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Because Creativity is Overrated
What’s the most important step a manufacturer undertakes when creating a new car? Building a great chassis? Getting the interior ergonomics right? Providing the perfect drivetrain to complement the new product? Nope. All wrong. The really, really important factor for any new car is getting the name right.
All joking aside, a vehicle’s name is very important. Slap a clever name on a car and it can help boost sales. Conversely, choose a bad name for a vehicle, like Probe or Dictator, and it can hurt sales. Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money analyzing potential model names.
Well, that’s usually what happens, but sometimes, the creativity well runs dry. Every now and then a new vehicle receives a name that leaves us all wondering: “Really? That’s all they could think of?” Not to get confused with naming conventions that are just lazy, like Mazda’s numbered sequence or Mercedes-Benz’s lettered sequence. No, we are referring to model names that give the perception maybe the marketing team forgot to show up one day and the engineers were left in charge of naming the new ride. “We are pleased to announce the latest from Hyonbaru Motors, ‘The Car!” Don’t laugh, some the following models are even worse.
Everything that is old is new again. That is the mantra of pretty much every single major car company. Volkswagen has the Beetle (a newer version of which will be launched later this year), Mini has had the reborn Cooper for awhile now, and Fiat recently introduced the new 500 in the North American market. All these models mimic their predecessors in terms of styling.
If rumors are to be believed, Renault now also wants to jump into the premium hatchback market by bringing a new version of the Le Car. Called the Renault 5 or R5 in other markets, the car was a huge success in Europe, Asia and Africa, while it hardly made an impression in the North American market, despite having a successful racing career around the globe.
If Renault does decide to put a new Le Car into production, it can easily be based on their Clio platform to save money and speed up the process of development. Will this model ever make it to North America? While there are no plans for Renault to make a comeback, the Le Car could be sold through select Nissan dealers, just like Fiat is doing with some Chrysler dealers regarding the 500.