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January 24, 2008

Car Brand Naming All About The Numbers (And Letters)

lincolnmks.gifI have written before about the move that car companies have made towards alphanumeric naming, but had to smile while reading an article by Ken Bensinger that quoted a Ford exec mixing up the name for the new Lincoln MKS—he referred to it at the LA Auto Shows as the “MKX,” another model altogether.

Some of us are just as confused, with Robert Farago asking us irately “Is there a MKT for the Lincoln MKT” (referring to the new Lincoln concept car). James Poulous speaks for an entire generation of automobiles when he says “I'm a car, not a number," while another blogger laments “give me alphabet soup, I’ll give you new car names."
Sorry, people. Alphanumeric naming is easier to trademark, gives a car a European cache and does away with the risk of being mistranslated when it moves overseas. Consumers are also pretty finicky: VW, who has brought us some classic car names (Bettle, Golf, Jetta) just gave us the new Routan, an update on its classic hippy “bus”, and it was duly dubbed “The worst car name in history” in the Businessweek Autoblog.

Now that’s gratitude for ya.

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Posted by William Lozito at January 24, 2008 7:33 AM
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» Kia Drives Forward to Alphanumeric Naming and Branding from Name Wire: The Product Naming Blog
Kia Motors has traditionally had boring and unimaginative names. Take, for instance, the Sorento, Sedona, Sportage, and Rondo. Those sound more like names of a World Cup starting lineup, than car model names. Now, Kia is switching to naming their cars ... [Read More]

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