What’s in a Name?

by mbethard


One of the best episodes of The Simpsons is 1991’s Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which Homer discovers that his long-lost brother, Herb Powell, is the chief executive of a car company.

The Homer

At one point in the episode, Powell (voiced by Danny DeVito) berates his staff for suggesting that the company name a new car “the Persephone,” after the Greek goddess of reviving crops who was condemned to the underworld after eating pomegranate seeds.

“People don’t want cars named after hungry old Greek broads!” Powell yells. “They want names like ‘Mustang’ and ‘Cheetah’–vicious animal names.”

While Ford Motor’s Mustang has one of the best names in automotive history, some marketers who tried to make their cars more high-culture than they actually were, could have used a scolding from a guy like Powell. Did any of Chrysler‘s or General Motors’  customers really believe that driving a Dodge Diplomat would make them more ambassadorial or a Pontiac Parisienne would make them French?

Ever wish you had the awesome job of coming up with such distinct names for all of our vehicles? Are you one of those vehicle enthusiasts who names their car and says “Good Morning” to it when you get in each morning? Do you ever catch yourself thinking, I wish I had a vehicle named _____?

Well, now you have the chance to take on that awesome job and name one of our vehicle packages. Jeep recently rolled out a brand new concept of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Houston Auto Show, and along with the reveal came the Jeep “Name My Ride” contest. This new, production-intent concept vehicle has innovative, stealthy details, giving it a unique and aggressive look.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Concept Car

If you’re digging the car, you can log onto Jeep.com/namemyride and enter your ideas for what the distinctive new vehicle should be named – the Jeep Grand Cherokee ___________ (fill in the blank).

Make sure you give it some thought….a name doesn’t have to be “vicious” in order to be great. Some of the best names, such as the Ford Explorer, are utilitarian. At the time of its introduction, the Explorer was a radical new thing–and its functional name implied that you could take the vehicle off-road, a message that Ford wanted to communicate. The Dodge Ram is another practical name, given that it is a work truck. Calling it the “Horse” might not have been optimal, but giving it an animal name that doubles as a violent verb was a good move (the Ram is also Dodge’s logo). Similarly, the name Land Rover–and to only a slightly lesser extent, its larger, more expensive cousin, Range Rover–aptly conveys that vehicle’s ability to go wherever it likes and handle virtually any terrain.

The Jeep brand will narrow the names down to the top three and let voters choose their favorite. The winning name will be announced in May and the person who entered it will have a chance to win an all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“We plan to garner feedback from consumers at the Houston Auto Show, and via our online Jeep ‘Name My Ride’ contest,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand. “If the level of excitement is what we anticipate, this new Grand Cherokee will be in Jeep showrooms this spring.”

The Jeep Grand Cherokee .......

Before you know it, this new Jeep Grand Cherokee could be sitting at Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Fredericksburg with the name YOU chose for it!

We won’t give you any ideas for new names, but here are a few from the past that put a smile on our face: Daihatsu Naked; Honda Life Dunk; Honda That’s; Isuzu GIGA 20 Light Dump and Mysterious Utility; Mazda Bongo; Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear and Pistachio; Nissan Fairlady Z and Prairie Joy; Rickman Space Ranger; Rinspeed X-Dream; Suzuki Cappucino; Toyota Deliboy and Toyopet; Volkswagen Thing and Volugrafo Bimbo.

Given that award-winning list, we’re sure you can come up with a few great ones of your own. And in the meantime, you can come pick up a Jeep Grand Cherokee at Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Fredericksburg – or any other vehicle you want, for that matter, and we’ll let you name it whatever you want. 🙂

Safford Chrysler jeep dodge of fredericksburg

5202 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, Virginia

540 898 7200 / 888 544 8122

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