VW has no fun trademarking I.D. name series

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Volkswagen has generated a lot of buzz with the names for its upcoming series of electric cars: I.D., I.D. Crozz, I.D. Lounge, I.D. Vizzion, and I.D. Buzz, for its recreation of the iconic Microbus.

Keep in mind that these are all the names of the concept vehicles, not necessarily the production vehicles. But now a report in VW Vortex last week confirms that VW has trademarked names for the electric cars with the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union.

The names VW trademarked are I.D. 1, I.D. 2, I.D. 3, I.D. 4, etc. all the way through I.D. 9.

The move suggests a couple of things about VW’s strategy:

First, it might, if they want to use the full swath of badges, have nine more-or-less affordable electric cars on the market in Europe based on its new MEB electric-car architecture.

These will likely include the basic Golf-size I.D. hatchback (not necessarily the I.D. 1), the $21,000 entry-level model that VW announced earlier this month, and production cars based on the concepts known as the I.D. Crozz crossover, the large I.D. Lounge sedan, and the long-awaited I.D. Buzz.

That leaves four more models we don’t know about.

European car-buyers have long preferred—or at least been more accepting of numbers for car names than Americans. The numbers usually denote a hierarchy in capability, power, or size.

Americans have expressed an interest in actual names for cars, which is becoming difficult as automakers have trademarked more and more pronounceable, comprehensible, and relevant words—even misspelled—for cars. As a kind of compromise, automakers have turned to letter combinations, such as Acuras with its lineup of ILX, TSX, TL, RLX, RDX, MDX, and NSX. Over X-ed yet?

Since VW only trademarked the I.D. 1 through 9 names in Europe, perhaps the cars could retain their concept names when they make it to America.

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