Renault’s model-naming convention has changed over the years. For many decades, Renault vehicle names started with the letter “R” (for Renault) followed by a number. However, over the course of the brand’s history, most models have sported actual names.
Actual names are much more impactful, as the meaning behind the name evokes an emotional response. Any brand that seeks to create connections with its customers must not forget this!
Furthermore, coming up with actual names creates an opportunity to play around with different lengths and sounds. “Short, playful sounding names like Clio and ZOE suit vehicles that are small, urban and agile, whereas long, imposing names like Talisman work well for large statement cars,” explains Sylvia.
Certain names have even transcended concepts and vehicles to go down in automotive history. For instance, Espace (which means “space” in French) is a highly appropriate name for such a spacious vehicle, while Twingo is a very punchy name with a dynamic feel to it.
In 2005, Renault trademarked “Austral”, a name that fulfils a number of key nomenclature criteria.
According to Sylvia Dos Santos, Model-naming Strategy Manager within the Renault Global Marketing Department: “Austral conjures up the vibrancy and heat of the southern hemisphere and extends an invitation to explore, which makes it an ideal fit for an SUV. The word is built around a harmonious balance of sounds that are easy to pronounce by people all around the world, giving it a truly international feel.”
The name carries great meaning, provokes an emotional response, and reflects the vehicle’s positioning as a C-segment SUV that is ready to take on any challenge. With two As and the consonants “STR” in the middle, the word is built around a harmonious balance of sounds that are “easy to pronounce” and “serene”, evoking the SUV’s power and control.
Lastly, the name ties in particularly nicely with the brand’s strategy and identity, as Renault seeks to maintain an image as a modern brand that radiates warmth, cares about people and prioritises their needs.
Derived from the Latin word ‘australis’. The name you hear when a vehicle is launched is the result of many years of thought and research. A number of key Renault stakeholders focus their efforts on achieving the right balance between the new vehicle’s name, identity and target market, as well as the brand’s values and personality. Renault’s Marketing, Design, Product and Legal teams work in close collaboration and, in some instances, draw on the expertise of naming agencies.
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