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Auto blogTue, 01 Oct 2013
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.
Today was a pretty big day for General Motors, debuting the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickup trucks ahead of their official showcase at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. And now that the dust has settled at GM's big reveal event, we've had a chance to snap dozens of photos of the new pickup pair from every angle.
We already told you the important bits earlier today (click here in case you missed it), but let's recap. Under the hood are three new engines - a 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8 (you know, a version of the small-block that'll also be found under the hood of the C7 Corvette), all mated to six-speed automatic transmissions. The 2014 model year marks the return of the Z71 off-road package with Rancho shocks, front tow hooks and beefier underbody protection. Inside, there's a host of new technology and a greater focus on better quality and refinement.
Some of the nitty-gritty specifics (like engine output numbers and fuel economy) have yet to be revealed, and since we haven't driven the finished products yet, it's hard to say how these trucks will fare against rivals like the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150. For now, we can only judge these two books by their covers, and while we do like the designs of the new trucks, we Autoblog staffers are torn on exactly which one looks best.
Super Storm Sandy took out a lot of automobiles in its path of destruction through the Northeast last October. The number surpassed 250,000 at last count, and a few of those were owned by Chevrolet - cars either sitting on dealership lots or waiting at port to be shipped off. Rendered unsellable by the water damage inflicted by Sandy, these vehicles were facing the crusher. But Chevy didn't send them there.
Instead, Chevy had a better idea: It will be donating 300 of these vehicles damaged by Sandy to help train first responders at Guardian Centers in Perry, GA. Chevy is the official automotive partner of Guardian Centers, which is an 830-acre facility that trains first responders in disaster preparedness. Junked cars are practically a consumable commodity there, where a full-size cityscape simulator gives trainees an entire urban center in which to train for all sorts of rescue operations and disaster scenarios.
Chevy says its particular vehicles will be used "in conjunction with role players for wide area searches, traffic congestion in emergency situations, counter terrorism, public order and mass casualty exercises." While grim scenarios all, we're certainly glad there are people out there preparing for the unexpected. While a zombie apocalypse isn't officially on the list of potential disasters to prepare for, when the virus hits, we'll be hot-footing it to Perry, GA to hang with these guys and gals.