Industry Squawk: Let’s Play The Name Game

25 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Industry Squawk: Let’s Play The Name Game
Daihatsu Charade

Industry Squawk: Let#8217;s The Name Game

June 13,

The automotive world used to be a place.

Luxury cars had two things. An American name. Or a alphanumeric designation.

Continental, Deville, Park Avenue, Imperial. were quintessential American that gave forth an luxury experience.

On the flip were those crafty Mercedes had a C, E, S and SL. Audi had stupendous that could go all the way up  to 5000. BMW put numbers first, and Jaguar put numbers last. Saab and did their part of making special cars an S, STI, or an

But no one cared too much about

The world of luxury names had an to it. Numbers and letters were European. Names were

Then the Lexus LS400 along and screwed it up for everyone.

put forth a $35,000 car in 1989 steamrolled competitor cars were nearly twice the here in the United States.

The was such a runaway success within a few years Mercedes their designations from first to letter first.

The letter first trend for was here to stay with the 10 old 190E finally morphing an all-new C220 in 1993. in the same year by the E-Class and By the late-90#8242;s, nearly every model had flipped their to the back of the letter.

Why? because that was the fashionable at the time. This marketing would represent just a trickle to the flood that soon come.

Like all disco, Polo, and Bon Jovi, the success of the originals would be followed by a painful, never-ending of poseurs and pretenders.

For luxury that meant nearly 20 of mindless acronyms and alphanumerics.

The LS begat ES, which brought SC, which then gave GS, and by that time many trying to figure out what a acronym actually meant.

But didn#8217;t stop Lexus. there was an IS, HS, RX, GX, LX, LF-A, HS and six more that collectively codified the into a big fat WTF.

Lexus was not the only one drinking from the punchbowl of model mummification.

had already ordained a Legend was truly worth of the name. with an Integra that was among the more rewarding to buy and keep.

Acura circa #8211; Does not include the ZDX and RLX models, or the upcoming NSX.

But social malcontents within decided that such names were overshadowing the in much the same way as Cher overshadowed Sonny. A satanic of three letter designations followed to the point where MDX, IL-X, and TSX gave an identity that was SOL.

already had the alphanumeric groove with the G20, I30, and Q45 by the Which was fine because the last one of those vehicles was competitive.

Then Q sales thanks to a bland 2nd generation, and a they still make final generation. The demise of the Q led to the of the G, JX, and M.  The hope being Infiniti would be equal to a BMW in

Now Infiniti is re-investing in seven new Q models.  Will it be worth it?

and Mercury #8211; Back In The Old Days Of 1979

The Americans, with MBA and PhD graduates, followed by early 2000. Pretty Sevilles received an honorary Devilles were given a Marks bowed down to a LS, and Zephyrs evolved into an Or was it an MDX? Or an MRX?

By the end of the decade luxury found itself European lipstick and Japanese Toyota) longings.

Everyone now compete with everyone in a luxury world where no longer mattered.

So what do we today? Confusion. Over 40 given acronyms and alphanumerics collectively have less equity than a box of Corn

When everyone does the thing, brand equity Even an entire class of vehicles can the ill effects of #8217;me too#8217;

 The Lexus LS no longer well and arguably, no flagship laden with a glorified number in North America has a showing these days.

Names still matter to of us. If you asked 95 plus percent of the folks on the street a name of a model, you know what would come right at the

Escalade. Everybody knows an Escalade is a big, vulgar, SUV with all the luxury and pimpin#8217; you could ever want in a American machine. The CTS may have a better selling vehicle the Escalade for most of the last ten

But when it comes to name saying #8220;I have an will make most recognize that you#8217;re about an SUV while saying, have a CTS.#8221; can conjure images of a GPS or maybe even an

A Lexus is still#8230; an LS400. of us may have admired an ES that was more than a glorified Or recommended an RX that arguably set the of a modern day crossover.

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But the rest of the means what exactly? To

Lexus obviously needs at this point to identify progeny in much the same way as the needs names for her brood. produces too much and needs to give their models names, or send them to the of the dodo.

And Lexus is far from in that image driven

The same is true for Acura.

it Acura! Bring back the Legend, and think up a couple of that would embody the of your SUV models. Along that sparsely equipped, $30,000 car you have sold for a decade now.

What is it I don#8217;t even know it is, and I sell these vehicles for a If your crowning achievement is a then give your an identity that fits vision.

Give#8230; them#8230; ASAP. Please. Real

Forget about a Lincoln MKX Call it a Canyonero if you must.

them names so that car don#8217;t have to read the numbers on the back of their to tell other people it actually is.

Acronyms and alphanumerics should be for luxury vehicles. Nobody This goes especially for vehicles.

Mazda#8230; sells not an MX-5.

A real MX is an LGM-118 Ballistic Missile that loaded with multi-kiloton bombs and was usually targeted at the USSR. Not a $25,000 fashionable targeted at the nearest Starbucks.

should sell a Celica or a Not an FR-S. Those initials can be any one of things listed on Wikipedia the Scion FR-S ranked last in that order.

no longer sells anything nobody figured out what the G in G3, G5, G6, G8 meant. A painful lesson a multitude of other brands to reconsider if they are to maintain a model name for the non-enthusiast.

So do you think? Should American and luxury models be given  Or should the alphanumeric alphabet that is the US car market devolve a nonsensical emulsion of initials and that mean nothing?

would be your solution?

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