Love them or hate them, alphanumeric model names won’t disappear anytime soon. Luxury automakers, regardless of origin, have flocked to these naming conventions for decades, and while they once meant something – like engine size – today’s alphanumeric naming conventions are better representations of the price than any tangible vehicle characteristic. But that hasn’t stopped new automakers like GM’s Cadillac and Baojun from joining the alphabet soup bandwagon. Baojun, the entry-level Chinese brand that General Motors launched through its SAIC-Wuling-GM joint venture, has just announced a new naming nomenclature that’s indistinguishable from those of luxury automakers… but potentially a bit better.
Baojun hinted at its new naming convention back in October, when it unveiled the Baojun RS-5 crossover, but it now has officially announced the new nomenclature alongside revealing the Baojun RM-C Concept last week. The new naming strategy is part of the brand’s “New Baojun” effort, which represents an overhaul to the brand’s image. Baojun’s new naming convention takes the alphanumeric nomenclature of various automakers, and adds a dash of logic to the madness.
There are three possible prefixes for a vehicle in the new Baojun portfolio: RC, RS and RM.
The “R” symbolizes Baojun’s “re-creation”, and all future Baojun models starting with the RS-5 will stat with an R, followed by one of the following letters:
- C denotes a car (sedan or hatchback)
- S denotes an SUV
- M denotes MPV
After that, there will be a dash, followed by a number, which will designate the model’s size and place in the lineup.
The new naming system makes sense. In fact, it’s similar to what Cadillac is doing with the CT and XT naming prefixes, where CT represents cars like sedans and coupes, while XT denotes utility vehicles like crossovers and SUVs.
Alphanumeric naming conventions receive more than their fair share of derision for being vague, difficult to understand, and – in some cases – downright meaningless. And as automakers flesh out their portfolios to offer a wide range of different vehicles with varying body styles, there’s the possibility of creating some confusion. The benefit Baojun has is that the brand is starting anew with clear guidelines as to what each letter means and denotes. Hopefully, Baojun can stick to its rather clear-cut structure and doesn’t muck things up as expands its portfolio during its reinvention.