Do You Feel More Involved When You Help Name Cars?

Illustration for article titled Do You Feel More Involved When You Help Name Cars?

Names are hard. I haven’t had many pets in my life so far, but the three goldfish I’ve named in my life were named after I gave almost zero thought. I think one was named Bob.

So I did not participate in the recent Mitsubishi social media scheme where people could help name the colors for the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. It ended last week, but not before I took a look at some of the names in the submissions pile. Mitsubishi probably should’ve stuck with the marketing firm. I mean, “Code Red” and “Emerald Isle” as names for red and green? Both of those are soda flavors, right?

Illustration for article titled Do You Feel More Involved When You Help Name Cars?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Way back when Isuzu was still selling things in this country, it asked everyone who was on the Internet in 2000 what to call its Rodeo-derived SUV. Out of 47,000 suggestions the best idea was Axiom. Isuzu Axiom. It probably didn’t help that the car itself wasn’t particularly memorable. I seem to recall the guy who won the contest received a free Axiom, which probably went up for sale shortly thereafter. Or maybe he just wanted a car and said, “OK, let me find a word in this textbook and submit it as a name for this new Isuzu!”

Maybe I’m too cynical about all of this. Or maybe I think the more simple of a name of the color, the better. Personally, if the Mirage were a car I’d consider buying, I would not like to tell people I bought a Jalapeno Mirage. That just sounds like I’ve gone crazy. And saying my car is a Mirage was already confusing enough.

When we say automakers should listen to the public more, we’re talking about insisting they offer a diesel wagon with a stick-shift, not so much debating what colors should be named. But hey, it’s still having input. Do you play along when car companies ask you for name suggestions?

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Remember when Pontiac was going to bring over the G8 Ute? (Before they were taken out behind the shed). They had a naming contest for the Ute. People had plenty of cool names for it that would have been great. What did they go with? The Pontiac G8 ST.

What sucks even more is that the bastards never had a chance to bring it over.