A rumor that began spreading last year seems to be borne out. Those whispers, which grew in volume after company executives failed to downplay the suggestion, hinted that Kia’s midsize Optima could see a name change for the 2021 model year.
Following its Hyundai Sonata sibling by a year, the radically redesigned midsizer could be the automaker’s last attempt to woo the American public and solidify its standing in the shrinking segment. At this point in the game, will a name change help at all? Maybe the better question is: would it hurt?
Listen, I know I’ve given Aston Martin a hard time ever since I’ve started writing about cars. My diatribe about the marque choosing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as a brand ambassador netted me no shortage of attention from upset sportswriters and morning DJs who cared more about football than I ever could. To my surprise, the ordeal even landed my name in a book about the NFL that nobody read. Despite the indescribable waves of pleasure I feel from bashing the marketing efforts of any high-end brand, Aston’s cars have historically been quite desirable. In fact, I have a gigantic soft spot in my head heart for the V8 Vantage Volante Timothy Dalton drove around in The Living Daylights.
That bodes well for Aston as I prepare to exercise every ounce of pettiness from within my soul to comment up its 70th anniversary celebration of the Vantage. But then the manufacturer decided to put a bunch in an empty aircraft hangar for a photo op and I suddenly remembered that the Vantage name has been tainted by more than just Mr. Brady.
Volkswagen Group has been hyping its upcoming all-electric lineup for a while, with the Type 2-inspired Buzz Concept serving as an impromptu mascot for the company’s new I.D. brand. However, we had hoped VW would rename some of the concepts once production models hit the scene, maybe even tapping into its heritage. While the I.D. Buzz, Crozz, and Vizzion provide a cohesive naming strategy, we’ve heard better automotive handles before.
It seems as if the automaker is inclined to agree. Unfortunately, rather than come up with a new set of names, Volkswagen appears to be trademarking a series of alphanumeric titles. We’re not going to pretend that VW has the best-named lineup in the industry but it would have been nice to see them try something new, rather than fall into the same trap nearly every other premium nameplate and EV manufacturer has.
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- Jeff S E-Vettes are coming to your nearest Chevrolet dealership. I reserve judgement on this I will have to see these and see the pricing. So far Lyriq is about the only GM vehicle I have any interest in.