TechnoRide's editor Bill Howard points to one obvious reason: translations. The Buick Lacrosse is but the most recent example. Assumed to have been named after the sport, the Buick Regal replacement took on an entirely different meaning in Canadian-French slang. Mitsubishi's Pajero also suffered a similar translation problem in Mexico.
Other naming 'oopses' include:
- AMC Matador. A reminder that cultures that speak the same language don't necessarily use them the same way. To Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans, 'Matador' means killer.
- GM's Hummer. No comment.
- Ford Caliente. Also translates as 'streetwalker'.
- Toyota Fiera. Also means 'ugly old woman' in Puerto Rico.
Howard also points out that some vehicle nicknames make sense
after the vehicle acquires a certain reputation (e.g., the pictured AMC Gremlin and its numerous mechanical problems).
Feel free to shout out other naming oddities in Comments.