Changing Car Names: Smudging The Past, Blurring The Future?

Would car buyers love the Lincoln MKS if it were more Continental?

Should the Acura RLX give in to ego and pronounce, “I Am Legend”?

Does an Infiniti G37 by any other name sound as sweet?

Car names aren’t just clever or memorable. They’re a critical piece of multi-million-dollar marketing strategies meant to influence the way you think about a car before you’ve ever driven it.

As such, new car names are decisions not taken lightly. When a name isn’t resurrected or simply carried over, it can turn into an onomastic quest for the holy grail. Sometimes millions of dollars are spent, and dozens of names are generated, in the pursuit of one good one–a simple, non-copyrighted, inoffensive, catchy, short, numerologically favorable, pleasant-sounding noun or alphanumeric combination.

It’s a difficult task, which is why changing car names can be doubly tough, and why car companies

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