When Volkswagen brings the latest iteration of its compact car over to the U.S., it'll be branded as the Golf this time around - eliminating the Rabbit name it resurrected just three years ago for its compact car.
The Volkswagen Rabbit first appeared in the U.S. in 1975, and used the name until 1984 when it was replaced by the Golf. By the time the Rabbit name had retired, the vehicle it was attached to had devolved into a cheaper, lower-quality version of the German original.
In 2006, when the platform was updated, the Rabbit moniker was revived to spur sales - a tactic which failed. Volkswagen is using the launch of the new vehicle to revert the vehicle's name back to Golf to match the global marketplace.
"A lot of consumers tell us they prefer the name Rabbit, but we are moving to this name strategy. There is so much weight behind Golf - we have sold more than 26 million in 30 years in 120 countries," said Volkswagen spokesman Tom Wegahaupt.
The switch will not save Volkswagen money on marketing, because the automaker uses market-specific, not global, advertising campaigns, Wegahaupt admitted.
Source: Automotive News