Harder than naming children

All the good ones — and many, many bad ones — are taken: Car companies have a terrible time selecting new car names.

General Motors found out last year that a forthcoming Buick sedan called LaCrosse, to be offered in Canada, was French-Canadian teenage slang for masturbation.

Volkswagen’s SUV, the Touareg, is not only unpronounceable for many Americans but was also named after a tribe of north African nomads that, it turns out, traded slaves well into the 20th century.

Twice in the last two years Ford Motor has named prototypes of new cars after ones from its storied history only to find out it didn’t own the names anymore. The supercar now called the GT was to be called the GT40 after the legendary car from the 1960s. And a new midsized sedan to go on sale next year was to revive the Futura nameplate. It still doesn’t have a new name.

(Link thanks to Agenda.)