Automotive: July 2010 Archives

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 alphanumerically. It's most likely an attempt to emulate foreign luxury car manufacturers, like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes who already use an alphanumeric nomenclature for their car models.

I have blogged about this topic before, and it makes sense to switch to alphanumeric names as Kia is doing. Those names are easier to get trademarks for, It makes the car sound more European.

Some car names have an elegant sound to them like the Escalade or the Navigator, and some names are just known to be good, like the BMW Z3. Kia is hoping to build brand strength in the United States around their newly renamed car models.

But, in my opinion, Kia is moving from boring and unimaginative names to very boring and very unimaginative alphanumeric nomenclature.

It will be interesting to see how this branding approach plays out.

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