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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    800,000 Vehicle Names Are Trademarked

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 3, 2013

    Ever wonder why more automakers are jumbling letters and numbers together to name vehicles? Its because there are less names that automakers can legally use around the world.

    "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," said Russ Clark, director of marketing for Chevrolet.

    "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken," said Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen.

    That's why you see automakers get creative. In the case of Infiniti, the company announced they would changing over to a new naming scheme where Q + number are for passenger cars, and QX + number for SUVs and crossovers. The company got a lot of heat for this, but the company says this system will be less confusing in the long run.

    Other automakers like Chrysler are going back to their past to get names for their new vehicles, i.e. Dodge Dart.

    However with a change in name, there comes a large cost. According to Larry Dominique, president of ALG, the cost of marketing a new vehicle is around $100 million in advertising. If it has a new name, the advertising costs double.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I keep waiting to see model consolidation in the times we're at (development cost & similarity, among other factors), which points right back at what Drew posted above. Instead, OEMs keep splitting hairs.

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    I think it is BS that companies can remove so many names from the pool. Trademarks are supposed to be USED. Sure, I understand that a company might get a trademark beforehand, but IMHO, if there is not a car on a dealer's lot a year later, it should be removed from trademark. Maybe give 2 years after a name plate disappears from the dealer floor.

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