A logical starting point to test the waters. A proven car that was built a bazillion times and the QC won't be as difficult with a car over a locomotive. A smart move on their part, but in some ways dilutes the brand that has previously been known for scale excellence.
However, it doesn't take a genius to understand that scale excellence takes a back seat to a sound business practice. Those who enjoy the 18" cars will be very happy and that is good for the market overall.