Did you ever wonder how the Aztek received its name (okay, maybe not)? Well then, how about the Tiburon, Prelude, Aveo, or Allanté? What possessed Acura to drop "Legend" for "RL," or "Integra" for "RSX" (we're still dumbfounded on those). Why would anyone name a car The Thing?
Whether it is apparent or not, there is a ton of money and more than a little psychology involved in naming a car these days. It's not a simple matter. Not only do the names have to invoke quality, significance, and excitement, but they must not offend -- in any language. Most importantly, the name cannot already be taken (manufacturers "reserve" names years in advance, and hold them close to their chests). Automakers scour dictionaries in the East and West, forage through literature and geography books, and even flip through pet names knowing perfectly well that a name can make or break an automobile. That said, Nova had a good run at the time, but don't expect to see the name slapped on a trunk again in the near future.
Thanks for the tip, G!