What does the name of your car say about you? give us a brake!

CARS are usually named according to the design or the targeted market segment.

For instance, for those with a  sense of adventure, who wouldn’t want to be seen whizzing through the Outback in a Pathfinder, Explorer, Navigator or, er, Outback?

And exciting place names should promise exciting cars, shouldn’t they? Cars like the Monte Carlo, Malibu, Tahoe and Yukon.

Then there are drivers who select specific models according to their profession. Can’t you just picture an athlete in a Citroen Jumper, an optician in a Ford Focus, an astronomer in a Mitsubishi Eclipse and a rugby player in a Mazda Scrum?

The name of a car, you see, can have a significant impact as to whether someone will actually want to be seen driving it. After all, when Chrysler brought out the Dodge Diplomat, did potential customers really think that driving it would make them appear more like, er, diplomats?

How about cars with names that look like they were thought up by a five year-old? For example, would you want to tell anyone you drove a Suzuki Cappuchino?

Frequent surveys compare different vehicle names to find out which are the most popular, the weirdest and downright awful.

The cars with the worst names, it seems, tend to be those which attempt to play upon consumer class-consciousness and social insecurities. An attempt by car manufacturers to tack £1000 names onto £100 cars, perhaps? Ever heard of any American celebrity owning a Chevrolet Celebrity station wagon?

Some of the weirdest, though, have got to be the Daihatsu Naked (a car without clothing?); Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard (a long lost cousin of Harry Potter?); Giga 20 Light Dump (a van with 20 gigantic super-useless lights?) and the Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear (complete with space-ship equipment?).

But, let’s face it; cars with weird or even outright awful names get just as much attention, so maybe it’s just a marketing tactic. For some, though, it wouldn’t matter how cool the car looked or what kind of features it had. For example, imagine that a Bentley still looked like a Bentley but instead was called the ‘Bentley Beefburger’.

Who’d want to drive a vehicle with a name that burgers belief? It really makes you wonder. Perhaps this is why cars that make it to the “Weirdest Names Ever” lists don’t make it too long elsewhere.

Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca

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