Of all the companies selling cars here in the United States, the one with the best grip on how actual car names sell actual cars might actually be Kia. From the Soul to the Stinger, the company sticks to names not alphanumerics. And that’s why we should cast a wary eye on a new report that the surprisingly good-looking Kia Optima might become the Kia K5.
The K5 is what international markets already call the Optima, and The Korean Car Blog now reports from a tip that we may get that name here in America.
Motor1 both also dug up with some trademark filings that’d back up that reporting, though a Kia rep would not say anything for the report other than “Regardless of the badge, Optima remains an important component of Kia’s award-winning lineup of vehicles.”
This is a bad idea to anyone who has ever tried to remember the name of a car, or who has watched a car ad, or anything. But friend of Jalopnik Alex Nuñez, who has worked with Hyundai for years on the ad side of things, laid out exactly why this is foolish on Twitter:
I will also point out that car names can’t be a bad idea. Dodge sells cars with real names even though they are impossibly outdated, ancient old vehicles. You think anybody would be rushing back to the dealer to get a Dodge Journey if it was the Dodge D6200?