What’s in A Name?
What’s in A Name?
- Did you know that the popular Polo package isn’t actually named after the sport of kings? Let’s take a closer look at how some of your favourite Volkswagen models found their names.
Imagine if all new cars earned their names according to what cute insect the profile of the vehicle reminded people of. While the lovable Volkswagen Beetle proved to be one of the best-selling passenger cars of its era, the process of naming the VW models that would build on this success was somewhat more deliberate.
Designed by Giugiaro, the eventual replacement for the Beetle introduced what would become a love affair between Volkswagen and global climate behaviours associated with the wind. Named after the Atlantic ocean’s Gulf Stream, known as golfstrom in German, this plucky hatchback would quickly establish itself as a global sales phenomenon.
One of the most successful marketing-led automotive campaigns in South Africa’s history, the desire to replace the then outgoing Mk1 Golf with a similarly value-conscious offering saw the introduction in 1984 of a locally derived, carefully repackaged adaption of the first-generation Golf hatch. Initial plans to call this model EconoGolf were quickly shelved in favour of Citi Golf, and the rest is Red; Yellow; Blue history.
Currently in its sixth generation and proudly assembled for export at our Volkswagen Group Kariega (formally known as Uitenhage) production plant, this best-selling compact hatchback is named after the polar winds that emanate from near the Earth’s North and South Poles, respectively.
Using the same kind of initiative that saw the Citi Golf come to life, the arrival in South Africa of the fifth generation Polo into South Africa presented an opportunity to repackage the outgoing model into a value-packed new product line-up. Derived from Latin etymology, the word vivo translates directly to, “the living.”
This popular “Golf with a boot” sedan is named after the fast-flowing, narrow air currents prevalent in the upper levels of the earth’s atmosphere. These jet streams play a defining role in prevailing weather patterns around the world.
Pronounced “shuh-ro-kow”, this sporty three-door model was introduced globally in 1974. The since-discontinued third-generation model shared its underpinnings with the Golf Mk6 and was sold in South Africa between 2009 and 2017. Its name is derived from the warm winds that blows northward from the Sahara Desert into the Mediterranean Sea.
As we prepare the second-generation of this popular bakkie for its market introduction, it’s worth remembering that its name was derived from the word given to a fearsome, gigantic wolf that forms part of Inuit legend. Unlike its kind, the “Amaroq” is known to hunt alone…
Speaking of the Sahara Desert, launched in 2002, our flagship SUV is named after the nomadic Taureg people that inhabit this region of the Northern Africa. Currently in its third generation, the modern Touareg is built on the Group’s MLB platform.
In a break from tradition, our first medium-size SUV received its name via a marketing-department-driven survey conducted via German motoring title, AutoBild. Among proposed names like Namib, Rockton, Samun and Nanuk, a combination of the German word for “Tiger” and “Iguana” garnered the most votes from this publication’s 350 000 readers, at the time. The Tiguan is currently Volkswagen’s best-selling global model.
Our entry into the increasingly popular compact SUV segment, the T-Roc’s naming structure is notably light-hearted and fun. The entry-point into VW’s broad “T-badged” family of SUVs, the Roc part is quoted as eluding to the English word “rock”, reinforcing its credentials as a solid, yet agile and manoeuvrable offering.
The newest member of our Volkswagen SUV family, Taigo is derived from the word “tiger” and the Taiga biome that spans the breadth of the earth’s northern latitudes. The name is said to depict strength, outdoors and adventure.