. And a bobsled definitely counts as that, and this had the bonus of being made for American Olympic athletes. Now, BMW isn’t the only car company making bobsleds but they are the only car company that decided to make bobsleds for the USA Bobsledding team in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. And it seems to have worked, as the United States managed to bring in four medals with their sleek, BMW-designed bobsleds. Hell, if they were trying to market themselves with this move (which they 1000% were) we’re sold. Well, until we go to the BMW dealer and see how much their cars actually cost. Then we’ll go back into our Kia and call it a day.
Okay, so apparently in Japan, you can get a house built by Toyota, which…sure? Listen, we’ve long ago stopped trying to make sense of why Japanese companies do anything. But yeah, Toyota builds houses, on assembly lines, and has been doing so since 1975. By all accounts, their houses are actually really well made. Their all produced in an environmentally-friendly matter, using processes that reduce waste and increase water conservation, that are also structurally sound enough to withstand most earthquakes. Which is smart, since Japan is basically a series of islands resting on a goddamn Hellmouth. So yeah, Toyota houses. Huh. Fancy that.
7: McLaren Cartoon
Okay, so when you think of McClaren, you either think of F1 Racing or you start shouting, “Get that Limey crap off my screen, I’m here for some NASCAR WHOOOOO BABY!” before chugging a Natty Light. But whatever your thoughts on the company, “Weird CGI cartoons” is probably not the first thing that would come to mind. Or the second. Or the fifth. Look, if you did a word association and stuck with McClaren you’d probably get to “cartoon” somewhere right after “hemorrhoids.”
But no, it’s a thing that exists, and it’s… look, they got actual F1 Drivers to do voice acting for the show, and they…they’re not exactly Daniel Day-Lewis, you know? But hey, McClaren made a CGI cartoon, which…you now know?
6: Honda Robotic Lawnmower
Honda actually has made lawnmowers for a long time, but that little guy in that picture shows off a promo for their newest product, which is a robotic lawnmower called Miimo. It’s basically a Roomba for your lawn, which makes sense except for the people who actually like to mow their lawn. Which would be the people who would want to buy this product. It costs over $5,500, which is a lot to spend to be lazy on your lawn, considering the weird kid with the psoriasis down the street will mow the lawn for $20 a pop. The people who would spend over $5,000 on a lawnmower are also the people who spend it on riding lawnmowers that they loving take care of and use like, three times a week. We appreciate what Honda’s doing, putting the cute little spoiler on the mower and everything, but no one in their right mind is going to want to buy this thing. Sorry, Honda.
5: Peugeot Peppermills
Sure. You know, sure, fine. This actually isn’t a gimmick—Peugeot started off as a company that made coffee, pepper and salt grinders in France. Then cars became a thing, and the company’s owners were like, “Wow, here’s a thing that is just about the exact opposite of a peppermill, and costs roughly 10,000 times more to manufacture. Let’s go into that business too!” So they did. But you can still get a peppermill with the Peugeot name on it. Like, that shit’s on Amazon and everything. Like we said, sure. Fine.
4: Volkswagen Ketchup and Sausages
Apparently Volkswagen spends a lot of money on their R&D budget, and they don’t limit their research to things like “vehicles” or “non-edible products.” Because, yup, they sell ketchup and currywursts for some reason. You can’t really find it here in the states, but they are in German supermarkets, and according to the linked article they sold almost twice as many sausages as they did cars in 2011. Like, this isn’t “oh we made a limited edition sausage for the lulz” this is an enterprise that sells 5 million sausages a year. God, those Germans sure are efficient.
3: General Motors Birdhouses
Now this is less a “marketing gimmick” or a “wait you sell how many sausages” entry than the previous items on this list. General Motors’ foray into birdhouses isn’t for any profit reason, other than a general environmentally-friendly form of recycling. Specifically, they take scrap battery covers from their Chevy Volt and turning them into birdhouses, because birds thankfully have not yet evolved to the point of being bougie about their living conditions. This is actually a cool thing being done by General Motors, and it’s a refreshing surprise that they’ve not yet shoved a “look how environmentally conscious we are LOOK AT THE HAPPY BIRDS” commercial down our throats yet.
Granted, it’s just a matter of time before they do exactly that. But it’s nice of them to show some restraint.
2: Maserati Horse Saddle
Yup, because what better way to advertise how fast your car can go than to celebrate your 100th anniversary by making a piece of leather to put on the animal that cars were invented to replace. But that’s what Maserati did in 2014, teaming up with La Martina to make a luxury saddle to be used for the sport Polo, which you might recognize as the most obnoxiously rich person sport in existence (next to “hot air balloon racing”). Which, actually, makes a lot of sense now that we think about it. You’re only buying a Maserati if you’re the kind of rich that hasn’t met a person worth less than 10 million dollars who doesn’t work for you, which also is the subset of people who actually pay attention to Polo. So yeah, pretty on-brand move there, Maserati.
1: Bugatti Hookas
Speaking of people who inherited Middle Eastern oil money, who all wants to spend $100,000 on a hookah? Well, Bugatti made 150 of them, so probably that many? You don’t need to know the kind of person who would spend $100,000 on a hookah, because God, could you imagine actually hanging out with that guy? That guy sounds like the worst. The hookah is made with carbon fiber casing, a titanium frame, hand-sewn leather details, and the smug knowledge that none of that was really necessary because 150 people who inherited their money were going to drop $100,000 on this no matter how crappy it was just because it has the Bugatti name attached to it. Ughhh, sometimes we wonder if maybe we took this whole Capitalism thing too far, you know?
Like, if this hookah costs $100 grand, how much are their cars? *Googles the $2.7 million dollar Bugatti Veyron* oh Jesus Christ, yeah you know what, in retrospect, this hookah is a steal, where can we get one?