Hammer Time: If It Sounds Like A Duck, Is It A Catera?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

Wholesale heaven is a miserable place. For every Mercury Milan that finds itself at the auctions, you have at least three ex-rental Chrysler Sebrings that have yet to find a permanent home. As I mentioned to Bertel and Ed this past week, “Everyone wants a good deal at the auctions. But no one wants a Mitsubishi.”

Retail buyers usually want to have a bit of name cachet… which is a big problem on the wholesale level since there are now a long list of models that have officially become one generation wonders.The list of automotive anonymity is almost endless these days. Most folks outside the auto industry have no idea what a G5 or a G3 is. Crossfire is a TV show. A Relay belongs on the track… and as for an Aztek… well that’s just an Edsel in SUV drag. At least everyone still knows an Aztek when they see one.I can tell you with a near 100% certainty that most of the ‘unpopular’ names will find their home at the easy credit lots. Terraza, Verano, Reno, L300, Ion, 9-7… the names are usually bad enough. But selling the 47th acronymed vehicle in today’s market? WTF?Which brings us to today’s question. What are the best and worst sounding automotive models of modern times? Feel free to use a name that is outside your country’s border if you wish. Just don’t call my old two door Toyota a ‘shitty’ car.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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  • Redav Redav on Nov 03, 2011

    I'm a sucker for jokes/pranks in this area. One of my favorites is the Mazda Pi http://www.mazdapedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/mmmmpi-mazda-3.jpg (I have yet to see a Mazda Euler's Number, though) I've been thinking of buying a Focus, and if I got the Titanium trim, I'd debadge the "titanium" and replace it with a custom badge of the periodic table entry for Ti http://www.ivstandards.com/extras/pertable/images/solid/ti.gif Some other ideas: - Rebadge the car with its Japanese kanji / Chinese hanzi equivalent. - Rebadge a car so it's named after a Godzilla monster--especially "Rodan." I'd love to drive a "Rodan."

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Nov 03, 2011

    Somebody doesn't like car models named after states? How about cities? Several brands are/were successful that were named after cities: Plymouth, Cadillac, Pontiac, Oakland. I remember an article that found that none of the brands were popular in the cities they were named after. Maybe model names would do better. Anyway, Poughkeepsie, Oshkosh, and Cucamonga are still up for grabs. I would love to say I drive a Cucamonga!

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    • Dynasty Dynasty on Nov 04, 2011

      @cdotson Tacoma is a city. Named after the Indian Chief Tahoma. There used to be a Mt Tahoma, now named Mt Rainier. Which inspired the naming of the Buick Rainier, And of course the Mercury Mountaineer, which was a brand named after a planet.

  • Bimmer Bimmer on Nov 03, 2011

    VW Passat. In Russian means 'to take a piss'.

  • The_Imperialist The_Imperialist on Nov 04, 2011

    Not to mention the Studebaker Dictator; Hyundai Scoupe; Mitsubishi Cordia; Subaru (Oedipus) WRX; the Japan-only Isuzu Light Dump; Acura Vigor; and Datsun Honey Bee.