Posts from ‘Brands and Marketing’


Car Logo HistoryThrough their logos, many automakers have created a dazzling world of wonder. In logo land, you’ll discover roman gods, prancing horses, and mystical beasts—as well as religious themes such as the Holy Trinity and the Christian Crusades. It’s a universe of stars and planets, ships and rockets, diamonds and domination. One emblem, which is simply a crooked letter, symbolizes a trustworthy handshake.

Wartburg Knight

Wartburg Knight

Foreign automakers have been selling vehicles in America since the early days of the automobile, but not all international automobiles, or their nameplates, are appropriate for U.S. buyers. Here is a fun sampling of some bizarre foreign-vehicle names.


Mitsubishi Lancer Mercedes-Benz Edition

I never quite got past the Mercury Villager Nautica. Someone funnier than me once called it “a vehicle that’s not quite a van wearing a label that’s not quite designer.” Not quite as troubling, but clearly overreaching, was the Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition. I recall that this bit of silly cobranding got Chevy into trouble when it wanted to sponsor events at Disney.


1997 Ford Aspire (Sorry, but some of us had higher aspirations.)

There’s a brand of commercial toilet paper named Surpass. Really. I can’t help but chuckle when I think about the pitch meeting in which that name was first introduced. Given that the one-ply, generically wrapped, oh-too-necessary office supply would likely be pitched only to accountants, property managers, and inventory assistants, you’d think that a name like Stingy Wipe or Econo-Komfort might make more sense.

2013 Ford Fusion

In Tom’s Manufacturer’s Midsize Sedan Challenge Cup Series, cars would be powered by 4-cylinder engines, including car No. 24, a Ford Fusion.

Full disclosure up front: Consumer Guide, by way of parent company Publications International, Ltd., has a licensing relationship with NASCAR related to our hardcover book operation. Just saying. . . .

NASCAR isn’t about cars anymore; it’s about personalities. While that’s fine, the formula doesn’t really work for me. For the same reason I don’t care much for reality TV, I can’t latch on to the soap-opera-style drama that permeates NASCAR.


When Hyundai introduced the all-new 2012 Veloster, the newfangled contraption had my fellow Consumer Guide Auto editors and I scratching our graying heads. The car’s sleek, sporty design seemed to promise ample power, as did its name. When you hear Veloster, you think velocity, right? And yet all this “sporty” car can generate is a pedestrian 138 ponies and 123 pound-feet of torque.

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