Fiat has backed down after complaints from Renault that its ‘Gingo’ tag for its new supermini sounded too much like the French firm’s long-established ‘Twingo’.

Putting a positive spin on things, Fiat on Tuesday described the tag it will substitute as “appealing, easy to remember and sustained by the over 20 years of success of the model launched in 1980, the Panda name is part of Fiat’s heritage”.

The last of the old Panda models will be built on September 5, at around the same time the international motoring press – from which Fiat excludes this international motor industry website – will be seeing the new car in Lisbon, Portugal.

Fiat says the Panda tag “has become a veritable brand name, full of emotional overtones, and one that motorists in Italy and the rest of Europe are still extremely fond of. Statistics say that in Italy almost 90% of the public recall the name, compared to less than 40% in the case of other well known cars on the market.”

Which begs the obvious question – if Panda is such a well known and well loved name, who decided to call its successor the Gingo in the first place?