Finding a Chevy Malibu in Malibu, CA or a Hyundai Tucson in Tucson, AZ is actually a rare occurrence, if such geographical vehicle names reflect the most popular vehicle sold in those locales. Just because a geographical vehicle name is promoted it does not mean the city or state name used reflects popularity there, according to the data crunchers at Edmunds.com.
With tongue firmly in cheek, these car experts identified eight such vehicles and analyzed registration data from Polk to re-name vehicles based on where they make up the highest share of sales so far in 2015. As you’ll see the new names could give heart attacks to auto execs.
New name: Buick Kincaid
Only 0.2% of new cars purchased this year in La Crosse, WI were a Buick LaCrosse. In fact, 4,752 other cities and towns in the U.S. enjoyed a larger share of them. If you want to find the biggest concentration of Buick LaCrosse sales, follow the Mississippi River about 400 miles south toward Kincaid, IL, where the sedan made up 8.9% of all new car registrations this year. With an area under one square mile and a population of less than 1,500 people, Kincaid can nevertheless claim the title of the “LaCrosse Capital of the United States.”
New name: Chevrolet Montana
The top choice for Coloradoans to navigate Rocky Mountain terrain? Wrong. Colorado is the 34th most popular state for the compact pickup, which makes up just 0.5% of the state’s new vehicle registrations so far in 2015. Head two states north to Montana, where the truck has 2% of all new vehicle purchases this year.
New name: Chevrolet Garciasville
Only 0.1% of new car registrations in its namesake community carried the Malibu nameplate this year, ranking the beach-side city as the 10,789th most popular locale for the vehicle. If you want to find the top town, you will have to travel 1,600 miles away from Malibu to Garciasville, TX located just over the Mexican border on the Rio Grande, where more than 15% of all new car registrations this year are Chevy Malibu.
New name: Dodge Castle Dale
The folks in Durango, CO are not thrilled with the name as only 0.5% of car buyers in this mountain town opted for the Dodge SUV. However, one place where this vehicle is most liked is less than one gas tank away in Castle Dale, UT, where 7.7% of all new car purchases this year were Durango models.
Hyundai Santa Fe
New name: Hyundai Clements
Only one tenth of 1% of all new car purchases in this city of about 70,000 people were Hyundai Santa Fe models year-to-date. Santa Fe SUV is loved, though, in Clements, MD. So far in 2015, 5.6% of all new car sales in this unincorporated town in the heart of the Chesapeake region were Santa Fe crossovers.
New name: Hyundai Wilmington or Hyundai Fort Garland
Only 0.4% of all new cars registered in Tucson had that name. However, both Wilmington, NY and Fort Garland, CO have the largest share of the compact crossover (6.7% of all new sales). Both are snowbound states.
New name: Kia Cedar Grove
Not one new Kia Sedona has been registered in its namesake town this year. Almost 13% of all new car purchases registered a West Virginia town called Cedar Grove were Sedona models.
New name: Toyota Kilauea
About 2% of vehicles registered this year in Tacoma, WA were Tacoma pickups. However, 5,492 other U.S. cities and towns have a better showing. The town with the highest rate of Toyota Tacoma purchases this year is 2,600 miles of Pacific Ocean west-southwest away in Kilauea, HI. More than one out of every four new cars registered this year – 26.5% – is a Toyota Tacoma.