Weblog Stéphan – Call those new EVs Ascona and Taunus, not Manta and Capri

Creates less resistance

Opel Ascona B and Ford Taunus (1970s and early 1980s)

You make the EV hater even more furious when, as a car brand, you stick a legendary model name of a sporting icon on a new electric model. Ford already did it, Opel is following suit and appears to be bringing back the Manta name on an electric crossover that really has nothing to do with the coupe of yesteryear. That would then become a competitor of the new… Ford Capri! At Ford they have learned nothing from the Mustang Mach-E. If you want to draw from your beautiful past, just call them Ford Taunus and Opel Ascona. In any case, you will upset fewer enthusiasts.

Ford of course already did it with Mustang Mach-E, although fortunately the Mustang name is still linked to a car that does have the real Mustang DNA. In addition, Ford will also soon put the name of its ‘European muscle car’ on an electric car, a new car called the Capri that is a far cry from the Capris of the past in concept… Reintroducing the Capri and Manta as five-door SUVs , which are also electric, you just have to dare. I think it is mainly counterproductive and certainly does not contribute to the acceptance of the EV. The old-school car enthusiast still has great difficulty with the electric car. If names that used to adorn enthusiast cars are added to create something of a sporty and dynamic image, you will only make that group even more angry. Sacrilege of their heroes!

Ford Mustang fan at Ford Capri

As a marketer you always want to make things better than they are when you want to launch a new product, but now brands are knocking down too many sacred cows at once. First of all, by using the term coupe rather lightly. It has certainly been abused enormously over the last fifteen years, by being used on four- and five-door models and – even worse – on SUVs with a sloping roofline. The Capri and the Manta of the past were real coupes, slender two-door bodies in the true sense of the word. The new models that will be called that again are also SUVs: high and heavy, instead of low and light-footed. They are also electric and in terms of design they have nothing to do with the popular sports cars of the past.

Opel Manta and Ford Capri

Especially on the ‘everything used to be better’ collection of Facebook you see that such naming works like a red rag, which the electric car already is. Because if somewhere they really hate the EV: just look at the many red-faced angry emoticons under all the posted electric car news.

Ford Capri (Illustration: Larson)

Ford Capri (Illustration: Larson)

Five-door SUV

The new Ford Capri will be a five-door SUV and this also applies to the new Opel Manta. Would they have also considered calling them Ford Taunus and Opel Ascona in Cologne and Rüsselsheim? I understand that it sounds less sexy, but those models were once the cornerstones of the Ford and Opel model ranges in Europe. And they had and still have a large fan base. They were practical models for family and work, which did a lot of good for both brands. If, as a manufacturer, you want to hark back to the past, simply name the new EVs after mid-range cars of yesteryear. That is also what the new Manta and Capri want to be: middle class cars of the twenties and thirties of the 21st century. Those new electric SUVs also don’t look like the Asconas, Vectras, Insignias, Taunuss, Sierras and Mondeos of yesteryear. The fact is that the traditional middle class has been wiped out by the SUV. You should leave names like Manta and Capri alone. Affordable sports cars are extinct, so keep them as they were. Then all those EV haters can continue to muse about the past, when everything was better, and they do not have to be annoyed by the misuse of the names of the heritage they cherish.

Opel Manta (Illustration: Larson)

Opel Manta

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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