The early 20th century witnessed the beginning of a wonderful journey in automotive history, especially in regards to car names. Ford Motor’s model A, B and historic T set the ball rolling. And over the years, naming the models has become a complex affair for car makers. Especially as the auto industry not only deals with power, passion and speed but simultaneously emphasizes on brand identification.

While some car names convey feelings, like Maruti Swift, some are words with no meaning that just resonate well with the brand, like Toyota’s Camry. Some makers revive old names to capitalize on nostalgia while some names are given accidentally.

International-make cars in India mostly retain their global names,  and the domestic car makers give names that reflect the ethos of India. Interestingly, the unexpected success of the Scorpio brand forced M&M to retain it as the vehicle’s name though it was initially the brand’s project signature. Tata Motors has a different history behind naming its vehicles. It is believed that the brand wanted ‘Indi’ as a prefix for its passenger vehicles, giving us Indica and Indigo. Here is a list of some of the most popular names in India and the story behind these names.

Hyundai Ioniq – The name signifies what the car offers. Ioniq is ‘Ion’ from Lithium-ion, the battery kind used in the car and the word ‘Unique’ suggesting the value and quality of the vehicle.

Nissan Juke – Nissan wanted its vehicle to be perceived as youthful, freedom and bold by the customers. The word ‘Juke’ is derived from ‘Jukebox’ and symbolizes the youthful spirit of the ‘70s youth.

Toyota Yaris – Yaris is derived from combining the Greek mythology ‘Charites’, in which ‘Charis’ is one of the Charites – the goddess of beauty and grace and the German word for yes. Later Toyota changed the syllable ‘Ch’ to ‘Ya’ as the German word for yes  – ‘Ja’ is pronounced that way.

Kia Ceed – At present known as the Ceed, this was the brand’s debutant vehicle in its European facility in Zilina, Slovakia. The manufacturer wanted an exclusive name as the car was meant for the European market only. So they went with the abbreviations of European Economic Community, called CEE in some part and European Design – CEE and ED in some.

Aston Martin – The name is derived from its founder, Lionel Martin and from the place where he lived, Aston Hill. A man who believed in passion, luxury, beauty and functionality, the Aston Martin does true justice to its name.

Tata Sumo – The astounding MPV got its unique name from the former MD of Tata Motors, genius Sumant Moolgaokar. The word Sumo came from joining the first syllables of his first and last name. However, Sumo, for the common man, signified the strength of a sumo wrestler.

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