General Motors filed a trademark application for both 'Chevrolet Bolt' and 'Bolt' earlier this month, specifically for use as automobile names. Trademark filings often hold clues for upcoming models or new products from automakers, says Manoli Katakis, editorial director of GM Authority, an independent news source covering the latest news from The General.
"It's really hard to tell what it could be at this point. It could be a word-play off the Volt, or it could be a concept of sorts," Katakis told Autoblog. "As we've seen with the trademarks of 'Stingray,' 'MyLink' and 'Z28,' it's usually a preliminary indicator that something is coming."
Trademarked names can also lead to dead ends. Car manufactures can apply for trademarks and sit on them for years. A company has to demonstrate use once it is granted a trademark, but the company can then file extensions on proof of use. That's how Chrysler got away with registering the name "Barracuda" two years ago, and more than a two-and-half years later, has filed four extensions to show use without building any new Barracudas. General Motors also holds on to a trademark for "Chevelle" 35 years after the last one rolled off the assembly line.