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      The Name Controversies with Auto Makers

      Payal Pathak

      Payal Pathak

      “What’s in Thy Name’ – Shakespeare’s lines are immortal and have refused to get erased after eons of time. It is true in the auto world as well where auto makers go miles to choose the best name for their upcoming  new  car models. The recent controversy surrounds Renault which has gathered much attention with the French media.

      Renault had named its new upcoming electric car model as Zoe Renault causing a lawsuit in the French court. Zoe is a girl’s name in France and has the Greek meaning “life”. Zoe is quite a popular name in France. Now, parents of two children named Zoe had challenged Renault in the French courts to change the name of upcoming car to some alternative name alleging that their kids and other children named Zoe would face lifelong teasing and annoyance. However, the judge ruled in the favour Renault citing that the parents would only have a case it they could prove that naming the car "Zoe" would cause the children "certain, direct and current harm."

      Interestingly, Renault has a history of naming its cars on girl names with best examples being Renault Megane and Renault Clio.

      Another example is Maruti, which launched its new small car Ritz in India as its global name ‘Splash’ is registered with another car maker in the country. Nissan is also planning to launch its new entry level sedan model Sunny in India but will have to decide on another name for the Indian market as the name is already registered with Bajaj Auto for its small scooterette.