A simple aspect that many ignore can hinder the success of any vehicle

A simple aspect that many ignore can hinder the success of any vehicle

The difference between large and small companies in this aspect is that the former can fix it, becoming a footnote in its history, while the latter may be financially affected by the error. At this point, you may be wondering what I’m referring to. I’m not wondering anymore, because I’m talking about the names manufacturers give their products.

A few months ago, I reported Toyota scraping the space between the GR and the 86 in the GR86 name. Although it may seem like nothing, it is a huge problem when it comes to search engine optimization. If people are searching for the GR86 online, but the Toyota website isn’t the first to appear, or even among the top five or so, this is an expensive and complex issue.

In Europe and other markets, Kia used to sell the Ceed under the Cee’d name. While the company explained the reasoning behind the apostrophe at the time of its unveiling, it was phased out nearly a decade later.

In some cases, car manufacturers change the names of some of their cars. It usually happens with a new generation or with a major facelift. When that happens, it is a decision that has been weighed and its pros and cons taken into account beforehand.

The biggest advantage is that there is a uniform naming scheme throughout the range, which makes the wallet more cohesive. The obvious drawback is the need to explain this to existing or potential customers, as well as the costs of branding the name and paraphrasing all its literature. It can add up to significant costs.

This issue came to my mind when I was writing about VinFast’s latest models and the fact that they’ve renamed some of them since they were first revealed. I’m referring to the renamed VF e35 as VF8, while the VF e36 is now called VF9. As you can notice, the first names did not have much meaning for the outside world.

While it may be safe to assume that they may refer to the internal designation of the project, no one outside the company cares about this aspect. Customers will be interested in the design, price, features, specifications and brand image. Presenting a product with a name that is not easy to understand or remember will not help in any way.

If things go wrong, the score will end up reminding us of Homer’s car. When a product doesn’t look good enough, is marketed uninspiringly, or is too costly for its time, it will eventually fail.

In some cases, these failures lead to the end of the company that brought them back to life, while others are just a painful and costly milestone that everyone wants to leave behind as quickly as possible.

Given the above, you’d expect VinFast to take its models name into account a bit more. They are not attractive, and do not do much to explain which one.

This is something they should consider improving, because it will be difficult for their brand to become known in enough markets quickly enough to be competitive with established companies.

Manufacturers from China have struggled with this for years, and they still haven’t become household names. It took Japanese companies many years to become known and respected in the American market, as well as in Europe, and they built their reputation on reliability.

Once this happened, it became easier for other Asian manufacturers to offer cars to customers in markets where Japanese brands had already been recognized and appreciated.

In the case of VinFast, they stand a chance of success if they can provide excellent reliability and impeccable customer service. Their models already have an interesting design and promising specifications, so the odds are in their favor as long as people understand what they are selling.

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