Friday, May 21, 2010

What's In A Name?

My first question is this: Why isn't the Infiniti logo a mobius strip? The fact that it is misspelled might be a consideration if all the other car manufacturers on the planet saw fit to check their company's names and models. They don't. Maybe that's why the Savana van isn't a huge seller, since most of us would drop an "h" in there at the end, but no one is going to expect GMC to get things like that right, are they?
The most infamous legend of car names gone wrong is the Chevy Nova. Supposedly, The Nova didn't sell well in Latin America countries because it's name meant, literally, "no go" in Spanish. Chevrolet sold enough of them in spite of this clever wordplay, but it never answered why they would name a vehicle that was so obviously earthbound after a cataclysmic nuclear explosion caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of a white dwarf star, or a TV show on PBS.
In my world, I spend a lot of time listening to my son spout off makes and models with relative abandon, and as I do I am compelled to question the relative wisdom behind the marketing of these car makers. Animal names are a pretty safe bet, as is the current fad of tossing a few numbers and letters together in hopes of eliciting a comparison to a fighter jet. This used to be standard procedure for one company, but is the ridiculous spelling of "view" the reason we will never see another new Saturn?
Mustang was far too cool a name to die, and it may be the singular reason for the resurgence in these gas-frugal times of the muscle car. My son is happy to have the Camaro back, since automotive legend has it that when the press asked Chevrolet product managers, "What is a Camaro?" they were told it was "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs." They also have a tendency to transform into robots, which is a nice feature.
Besides, I think my Raleigh C-40 is one sweet ride.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

En mi pais, la palabra Nova es un nombre de un automobile. Pero "No Go" esta dos palabras. Por ejemplo: Mi Nova NO VA en el calle quando manejar mis hijos a la esquela.

Recuerdo por favor: No Go es egual de No Va.

Adios y gracias por tu tiempo.