Cracking the Code on How Brands Name Their Vehicles

October 2nd, 2020 by



Just like the naming of any other product, automakers are usually influenced by the particular market that they are targeting when it comes to finding the right title for their new car model. Other times, these specifications can hit more on a global scale, while other times it’s just something out of the wind.

Car companies often start off by collaborating with their marketing team to find a name that truly embodies and represents the message of the brand. Some examples of this include the Mustang, Challenger, and the Charger, which all personify the feeling of power and strength in its truest form.

There are a lot of elements taken into account when generating a name until finally it’s cut down into a relatively shortlist. However, even with the help of a creative team, there are times when a name just doesn’t hit the mark such as having conflicts with foreign languages or slang.

Foreign language

In English-speaking countries what appears to be normal and standard might mean something vastly different in other languages. For instance, the Chevy Nova (also dubbed Chevrolet II) may sound appealing in the States, but in Spanish ‘no va” actually means ‘doesn’t go’, which is a terrible way to describe what is supposed to be a sporty vehicle. 


If a car company wants a name that describes the vehicle as dependable, strong, and effective, oftentimes they might name after an animal that fits these same characteristics, such as with the Mustang, Colt, Viper, Jaguar, Ram and Cobra. Other names came from the inspiration of a particular place, such as with the Malibu, Tucson, Ibiza, Monterey, Murano, and the New Yorker.

An alternative to these common influences is to invent an entirely new word as Ford Motors did with their Mondeo car. It was promoted as the company’s first ‘world car’, which means that it would be promoted in each market without changing the name. The legendary automaker put their own spin onto the name with the French word ‘Le Monde’ which means ‘The World’, needless to say, that Ford simply wanted to get to the point.

Alfa Romeo used its inspiration from the two cities that they construct their cars in, which are Milan and Turin. Rather than simply dub their new model as Alfa Milan, they decided to fuse both names of the cities by using their capital letters, thus naming it MiTo. 

Other automakers have avoided all of the fuss by simply assigning their new models with either a number or a letter. Mercedes is notorious for this with models like the A-Class, S-Class, G model, CLA, CLS, and so on and so forth. The German automaker has a method to their madness by naming their models by the engine size and class of the vehicle in order to avoid confusion.

Driver’s Auto Mart

No matter how these automakers name their cars, Driver’s Auto Mart has you covered in providing pre-owned vehicles that are up-to-date and technologically advanced. We have an extensive collection of cars from a variety of different brands such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, and so much more. Those who are interested in any of our vehicles can simply new our online pre-owned inventory and chat with a representative for further assistance.

Photo Source/Copyright: Shutterstock via Bashigo