Digging into the Car Naming Business

Much like all names in existence and made up, car names can also run from bad to weird. Whoever came up with Buick Reatta or Pontiac Aztek might have thought it clever, but a majority of car owners thinks it’s hard to remember much less spell. But if the name goes something like Jaguar or Mustang, everyone just assumes without question that the vehicle would be powerful and amazing on the road.


While it’s so easy for people to poke fun at car names, very few know the lengths car companies go to just to develop a really rousing, interesting label. Ford Explorer and Dodge Ram may have had it easy as both names reflect the practical and utilitarian use of the working vehicles. The opposite is happening to Cadillac, however. This is because BMW got all the good names and trying to beat BMW 7-series with a CT1 is next to impossible.


This brings back to an all-important question, what’s in a name? Well, it can be the one thing that will make or break a car’s image. But let’s leave the marketing team to mull over their next move and look into how some of the popular car names were born.

Alfa Romeo


Yes, this might seem like another attempt at a clever misspelling, but ALFA is an acronym that stands for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. Considering that the full name is a mouthful, ALFA is just fine. Now Romeo was just added when Nicola Romeo bought ALFA in 1915.



In Korean, Daewoo translates as ‘great house’ or ‘great universe’, which is what the company founder Kim Woo Chong called it. Well, anyone who’s driven a Daewoo is likely to agree that it’s a great ride overall. Majority of cars is named after their founder or owner, including Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes and Ford. But because every new model out in the market must be christened with its own unique identity, car naming would remain a challenging task for everyone involved.

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