Blog: Dave LeggettThe car naming minefield

Dave Leggett | 1 August 2003

Edward Rowe is one of the most proactive PRs we deal with. Promoting Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Citroen and Kia for Australian distributor Ateco - as well as Fiat and Alfa in New Zealand - he's the only Down Under PR who makes sure we see all his company's press releases and it's interesting to observe how an independent distributor promotes these 'foreign' brands in the Lucky Country. This week we asked Edward if he had any idea what the last-minute Gingo-to-Panda debacle had cost Fiat and, while politely suggesting we ask the Italians directly, he points out that they are not alone in falling foul of car naming problems.
"I would say that name hunting is one of the hardest things to sort out, not just because of other people using the name, but because of local issues," Edward told us. "For example, here in Australia the Subaru Legacy is called the Liberty because The Legacy is the charity that raises money for returned servicemen in Australia, most of whom fought the Japanese....
"Renault has lost a very similar case and were on much thinner ice than Fiat with Gingo. Audi forced them to drop the Quadra name for its four wheel drive versions because it was too close to Quattro. And that is before you get into the countless amusing stories about names being OK in one place and being something VERY different in another country..."
Dave Leggett, who's on well-earned holiday for a week, has already mentioned some of those in the blog.
Graeme Roberts

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