800,000 Vehicle Names are Trademarked: Report

800,000 Vehicle Names are Trademarked: Report

Ever wonder why Infiniti changed its naming structure to something arguably more confusing?

Believe it or not, there are about a staggering number of trademarks in the automotive industry today, which means it’s getting harder and harder for automakers to name vehicles. As more companies expand their presence globally, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find names that work everywhere. There’s always that great story of how the Chevrolet Nova struggled with the Hispanic market because “no va” in Spanish is a literal translation of “no go.”

“It’s tough,” Russ Clark, director of marketing for General Motors’ Chevrolet brand said. “In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000.”

Infiniti recently decided to axe the vast majority of its naming convention and replaced it with the letter “Q” and the letters “QX” proceeded by numbers to designate the model in the lineup’s hierarchy. The Q50, for example, replaced the popular G37 moniker. It’s  confusing at first, but in the long run, Infiniti will struggle less with naming future models.

Even some automakers are digging deep into past trademarks, pulling old names and bringing them back for newer models. The Dodge Dart, for example, was actually a name Chrysler used in the 1960s.

According to Larry Dominique, president of the industry valuation company ALG Inc., introducing a new car costs an automaker around $100 million in advertising. If the automaker introduces a new car under a new name, that price could double.

[Source: Automotive News]

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