Sirocco, Tiguan, Touareg, Fahrvergnugen, Passat. All tongue twisters indeed. (That’s Zungenbrecher, in German, btw.) Common sense suggests that everything else being equal, pronounceable brand names are better than those open to question. An old boss maintained this was not always the case and that pronunciation could be enforced. (See Honda Prelude or Toyota Previa, or just about any non-American automaker for that matter. And really, does anyone who can afford a Porsche not pronounce it correctly?)

But there is a substantial body of empirical evidence (more detail in future postings) that demonstrates that common sense, which is not so common, btw, is right in this case.

From hiring decisions; people prefer Mr. Smith to Mr. Colquahon, to purchase decisions; stocks with simple names sell better than complex ones, pronounceable names are better.

Volkswagen also offers Golf, Jetta, and Atlas. We guess they’re hedging their naming bets.