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BusinessCar Office Blog: 28 April 2008

Date: 28 April 2008   |   Author:

I know it can't be easy to name a car, but there have been two new models we've driven lately that have left me utterly baffled as to how the marketing men are earning their money. The designers and engineers have done their bit by creating two very good cars, but the blokes responsible for picking the name seem to have been caught for inspiration on a Friday afternoon and just gone with the first thing to come into their minds. And it's no small fry either, I'm talking about two of the big three fleet players in the UK - Ford and VW.

Let's get the lesser indiscretion out of the way first - Fords new Kuga small 4x4. I'm wondering if the people picking the name haven't been with the company long, but it sounds a lot like a certain coupe called Cougar the company sold in the 1990s. Of all the names to pick, why go for one that's phonetically the same as a very different model sold a few years ago?

But the Passat CC is the one that's really got me stumped. It stands for Comfort Coupe, but the rest of the world knows CC to stand for Coupe Cabriolet, as in the breed of folding hard-top cabrios such as the Peugeot 207CC or 307CC. VW's only attempt to justify the use of the initials only went as far as saying, "well, for us CC means Comfort Coupe", seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world using them for something different. As one RV expert pointed out at the launch, in extreme cases the Passat CC coupe could be ruled off fleet lists that don't allow Coupe Convertibles.

I can certainly see the general public sitting in the car and looking for the button to put the roof down.