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Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Here is what a large chunk of the car-buying public thinks of Impala and Malibu: The Impala SS was semi-cool in the 90's and the Malibu hasn't even touched the c in cool yet.

However, at one time, the Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Malibu were hot cars.... when I was -20 years old. So the questions I ask must be valid. Is it sensible to draw on names which possessed greatness 30 or more ye
ars ago? Is it smart to assume that your sales will increase if you stop calling cars the Lumina, stop creating new model titles, and simply use the name of a good car from the 60's, 70's, or 80's?

And if that name is so great, why did you ever stop using it? Aha, because it
began to lose value. And you, GM and others, are hoping with all your hearts that people will forget the bad days of the model and only remember the good days. So with some of us, you neither gain or lose nothing.

We don't remember the good ol' days and we can't actually remember the bad ol' days. Except in one instance. The Ford Five Hundred, certainly a pleasant car, does not lend itself to being loved by today's youthful car buyers. "Hey, I've got a great idea," somebody said, "Call it the Taurus."

Oh no. Don't do it. This move sends out shock waves of desperation from every corner of the Ford epicentre. Firstly, the Five Hundred wasn't good enough to sell as good product, so hopefully we will trick people into thinking it is a completely different car. Well, ya didn't trick me, Mulally.

Secondly, the Taurus was somewhat revolutionary when it arrived on the scene, lest we forget. Titled the best-selling car in the mid 90's. "But," someone must have asked, "if we banished the name once because it had lost its merit, how did it regain its status in the Ford pantheon?"

Whoever that hypothetical person who hopefully asked that question was received no answer. Apparently, the Ford Five Hundred will become the Ford Taurus because the Taurus has better name recognition. The most unfortunate shock wave of all is the simple fact that nobody recognizes that switching the name of a car midway through its lifespan is just so dirty. Unclean, yucky. It makes the Five Hundred look so pitiful and it forces the Taurus name to flaunt itself as an EMT that won't be able to resuscitate the patient.

Other offenses include the banishing of a good name, but in most cases that has not been a tremendously painful experience for the carmaker involved. But Integra, must we have lost Integra?

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