Eric Mayne's Blog

What's in a name?


A fellow auto scribe wonders on her Facebook page if Apple's iPad table computer will become "the Nova of device names?"

Industry lore says the former Chevy car was derided in Spanish-speaking countries because its name, roughly translated, meant "no go."

Within hours of its debut yesterday, the iPad was drawing unfavorable comparisons with feminine protection products.

All of which makes me wonder what Chrysler Group LLC will name the core brand's next midsize car. None other than CEO Sergio Marchionne has questioned whether the current offering, a favorite object of industry scorn, has so damaged the Sebring nameplate that change is in order.

Marchionne reveals recently that he and Olivier Francois, the brand's chief and the auto maker's marketing czar, had been brainstorming new names into the wee hours. But none of the alternatives really resonated with the boss.

Marchionne doesn't disclose any of the proposed monikers. But a check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests Chrysler still has a stake in the following (followed by my take on their prospects):

• Airflite (Classic)

• Firepower (Too performance-oriented)

• Nassau (I can see it)

• Aspen (Possible)

• Imperial (Too “Regal”)

• Magnum (see Firepower)

• Pacifica (Hmmm)

• Crossfire (Maybe)

• Starmobile (I hope they’re kidding.)

Should Chrysler affix the Sebring nameplate to its next-gen midsize car? If not, any suggestions?

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