Commodore condemned for Nazi naming link

The Chevy SS.
The Chevy SS.

HOLDEN'S new US export program for the VF Commodore is still months away but the car is already gaining notoriety overseas for its naming.

The Times of Israel is reporting the Chevrolet SS, the US version of the Australian V8 Commodore, will not be welcome in Israel because it shares the same moniker as a Nazi paramilitary unit.

The report quotes a story in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, condemning the SS badging as "inappropriate" because of its reference with the Schutzstaffel (abbreviated SS), a powerful paramilitary unit headed by Heinrich Himmler under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

The story is headed "Chevy SS won't storm Israel" and has been met with an array of different responses from its readers.

"The use of this name is very inappropriate… It is not a name that will bring them pride or success," Barach Shuv, a manager of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, told the Yedioth.

Holden is undertaking an ambitious export program to the US from the third quarter of 2013, re-badging the VF Commodore with a plan to sell 5000 examples annually.

The Chevrolet SS took its first race win at Florida's Daytona International Speedway last weekend, with Kevin Harvick claiming the Nascar season-opening Sprint Unlimited.

The SS isn't the first car to create headlines over its naming.

The Mitsubishi Pajero was renamed Montero in Spain because the Spanish translation for Pajero is wanker.

And Toyota was forced to rename its Australian-built Avalon before its official release in 2000. The car was originally due to be called a Centaur until Toyota's local PR agency informed them it was the name of an Australian hospital ship sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1943, killing 268 people.

Toyota Australia then raised eyebrows at head office in Japan when it suggested a new sports version of the Aurion large car be called the Chicane. Chikan is the term given to perverts who grope women on trains. 

Porsche also struck trouble in the United States in September 2011 when it released online ads with the tagline: "The next 911 is coming".

The Chevy SS.
The Chevy SS.

Topics:  commodore editors picks holden motoring

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