Culture

Naming Rights


Volkswagen Tiguan – Tiger plus Iguana.

Zeitgeisters, it’s well known that car-names are getting zanier. After more than half a century of mass-produced vehicles with snappy ‘handles’, automobile manufacturers have been left scraping for attractive and engaging names.

In Australia, Ford is the most sober of the players with the Focus as the only slightly poetic and evocative entry in the Fird range.

Misubishi has the Triton and the Grandis. At first these two seem to work on Jerry Seinfeld’s theory that car companies make-up words that sound like real ones – a la the Integra. However Triton is a moon of Neptune (yeah, me either) and Grandis is Latin for big, so, some of these made-up words turn out to be gaps in my education.

Holden, or GM to you outside of Oz, has a great roster of pointless names. Although Caprice is a sudden impulse and Viva means live; Tigra, Ventra, Vectra and Adventra all come off as half-baked. Adventra? Come on, Holden! I guess it’s not too late to rename the Rodeo, the Rodetra and the Commodore, the Commodtra.

Toyota has to have the best names, though. Avensis, Aurion, Aurion – Presara, Yaris and Prius. Prius is Latin for ‘ahead’, the others are harder to find definitions for – at least for me. (Nomenclature Geeks you may care to step in now.) Whatever they mean, they all sounds ethereal, sexy and Turtle Waxable, except for the Toyota Kluger which sounds a little awkward. At best its Luger with a K in the front. Not sure about naming a car after a firearm.

Poking around the ‘net to research this story, I discovered some interesting stuff about Volkswagen. Yeah, the Touareg and the Jetta are amusing enough, however there’s a VW concept car due to be released in 2007. It’s the Tiguan. According to the www:

Tiguan’s peculiar name arrives compliments of some 350,000 readers of Germany’s Auto Bild magazine, who elected Tiguan over four other equally strange titles. The name is a fusion of the words “tiger” and “leguan” (German for the word “iguana”) The name Tiguan was developed by Volkswagen Marketing along with four other alternatives Nanuk, Namib, Rockton and Samun.

Volswagen Nanuk, huh?

Elevate the insignificant,

Mr Trivia

0 thoughts on “Naming Rights

  1. I’d like to see some plain-speaking names for boring folks like me. Big Fast Car, for example. What’s wrong with that? Calling a spade a spade, etc., plus it’s easy to remember and has its own advertising built in: “The Big Fast Car. You can’t get to the point any quicker.”

  2. Deidre, you have a point.

    How about the Ford Affordable (starter vehicle), the Holden Crap Carrier (Ute range) and the Mitsubishi Status Symbol (top of range).

    You’re right, it makes things a lot simpler.

  3. Oh, too right, the Holden Crap Carrier would be a deadset winner!

    Can I refer to your next post about Jon Voip here? If you were fellow celeb Barry Bostwick you could just ring him and pitch the idea direct, couldn’t you? I guess that proves you’re not Mr Bostwick 🙁

    But the Skype thing – I’ve only had a chance to use it once (my machine is too slow, so I was using somebody else’s) and was dismayed by what appeared to be a built-in delay: talk – delay – reply. I’m thinking maybe Jon Voight could use this if he wants to do the Voip in 2007, being just a bit delayed in everything he does, adding a second of initial incomprehension and confusion to every conversation. What do you think? Does he have the skill?

  4. Deidre,

    You raise some very pertinent issues. I guess this proves once and for all that I am not Barry Bostwick for the reasons you have outlined.

    BTW, famous people everywhere are part of a dazzling club that we mortals cannot hope to be part of. For them the whole world is like the Qantas Lounge ONLY BETTER.

    As for VOIP 2007, I see we may need to take this back to drawingboard, workshop it and see who salutes, etc .

    Re: JV – if anyone could use time delay and confusion to nail performance, it’s Mr Voight. If anyone could turn a minus into Oscar buzz, it’s the Midnight Cowboy himself.

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