Pontiac G8 ST Will Be Called...The Pontiac G8 ST
It won't be called "El Camino," nor will it be "Truck Norris." After receiving more than 80,000 entries and 18,000 distinct names in its "Tame the Name" contest, Pontiac has anticlimactically decided to name the 2010 G8 Sport Truck the G8 ST – the name we first broke last year for the two-door pickup.
"We received lots of suggestions, but one pattern emerged, which was to keep (the name) simple," said Pontiac marketing director Craig Bierley.
The move is likely to disappoint those who once owned -- or still own -- a coupe-utility, particularly the Chevrolet El Camino or GMC Caballero, and are looking for a modern version. The El Camino and Caballero were among the last of the once-popular segment of car-based trucks, which went out of production in the mid-1980s as compact pickups gained market share.
The El Camino name was a top suggestion in the contest.
"El Camino was really popular, but our intent was to honor Chevrolet heritage (and not use the name)," Bierley said. "It's part of Chevrolet's history, and we felt it was important we respect. We wouldn't want (Chevrolet) to use a name like GTO."
Some other name suggestions included historic Pontiac names, like Catalina, Ventura and Tempest.
The name "Ute" was also a popular suggestion. "Ute" is both the vehicle's classification and the name of the sport truck in Australia, where the G8 ST is built by GM subsidiary Holden for export to the states. The Ute name couldn't be used in the U.S. over concerns that it’s the name of an American Indian tribe in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
Approximately 300 people submitted their personal names for the ST.
"I'm not sure we want to call it the 'Doris,'" Bierley joked.
Ultimately, the straightforward "G8 ST" moniker won out. Bierley said ST was in the top five names submitted by entrants. Other alphanumeric names were: GST, GXT, GTT, SST and GTU.
"I would have thought they would have picked a real name," said Jim Hossack, vice president of AutoPacific, an automotive market research and consulting firm in Tustin, Calif. "I like heritage names, like (GMC) Sprint. A good name beats an alphanumeric (name), but an alphanumeric beats a stupid name. G8 ST is pure vanilla. It won't offend anyone."
The G8 ST and its 361-horsepower V-8 will arrive next fall. Bierley says Pontiac is also seriously considering adding a V-6 option, but a final decision hasn’t been made.
One contest entrant who likely won't be disappointed with the name selection is Joseph Warren of Waynesville, N.C. Warren was chosen at random from all the entrees to win a brand-new 2010 G8 ST.