QOTD: What's in a Name?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd whats in a name

Ford dropped the Mustang Mach-E (don’t forget the hyphen or you’ll get a personal visit from Jim Hackett himself) in L.A. last night, marking another chapter in what can only be called Adventures in Branding.

It isn’t the first time a company has tried to mine the credibility of an established name when introducing a new car. This new EV from the Blue Oval certainly ranks in the top 10 examples of this practice. There are plenty more, of course. What one sticks out in your mind?

Using a name from a brand’s heritage isn’t always a bad idea. Putting the Dart badge on Dodge’s then-new econobox a few years ago made some sense, given it was a entry-ish model back in the day. Plus, it sounded good, as alliteration often does.

When Chevy put the Nova name on a rebadged economy car, though, that was a different story. Simply appending “II” onto an existing name has always struck me as odd; I guess “Bronco Junior” didn’t play well in focus groups.

Will the Mustang Mach-E fall in the former or latter group? Only time will tell. Until then, sound off in the comments about your most loved or most reviled nameplate redux.

[Image: Ford]

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6 of 57 comments
  • Maymar Maymar on Nov 18, 2019

    I do think there's a tendency to lionize only a very specific itineration of a heritage nameplate and conveniently overlook what the typical version might have been. Like, the FWD Impala irritated enthusiasts when it first came out because it wasn't an SS396, nevermind that most were used to schlep around working class types, or how by the end of its life, the Blazer was an escapist office drone appliance rather than something that some rugged type out of a '70s cigarette ad would drive. More importantly, pretty much no matter what, someone's going to find some automotive purity test it won't pass (see: Supra, new). I mostly just want to know if it's something I'd buy, regardless of the name.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Nov 19, 2019

      They should run a drag race of the Mach-E with the best selling trim from each prior generation. Fun to see those 3.8 SN-95's, 2.3 Foxes and PintoStangs...awesome machines

  • RHD RHD on Nov 19, 2019

    They couldn't just be completely honest about it, and call it the "Ford Model 3ish Electric Car".

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Nov 19, 2019

    Here's the thing about the Chevy II which I think is kind of clever but its significance gets lost in our preconceptions of a "full line" automaker. Prior to that car's development, AMC/Rambler was the only major domestic player in the small-car space. Postwar Chevrolet had only done full-size cars. This name writes its own marketing copy: "It's a small car, and it's a Chevy, too!"

  • Hubbell Hubbell on Nov 21, 2019

    I personally can't wait for the E-Escort. Thinking small, sporty, urban e-runabout. How long do they have to wait to resuscitate a name? E-Probe? E-Tempo?