The Name Game

So, Ford is bringing back the Ranger and Bronco (both midsize Body-on-Frame, one a truck, one an actual 4×4 SUV, rather than softroader/CUV). Mitsubishi is bringing the name “Eclipse” back, but not as a hot coupe, but a compact CUV (Eclipse Cross).

And that’s the point at which TTAC asks what else?

Does it make sense to try to cash in on the nostalgia value of a nameplate?

And the answer is my classic work answer: “Yes if, and no, but…”.

It depends on what you do with it. Bringing back the Ranger & Bronco is pretty smart – they’re gonna be modern vehicles in their old capacity. The Eclipse, not so much (and the last ten or twelve years of the Eclipse weren’t particularly good anyway).

For me, there’s two really smart ones, and they’re both GM.

First, the Buick Electra. We’re right smack in the hype for electric vehicles – a semi-premium, plug-in GM semi-luxury softroad EV makes sense, and the “Electra” name is historic AND appropriate. I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened yet.

Second, given how hot the US Mid-size market is getting (Trucks, SUV/4×4), the Chevrolet Nomad, on their midsize truck platform (Colorado/Canyon) makes a ton of sense. Make mine a RWD-only, LS sport version. A Chevy Nomad SS. I could dream of a two-door truck/SUV/wagon in SS trim. Useful, and fun. Retro-styled enough to be interesting, big enough to be useful, with engine options for all comers. Given that the Ford Explorer is going back to rear wheel drive, I think there could be a market for something like this, and the Nomad has name cache, and would be a cool name without that history.

Anyone got any thoughts for nameplates to bring back, without ruining their history?


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