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May 30, 2008

Porsche Panamera Product Naming is Hot

porsche-panamera-thumb.pngDetlev von Platen, the new president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc., has a major challenge on his hands. Detlev is now in charge of getting us to buy the Porsche's first four door sedan, the Panamera.

There are those who balk at the very thought of such a car, but it is a pretty brutal looking beast. Purists who might scoff that the company that gave us the 911 and the 928 should not be entering into 4 door territory have obviously been in denial over the Cayenne, the very popular four wheel drive Porsche that seems like it is named after, well, pepper, but still has a knock off phone version.

The Panamera name derives from the Carrera Panamerican race and is the first 4 door sedan to make it off the drawing board (they even had a four door 911 planned), which is also the origin of the Carrera name.

Why not just call the thing the Panamerican and be done with it? Oh yeah, because Porsche wants people outside of the US to buy the car, too.

PorscheTarga-13_large.pngSo we have the Carrera, the Cayenne, Panamera and of course, the mighty Targa, named after the Italian Targa Florio road race in Italy. The Targa now refers to any protective piece of metal that arches over the roof.

For a German company, these names do not sound very Germanic. Fact is, they sound like surf sports in California, one of Porsche’s most lucrative sales areas. The Panamera especially seems designed to appeal to Americans while holding on to that conquistador product naming structure.

Porsche is slowly but surely doing away with the idea that high end sports cars should stick to alpha-numeric naming.
porsche 911 carrera.png
Fact is, Porsche’s naming in the last few years is absolutely iconic. Carrera and Targa, let us not forget, are names for models of certain makes of cars. Cayenne and Panamera are actual car names.

As for my personal opinion, I think that Porsche’s current naming is red hot.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 30, 2008 11:40 AM
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