Tue, 21 Feb 2012, 9:27pm PST
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Well there's two ways about this.
Ford vs GM
Ford did the model T which worked well but they didn't create another model for quite some time. GM had more models and did better...until it came to back to bite them.
Chevy, buick, pontiac, olds, caddy....very few people went from one to the other in their lifetime. Too many makes and models confused the customer and some pretty much looked the same. Years ago I saw some old buick ad from '82 that showed the lineup...they ALL looked the same. We're talking cosmetics but the costs certainly weren't.
Toyota has 3 makes (toyota (general) scion (younger) and lexus (high end)..that's it
You don't need to go crazy making more than three or so brands.
Although it could be said that when Jobs cut out Power computing from making mac clones it limited the market. Flash forward ten or so years and the chips don't matter as you can install mac os on intel processors now. (hackintosh)