Car companies balk on car names

DUBLIN (AP) -- Kia's new concept car, Provo, is designed to provoke comment. But to many across Ireland, the name sounds too much like a celebration of terrorism.

Lawmakers from Northern Ireland formally appealed Tuesday for the South Korean carmaker to junk the name of its planned super-mini sports coupe because "Provo" is the nickname for the dominant branch of the outlawed Irish Republican Army, the Provisional IRA.

Kia insists the name is supposed to suggest "provocative," not IRA bombings and shootings. The car prototype has been unveiled for the International Geneva Motor Show and is years away from production.

Kia is hardly the first automaker to stumble when naming cars for global sale.

In Spanish, Chevy's Nova means "doesn't go," Mazda's LaPuta translates as "the whore," and the Nissan Moco as "booger."


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