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