Naming a car, even a concept car, is a process fraught with difficulty. Renault, for example, it taking flak for using the common (in France) female name Zoé for one of their new electric vehicle concepts. There are a few names that apply to both people and vehicles – Dakota and Sierra spring to mind – but this one has struck a nerve.
Sébastien Mortreux is leading an online petition drive asking Renault to change the Zoé's name to something a little less human. Guardidan columnist Zoe Williams (wonder why she got the assignment?) writes that Morteux's petition begins: "Our daughters have a beautiful first name that must not be associated with a car, so let us unite to bring pressure on a multinational which is going to destroy this pretty name for our children." Williams continues:
That's just one brilliant graph. We recommend her entire article.A Renault spokesman, Valerian David, replied to all the criticism with this: "It is a name that evokes values of femininity, of youth, a playful spirit and vivacity." I mean, even if that's true (I'm working tirelessly in the opposite direction), it is a signal of how shameless this manufacturer is to look its flesh-and-blood customers in the eye and say: "All those attractive traits of yours, all the things that make you you and make you alive, those things that people will recall with a tear during your funeral oration ... we're going to attach them to this prosaic heap of metal.