Occasionally, a company enters the automotive market and tries to sell as many vehicles as possible. Some of these companies fail, while others succeed, but many make a mistake that hurts them more than it hurts their potential customers. Even larger companies made the same error, though. The difference between large and small companies in this aspect is the former can afford to fix it, and it becomes a footnote in their history, while the latter may be affected financially by the error. At this point, you may be wondering what I am referring to. Wonder no more, as I am talking about the names manufacturers give to their products. A few months ago, I reported about Toyota eliminating the space between GR and 86 in the GR86 name. While it may seem like nothing, it is a big deal when search engine optimization is concerned. If people are looking for a GR86 online, but Toyota’s website is not the first to pop up, or not even among the first five or so, that is an expensive and complicated issue. In Europe and other markets, Kia used to sell the Ceed under the Cee’d name. While the company explained the reasoning behind the apostrophe at the time of the unveiling, it was ditched after almost a decade. In some cases, vehicle manufacturers change the names of some of their vehicles. It usually happens with a new generation or with a significant facelift. When it does, though, it is a decision that has been weighed, and the pros and cons of it are considered beforehand. The biggest advantage has a uniform naming scheme throughout the range, which makes for a more coherent portfolio. The obvious disadvantage is having to explain it to existing or potential customers, as well as the costs of trademarking the name and redoing all the literature for it. It can add up to high costs. This problem came into mind when I was writing about VinFast’s latest models and the fact that they have renamed some of them since first revealing them. I am referring to the VF e35 being renamed VF8, while the VF e36 is now called VF9. As you can observe, the first names did not make that much sense to the outside world. While it may be safe to assume that they might refer to a project’s internal designation, nobody outside the company cares about that aspect. Customers will care about design, price, features, specifications, and brand image. Offering a product with a name that is not easy to understand or remember will not help in any way. If things go wrong, the outcome will end up reminding us of the Homer car. When a product does not look good enough, is marketed in an uninspired way, or is just too expensive for its time, it will eventually fail. In some cases, those failures bring the end of the company that brought them to life, while others are just a painful and expensive milestone that everyone wants to leave behind as soon as possible. Considering the above, you would have expected VinFast to have taken the name of its models a bit more into consideration. They are not catchy, and they do not do much to explain which is which. That is something they should consider improving because it will be difficult for their brand to become known in sufficient markets quickly enough to be a competitor to existing companies. Manufacturers from China have struggled with this for years, and they still have not become household names. It took the Japanese companies many years to become known and respected in the American market, as well as in Europe, and they built their reputation on reliability. Once that happened, it became easier for other Asian manufacturers to offer vehicles to customers in markets where Japanese brands were already recognized and appreciated. In the case of VinFast, they have a chance of being successful if they can offer stellar reliability and impeccable customer service. Their models already have an interesting design and promising specifications, so the odds are in their favor as long as people understand what they are selling.