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August 19, 2008

Pontiac G8 ST Naming Trumps El Camino, Truck Norris

pontiac-g8-st-1280-009.pngPontiac has decided to name its new sport truck the G8 ST despite a concerted movement by fans to resurrect the El Camino name as part of Pontiac's Tame the Name contest.

There have been irritated grumblings in the blogosphere about the fact that Pontiac actually started with this name, and after 80,000 entries and 18,000 distinct names were submitted, decided to stick with it.

GM claims it "thought long and hard about El Camino," but also noticed a trend in the submissions towards simpler names.

The G8 ST is certainly not the worst names out there, but it does end a big naming contest with a whimper. (The prize was given at random to one of the entrants).

I think that there are a few things that we can take away here.

First of all, truck naming is very difficult. 18,000 names are actually not that many, considering that many of them (like Truck Norris, for example) would be unusable in addition to the thousands of others that would already be taken.

79ElCamino.pngSecondly, taking a name like El Camino out of mothballs might work from a nostalgic point of view but not from a sales perspective. Times have simply changed since the days of the Diablo, the Caballero and other Spanish inspired names.

Fact is, alphanumeric vehicle naming is here to stay, even if people think that the Pontiac G8 ST GXP sounds like "alphabet soup."

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Posted by William Lozito at August 19, 2008 7:56 AM
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