Introducing the Kia Terrorist

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76 Responses to “Introducing the Kia Terrorist”

  1. UnderachievingSheep says:

    The Mitsubishi Pajero still beats the Provo. At least, it would beat the Provo if there was a ranking of poorly thought car names.

  2. JohnQPublic says:

    They’re not going to like the way we call our retirement funds here either

  3. nixiebunny says:

    Naming cars after cities is silly. I should know; I live in a city with a car named after it.

  4. saint_al says:

    Because butthurt stings. Car companies usually try very hard to select names that don’t mean a damned thing in any language. There’s no definition for “Celica” except a Toyota model.

  5. Jellodyne says:

    You’d never see that sweet Sally Ann Cavanaugh driving something flashy like that.

  6. Not as funny as the Honda Fit:

    “Honda originally intended to name the car “Fitta”, but shortened the name in some markets, and renamed it completely in others, upon discovering that in several Nordic languages, fitta is a popular and vulgar slang word for female genitalia”


    wikipedia
    via The Oatmeal

  7. Nice looking car in the photos, but nothing to show me how it will look in my rear view mirror as it recedes in the distance.

  8. pduggie says:

    They’re a bit sensitive You also can’t call things Black and Tan. And that has sensitivities of black racial experience too. Its a twofer. 

    • Unlike American terrorism, Northern Irish terrorism isn’t just a one-off event – it’s more than just a slogan.

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        The Irish are a bit fiesty; but if I were a South Korean, living within spitting distance of a dubiously balanced dude with awesome hair, lots of artillery, a zillion zerg conscripts, and apparently nukes, I think I’d be inclined to tell the protesting politicians to quit their whining and go get some real neighbor problems…

        • Gilbert Wham says:

           ‘A bit feisty’? No. Just… no.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          The Troubles:
          Civilians killed: 1,842
          Total dead: 3,529
          Total injured: 47,541+

        • Actually my point was more that if Kia were releasing a new car in the US called the Taliban I think there’d be a bit of a stink kicked up about it – and in impact terms that’s terrorism-light.

          I don’t think we need to move to a model where only the worlds worse off are allowed to grumble about things – that’s just silly.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      They’re a bit sensitive

      I look forward to the Dodge TwinTowers s911.

  9. RadioSilence says:

    I remember being told that Toyota had to change the name of the MR2 in france as ‘emme erre deux’ sounds pretty close to ‘merde’. But this was in the days before google when we could instantly check up on any amazing ‘fact’.

    Don’t companies that sell stuff in markets with many langages have a department, or employ an agency, to find out if potential names are offensive anywhere in the world?

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       Famously (well, for relative values of famous), the PR bods for our then polytechnic, during the period when we got rid of polytechnics and made them all into crap-sounding universities, wanted to call it City University of Newcastle-uopn-Tyne. It got a fair way upstairs approval-wise before someone said, ‘Er, hang on…’

      • RadioSilence says:

        Yeah, I’ve heard that one. And Scottish Highlands and Islands Television, too :)

      • -hms- says:

         I work at the City University of New York, and darn it if the “T” and “Y” aren’t damn close together for my buttery little typers.  Luckily I’ve yet to shoot off an email discussing anything but operations at CUNY

        • Chris Hogan says:

          The irony being “cunny” is itself a diminutive form of “c*nt”. (as used in, for example, HBO’s Rome)

      • raines says:

        for similar reasons (many suspect), what might otherwise be the First Unitarian Church of Kensington is known as the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley.

    • -hms- says:

       As a web app developer, I’ve long thought it would be great to create a phonetic “baby name” tester that you would type potential names into, and it would warn you of any similar sounding common word in other languages.

      Instead, I just comment on blogs.

    • Gyrofrog says:

      I was told that this was the reason they changed “Esso” to “Exxon,” but further research suggests that was bullshit.  In fact, they kept using the “Esso” name overseas.

    • peregrinus says:

      MR2 in french sounds just like “merdeux”, which simply means crappy.

      Companies do have marketing people who have long lists of things to do, but by the time you’ve committed $$$ beyond belief and gone over the budget waterfall 10 times, the CEO, investors and shareholders have a gun to your head shouting ‘just sell the fucking thing!’

      The marketing, although substantial in money terms, comes waaaay after the R&D, allocation of production facilities, decisions about optimal tax break structuring (e.g. which city gets production – Raleigh NC?  Dagenham England?  etc), preparation of the workforce etc.

      All that said – paradoxically, although the name is such a major factor to consumers, they seem to pay less attention to it and all the other stuff, because money-wise it just doesn’t seem to matter.

      Until d’oh!  Another famous car-name fudge-up!

      We see it more with cars than anything else because they’re about the most expensive mass-selling consumer item there is.

      My favourite was always the Nova (Opel / GM (?) / Vauxhall).  It didn’t go down so well in hispanic markets.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        And in the shoe department, the Reebok Incubus for women. 18,000 pairs of shoes at $57.99 a pair recalled.

        • peregrinus says:

          Ha!  Very Orlando Bloom’s Späsmotica!

          I could do this all day, it’s so amusing - http://www.nfrontier.co.uk/blog/disastrous-international-marketing-failures-and-how-to-avoid-them/

          Incubus.  Wow.

    •  MR2 can arguably be translated as “Nissan”.

      In Japanese, 2 is “ni” (pronounced as the Knights Who Say Ni). Reading MR as mister, it translates as the honorific “san”, which follows the proper name.

      Therefore, “Mister Two” translates as “ni san”.

  10. Dlo Burns says:

    Reminder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provo,_Utah

  11. GawainLavers says:

    Chevrolet No Va…

  12. Please tell me they’re going to release this in BYU’s colors.

  13. nem0fazer says:

    I seem to remember a similar problem in that neck of the woods with an advertising campaign with the company slogan “the future’s bright, the future’s orange”

  14. steve says:

    I’m old enough to remember KIA was “killed in action” during the vietnam era.

  15. Finnagain says:

    Given that “Kia says it has no plans to bring the Provo to life.”, why do the Irish give a shit? If they had just ignored it, I would never have heard of the non-thing.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      Taking symbolic offense at irrelevant things ranks right up there with being in favor of ‘the children’ on the scale of political safety…

  16. Donald Petersen says:

    Rob, you missed your calling.  Sometimes I wonder how some weird model names get chosen.  Kia always had some odd ones.  Wikipedia tells me that the Sephia was an acronym for Style Elegant Powerful Hi-tech Ideal Auto, which is as random a collection of vaguely positive automotive terms as one could hope to splash on a Scrabble board.  I don’t know what kind of consumer finds names like Elantra or Galant or Camry or Scoupe or RAV4 appealing, but I’d put down a deposit for a Hyundai Sectarian right now.

  17. This is stupid. Provo != Terrorists. Provo = Mormons. Clearly Utah should have sued those pesky Irishmen back when they started the Provisional IRA, or maybe the papers when they shortened the name, if it wasn’t IRA-approved.

    • Martijn Vos says:

      Provo was a Dutch counter movement protest thingie from the ’60s. They has a lot of weird funny bizarre proposals that 30 years later some cities actually started to implement.

  18. Pete Ward says:

    In orange … *golf clap*

  19. and Saxony attempted to get Cadillac to change the name of the “ESCALADE” because it brought up to many unpleasant memories of Normans with long ladders.

  20. Mark Gilbert says:

    Volkswagon have a Touareg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Touareg which I presume is their way of helping to fund Malian rebels fighting against the French.
    I’m sure some people would consider the Touareg ‘terrorists’.

    • Petzl says:

      I don’t know what VW was thinking.
      Touareg has got to be the inherently ugliest name for a car since Edsel.

    • toyg says:

      Apart from the obvious fact that the VW Touareg was introduced when Lybia was still under Gaddafi, people worried about actual Tuaregs are not VW’s target market. Their market is middle-class Europeans for whom “Touareg” is a synonym for “expensive holidaysin exotic places where white people are still colonial rulers”… of National Geographic pics with fiery moustached men who’d drag a powerful but repressed nordic woman to their tent and make wild love to her until the day rises again… of images of rugged warlords dominating unruly tribes like a white nordic male dominates his office underlings… and of course, of big cars that can go through the desert without breaking a sweat, so they’ll fend off suburban traffic in style.

      I personally don’t see anything wrong with the name, from a marketing perspective. Unfortunately, the car is just another ego-stroking SUV that should probably be banned like the rest of them.

  21. Flashman says:

    I don’t know why the NI government’s reaction is considered worthy of ridicule. Sectarian terrorism is still a fact of life in Northern Ireland.
    This would be like GM launching a car in Mexico called the Chevrolet Zeta.

  22. Heevee Lister says:

    No worse than Dodge almost naming their version of the Plymouth Duster the Dodge Beaver.  When someone young enough to have a clue suggested that might not be the best idea, they called it the Demon instead.  Great idea, eh?

  23. Halloween_Jack says:

    Oh, FFS. Ben & Jerry’s getting rid of their Black & Tan ice cream just encouraged them. Look, I’m as much or more Irish as the next person, but you can get a black and tan in any bar that serves Guinness. 

    •  Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland, CA (Cameo’ed in the film “Up”) has a Black & Tan Sundae. Toasted almond ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauces. My fave.

  24. Sirkowski says:

    The Toyota pick-up is gonna have some competition.

  25. gwailo_joe says:

    How about the Boko Caravan?  “Western Teaching is….so roomy!”

  26. gwailo_joe says:

    Peru’s Maoist “Shining Path-finder”?  The Khmer Peugeot?

    (Poor taste, perhaps…but the Chrysler Crossfire stands on its own merits)

  27. donovan acree says:

    I hear that Provo was supposed to be short for Performance Velocity. The original name Pervo didn’t market test so well.

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