Some are essentially logical:
BMW & Mercedes use a signifier for the model range and then the engine size. For example 323 or C180.
Audi employ an equally logical (if not more logical) naming convention with the entire range starting A, and then the subsequent number showing he size of the vehicle.
Peugeot (despite being French) also employ this type of logic in their naming
Others are possibly based on derived words:
Zafira = Sapphire
Chevette = sounds a bit like Chevrolet.
My first car was a Vauxhall Chevette, and even bore a Chevrolet badge, along with 2.8i, Turbo & Ghia. It wasn't a Chevrolet, had a 1256cc engine and the nearest it came to a turbo was when it was cleaned out using a vacuum cleaner
In the 1970s/80s, there were a collection of cars named after 'Gentlemans Interest' Magazines:
was there ever a Hillman Razzle?
Named by mistake:
The Mitsubishi Starion (and this is purported to be an urban myth) should've been called the Stallion, but following a telephone conversation between he Japanese car firm and an Amercian printing company, as a result of an 'Engrish' mistranlstion, all the brochures were printed with the name 'Starion'
"Not really thought through":
Cars given names without a thought for the colloquial translation in other countries.
- Mazda LaPuta (in spanish: "the whore")
- Mitsubishi Pajero (in spanish: "wanker")
- Opel Ascona (in Spain and Portugal: "female genitalia")
- Honda Fitta (see above, but in much blunter form (c***))
- Rolls Royce Silver Shadow (in Japanese: "pissing in the wind")
Mistsibishi Carisma - a name given to a car that didn't have any
Harry Enfield, in the guise of Mr You-don't-want-to-do-that, spoke of sensible cars such as as a Nissan Cedric (which does actually exist) and a Fiat Humberto (which doesn't). The use of 'real' names, such as these two, doesn't sound right when referring to a ton or so of metal and mechanicals (or mostly electricals now).
But now Vauxhall have launched their new supermini model called ... Adam.
Who thought of that name? Probably the same people who re-named Mr Dog to Ceaser
(cue Eddie Izzard)
Did someone at Vauxhall just open a Book of Baby Names and choose the first name they focused on?
This may be a whole new strategy employed throughout the car industry.
In the next 12 months, expect to see the Ford Graham, the Renault Susan and the Volkswagen Steve.
The Vauxhall Adam is probably a fine car, it just has a daft name