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This is part of an effort to ensure that the vehicle brand itself registers with consumers more than the model name.


When it comes to German luxury vehicles, it's always the same old story: BMW and Mercedes-Benz duking it out for first place, with Audi gaining ground while locking down third. So why should it be any different when it comes to naming conventions? BMW has clearly taken the lead for which car brand can have the most confusing and illogical alphanumeric badging, and thus, Mercedes is readying a new naming regimen of its own.


According to a new report, Land Rover will soon adopt a global naming structure that allows the company's products to carry the same nomenclature around the world. Currently, Land Rover sells the LR4 and LR2 here in the United States, but overseas, these vehicles are better known as the Discovery and Freelander, respectively.

Peugeot 308 GTI – Click above for high-res image gallery

Would a Kia Forte by any other name smell as sweet, if the name were K3 and those judging the smell were American buyers? That's the question Kia executive are mulling as they decide whether to switch to alphanumeric model designations in the U.S. Some of the company's cars that go by names in other markets wear letter-number identifiers in South Korea, such as the Optima, known in South Korea as the K5. Others, such as the Soul and Sportage, retain their proper names in South Korea.

The launch of the new i30 heralds the next market blitz from Hyundai. With each generation of their models, they make such leaps in value and quality, that it's no longer surprising. So, yes, the i30 is a dandylicious C-segment car, and no, they won't sell it to us here in the States. Same story, different company - though it speaks volumes about Hyundai that anyone would have a twinge of jealousy that one of their cars is not part of the selection in their country.

The Wall Street Journal has finally picked up on the increasingly popular (and entropic) automotive trend that is alphanumeric naming. Writer Gina Chon is less than complementary about the whole business of going from actual word-based name to strings of numbers and letters, going to great lengths to catalog the legal mess that has ensued between manufacturers (Lincoln MKX vs Acura MDX, etc.), as well as the confusion that the practice has been causing consumers.

Despite Forbes Magazine curmudgeon Jerry Flint's opinion on Lincoln's naming strategy, there are reasons why automakers use alphanumeric designations  (i.e., G35; MKZ, etc.) instead of giving vehicles' actual names such as Regal, Pinto, etc.