Grab It By The Kona: Why Hyundai Might Want To Change Their New SUV’s Name

You would think that the era of unfortunate model names has gone past us, following some really offensively-named cars that entered the history books for the wrong reasons.

Hyundai’s upcoming compact crossover is surely vital for the Korean company’s success in regions like Europe, so you would think that everything was carefully orchestrated to pave the way for a successful launch.

And then, we learned the name: Kona. Now, it’s a perfectly fine, easy-to-pronounce name that sounds fresh, unless you’re Portuguese; that’s because, as  Carscoops commentator ‘Deckard_Cain’ told us, “cona” in Portugal is slang for the female genitalia (the c*nt word for those that didn’t get it yet).

Kona also means “the wife” in Norway (thanks ‘KareKakk’), adding one more problem to be solved by Hyundai’s marketing team, albeit a less offensive one. We still have to wait and see if the company will adopt a different name for these countries.

What’s interesting is that this name has created problems in the past for Opel, when they tried to sell the Ascona to Portugal, making Hyundai’s choice seem at least poorly researched.

Naming your model after female genitalia has also been repeated in the case of the Honda Fit, which was rather successfully renamed Jazz for most markets in Europe as the original name sounded too familiar with Fitta, the Scandinavian term for this part of the female body.

Let’s see if Hyundai finds out on time and replaces Kona with something less offensive.

Update: Turns out that Hyundai won’t offer their new model in Portugal under the Kona name, instead they chose to call it the Hyundai Kauai, after another Hawaiian island. (H/T to Pedro!)

Images via Autoweek.nl

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  • Finkployd

    Loving the headline

    • Tumbi Mtika

      Trump approves.

  • Miras

    You forgot about Polish. In our language ‘kona’ also has negative meaning – actually it means something is dying. When we put this word next to the car brand it has so unfortunable sound, like ‘hey Janusz how about your new car? Well, here it is, my Hyundai (is) dying’. Please, stop it, he have to already face Osram (in Polish ‘I will shit on this’) light bulbs, Sram bike gears (in Polish ‘I’m shitting’) and Porsche’s car name Macan (Macan is similar to pejorative ‘meaning of insistent touching).

    You’ve screwed your job, Korean researchers. Bad meaning in one language would be maybe acceptable. But more than one? Geez.

    • TUmaDO

      That is sad.. . But hilarious!

  • Fling3t

    And from the part of Sweden I live, it means bollard

  • Ramón Rivera Notario

    I don’t think that is right. The actual Portuguese word is probably conha (like coña in Spanish).

    • MB_G500

      Do u speak portuguese? Dumb.

    • Pedro Junceiro

      Indeed it is right. So much the car had to change its name to Kauai. So, in Portugal it will be called Hyundai Kauai.

    • Jorge Teixeira

      No, it’s “cona” not “coña”. Portuguese doesn’t have the “ñ”

    • TUmaDO

      Nope it’s “cona” it’s a rude way to say vagina.

  • Pedro Junceiro

    Yes, for the Portuguese market it will be called Kauai, another Hawaian island.

  • Jorge Teixeira

    Actually, I believe it was me who first commented on this 😀

  • Joel Torres

    This is not the first time Hyundai has done this… Hyundai also offers the Creta.. which in Dominican Republic is a very popular slang for female genitals as well… I think someone at hyundai is just having alot of fun naming these cars… 🙂

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Wasn’t there a Honda whose’s name translated to c$#t?

  • Dennis Scipio

    If only Mitsubishi changed the Eclipse cross name, so it wouldn’t translate to: Sacrilegious.

  • zM

    And with tourism booming in Portugal (i’m portuguese 😀 ), I can’t wait to see some foreign Hyundai Kona casually drining around, in all the touristic hotspots! 😀 What a mess :]

    • TUmaDO

      Do you imagine? ? “what are you driving? ”
      ” I’m driving a kona” XD

  • Mark J

    Funniest thing is in Afghan/Pakistan (Pashtu) it means something even worse than front bottom, more about doing things to the back bottom….I kid you not!

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