Naming a car is tricky business. We know this because after years of challenging design work, engineering efforts, focus groups, and meetings that probably involved colorful PowerPoint presentations, Subaru named its first midsize SUV “B9 Tribeca.” Speaking of which: designing a car is tricky business.
When should a redesigned car get a new name? Whenever the old one wasn’t a success? Or virtually never? Can car companies count on the excellence of a new car to reverse whatever damage was done to the public perception of the model name in the past?
When we asked TTAC’s Best And Brightest whether Chevy should stick with the “Aveo” nameplate for its new subcompact offering or move in a new direction, only a few seemed to believe that “Aveo” carries much equity at this point. But then, it’s not like Chevy has a lot of small-car “heritage” to draw on… Sprint, Vega, Monza and Citation all have their obvious limitations. The B&B’s debate was typically dynamic, but it seems that this discussion has gone back and forth at the RenCen as well. GMI reports:
GM has struggled with the Aveo’s name for the last two years. According to sources former U.S. marketing chief Mark LaNeve originally wanted to rename the Aveo to “Viva.” Then–following GM’s bankruptcy filing last year–Bob Lutz ordered the Aveo name to stay put…
The lackluster image of the current Aveo has left GM’s new marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, to conclude that the car needs to be renamed. Although GM has not formally announced the new name, GMI sources are stating that GM has signed off on the name “Chevrolet Sonic.”
According to U.S. Trademark records General Motors LLC filed for a trademark on the name “Chevrolet Sonic” on October 5th.