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.
|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|
|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|
|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.