Renault Zoe Z.E. concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
Any marketing person will tell you that coming up with the right name is one of the most difficult aspects of launching a new product. Big companies will spend millions of dollars researching names to make sure that they aren't already trademarked or have strange or offensive meanings in other countries.
Renault, however, has a slightly different problem with the name of one its upcoming electric vehicles (EVs). The Zoe Z.E. is a compact, urban commuter due to be launched in 2012. Renault is not an uncommon name in France, where Louis Renault began building cars in the late 19th century. Unfortunately for a Parisian woman, having both her first and last names associated with a new car us is just too much. Zoe Renault is threatening to sue Renault unless it changes the name of the EV.
While we can certainly sympathize with Ms. Renault, her complaint here seems a bit of a stretch. The automaker apparently chose the name Zoe because it means life in Greek. Unless automakers start using nothing but made up or alphanumeric names there is bound to be someone, somewhere that will have an issue with just about every name. It's time to just get over it.