By on June 19, 2012

 

Car companies the world over get in line to spend $185,000 (for starters) to register their brands as what is called a “Top Level Domain” or TLD. Instead of, say “Chevrolet.com,” in the future, you will be able to type only “Chevrolet” to get to the site. Google allows you to do the same right now, but also gives you a long list of other choices.

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) started accepting applications a few months ago, and now released information on the applicants. Confusingly, these branded top level domains go by the name of “generic top level domain,” or gTLD.

Some 50 car-related domain names have been requested, and we may have missed some among the nearly 2,000 applications. The list, and especially what is not on the list, could provide some insights into future branding plans. Or simply insights into oversights.

TLD Applicant
AUDI AUDI Aktiengesellschaft
LAMBORGHINI Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
MINI Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
BENTLEY Bentley Motors Limited
BUGATTI Bugatti International SA
MOPAR Chrysler Group LLC.
RAM Chrysler Group LLC.
SRT Chrysler Group LLC.
UCONNECT Chrysler Group LLC.
CHRYSLER Chrysler Group LLC.
DODGE Chrysler Group LLC.
JEEP Chrysler Group LLC.
CASE Fiat Industrial S.p.A
CASEIH Fiat Industrial S.p.A
IVECO Fiat Industrial S.p.A
NEWHOLLAND Fiat Industrial S.p.A
ABARTH Fiat S.p.A
ALFAROMEO Fiat S.p.A
FIAT Fiat S.p.A
LANCIA Fiat S.p.A
FERRARI Fiat S.p.A
MASERATI Fiat S.p.A
FORD Ford Motor Company
LINCOLN Ford Motor Company
CHEVY General Motors LLC
BUICK General Motors LLC
CADILLAC General Motors LLC
CHEVROLET General Motors LLC
GMC General Motors LLC
HONDA Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
HYUNDAI Hyundai Motor Company
JAGUAR Jaguar Cars Limited
KIA KIA MOTORS CORPORATION
LANDROVER Land Rover
MITSUBISHI Mitsubishi Corporation
DATSUN NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD.
INFINITI NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD.
NISSAN NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD.
SEAT SEAT, S.A. (Sociedad Unipersonal)
SUZUKI SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
TATAMOTORS Tata Motors Ltd
TATA TATA SONS LIMITED
LEXUS TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
TOYOTA TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
(Volkswagen in Chinese) Volkswagen (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
VOLKSWAGEN Volkswagen Group of America Inc.
VOLVO Volvo Holding Sverige Aktiebolag

GM registered all its mayor brands, it even registered “Chevy,” probably to frustrate cybersquatters. Opel, Vauxhall, Holden are not on the list. Notably absent: “GM” – that however is not available, it is the top level domain of Gambia.

Toyota registered Toyota and Lexus. Scion does not appear.

Volkswagen registered all brands down to Lamborghini and Bugatti, but forgot Skoda. VW would be available, but remains unclaimed. Porsche is gTLD-less.

Porsche’s Stuttgart neighbor, Daimler, completely ignored the whole gTLD business. So did PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Renault.  Renault’s alliance partner Nissan on the other hand booked Nissan, Infiniti, and Daihatsu.

Mazda, Subaru, Daihatsu are AWOL. The Chinese makers more or less boycott the rush to their own gTLDs. Volkswagen laid claim on its name in Chinese.

Running your own Top Level Domain is not for the faint of funds: The ICANN application fee of $185,000 is just the beginning.  Newgtlgsite.c om, a site dedicated to all things gTLD, figures that the total cost is “somewhere between $500,000 to $2 million for an uncontested basic gTLD.”

At these prices, don’t expect a dot TTAC  anytime soon.

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