Naming In The News

Chrysler Hits Compact Naming Snag

Big News
January 4, 2005

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group has hit a legal snag in the naming of its 2006 compact sedan, the Detroit News reported Monday.

The Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker nearly named the car the Dodge Razor earlier this month. However, Razor USA, the Cerritos, Calif., distributor of foot-propelled scooters and mini street motorcycles, has told Chrysler it would charge royalties for the Razor name.

If they want to play that way, then we'll walk away, said Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines. There are a kajillion other names out there.

A vehicle's name is critical to its success, the Detroit News said. A name must evoke a sales-boosting image, while being careful not to come out offensive in any language. Automakers must also make sure the name is actually available.

You have to try to get a name that fits with the way you want to position the product, said Craig Bierley, product director at General Motors Corp.'s GMC division. You look at whether it's rugged or tough, or whether or not it's sophisticated.