By on January 31, 2019

If you read this website regularly, browse automobiles online, or have taken a trip to the dealership within the last couple of years, you’ve probably noticed the countless names applied to driver assistance systems appearing in new cars. It’s the result of automakers wanting proprietary names for these features that they think sound catchy.

Not everyone is a fan. The American Automobile Association (AAA) doesn’t feel that “having twenty unique names for adaptive cruise control and nineteen different names for lane keeping assistance” helps consumers make informed decisions.

According to its own research, AAA claims that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) were available on 92.7 percent of new vehicles on sale in the United States as of May 2018. That makes them next to impossible for consumers to avoid. Thus, the motor club group feels it’s time for automakers to standardize their naming strategies — if for no other reason than to help preserve our sanity.  (Read More…)

By on December 17, 2018

Up until I was eleven, I pronounced Porsche in the plebeian, frowned-upon way. “I’ll take the Pour-sh,” I would tell my friends while we played racing video games and shoveled bags of chips into our mouths. Then I met an adult who actually owned one and they set me straight on the matter as I ogled their vintage 911.

“It’s pronounced a little like the woman’s name Portia,” he told me as I nodded and acted as though I understood, even though I had never met a single person with that name.

Since then, I’ve had countless opportunities to utter that name in a condescending manner, and not just regarding the brand. Several of Porsche’s models use names that look easy enough to pronounce, but aren’t. However, as the years roll on, I’ve almost stopped correcting people — as I’ve become absolutely convinced of a conspiracy where Porsche does this intentionally so those in the know can lord it over those who aren’t.  (Read More…)

By on August 13, 2018

2017 Cadillac XT5 - Image: Cadillac

Not everyone was a fan of Cadillac’s decision to dive into an alphanumeric naming plan for its models. Seen as an attempt to copy German brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, General Motors’ luxury arm began aggressively chasing the trend in the new millennium. But a great many traditionalists still feel that alphanumeric names are best left to Japanese sports cars and European sedans sold in various shades of gray.

However, these dissenting voices voices will continue falling upon deaf ears at General Motors. Cadillac is sticking with the letters-and-numbers strategy and recently filed reserves with United States Patent and Trademark Office for just about everything starting with CT or XT.

Hopefully, you weren’t holding out for a revival of the Eldorado this century.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

2019 Lincoln MKC, Image: Ford Motor Company

Alphanumeric naming strategies don’t seem to work particularly well on American cars. There are exceptions, Chrysler’s 300 and the Ford F-Series come to mind, but usually you get a name and then a string of numbers and letters tacked on to denote badassery or size when applicable. While this is just a personal theory, it really seemed like America’s luxury brands were just trying to copy the Germans when they collectively made the swap and everyone noticed.

While alphanumeric monikers help automakers avoid certain issues in countries where a word may hold a different meaning, they aren’t particularly imaginative. It also distances new models from established names that help to move units on brand recognition alone. That isn’t to suggest those names are inherently better, but going against tradition can definitely work against you.

Lincoln knows that better than most, and has decided to give the MKC a real name for its 2020 redesign.  (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • JimZ: Not only that, but two or three shades of blue just on the dash!
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