Home » Chinese Automaker Kills One Of The All-Time Greatest Car Names And I’m Upset

Chinese Automaker Kills One Of The All-Time Greatest Car Names And I’m Upset

Funky Cat Ts3
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You may not be aware of all the Chinese automakers selling cars in Europe, but if you know one brand it might be Ora and it might be because they sell a car called the Ora Funky Cat. If you’ve read the headline you probably know what’s coming. Ora has killed the Funky Cat. The Funky Cat is no more. Ok, it’s still there, it’s just called something super boring.

It’s not the best time to be a Chinese automaker abroad. Sure, you can make cheap EVs at prices that no European automaker can touch. That’s because China realized EVs were the future and got there before anyone else and thus can make battery electric vehicles at a much lower cost than, say, Peugeot or BMW. And, you know, maybe a little forced labor. There’s a chance that the labor is so cheap because a small percentage of it reportedly can’t not work there.

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Do Chinese automakers in Europe want to be known as Chinese automakers? Probably not. They want to be seen merely as automakers and want to be able to compete on a level with everyone else. A big way that these automakers do that is through assimilation, especially in Britain. The maker of London Black Taxis is now the London Electric Vehicle Company and that company is owned by Chinese automaker Geely (which also owns Lotus, Volvo, and Polestar). MG, that classic British brand, is actually SAIC Motor, aka, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

Ora Funky Cat03

The brand Ora is an off-shoot of Great Wall Motor, better known as GWM. Could GWM have sold cars as Great Wall Motor in Great Britain? Maybe, but Great Wall sort of gives away the game. Ora, which stands for Open, Reliable, Alternative, is the more youthful offshoot of a company that’s regularly one of China’s ten biggest automakers.

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When I heard Ora was coming to England it made a lot of sense to me and, honestly, I’m excited to drive an Ora Funky Cat. David already beat me to it, however:

 

 

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He described the car as pretty decent, though he thinks a RWD version would be better. I agree.

Ok, so the name change. The car was called Funky Cat, which is just about the best name ever.

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“What do you drive?”

“I drive a Funky Cat.”

“Marry me!”

So good. Apparently, that was too funky for the Brits and the name has been changed to the Ora 03. BOOOOOO. BOOO I SAY. What in the name of Johan de Nysschen is this crap? 03? Not even 003?

Here’s how Ora describes it:

As of today, GWM ORA has launched its new naming convention for all current and future models which follows on from its wider brand strategy update late last year. The brands first model, previously known as ORA Funky Cat, will now be re-named as ORA 03 and made available in two trim levels: PURE+ and PRO+.

To support the launch of the brands new product naming convention, GWM ORA is offering customers a 0% APR finance offer on its PURE+ variant of ORA 03. Available from just £228* a month, the entry level ORA 03 PURE+ comes equipped with a high level of specification as standard, including: wireless phone charging, facial recognition, electric front seats, app integration and ‘Hello ORA’ intelligent voice assistance.

Look, those are good prices. Not gonna lie. If you’re in the UK please consider an 03, just for all that’s good and holy in the world call it a Funky Cat.

The weird thing about this, though, is that Ora didn’t necessarily change it because the company didn’t like the name. Apparently, there was a trademark dispute, at least according to Car Dealer Magazine:

The renaming also ‘coincides’ with the ending of ‘an amicable settlement of an opposition to the registration of the “Funky Cat” trademark in the UK market’, said the firm.

WHAT?!? Someone else already has the trademark for Funky Cat? Yes!

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Here’s an image of Great Wall’s attempt at registering it:

Ora Funky Cat Tradeamrk

You’ll notice it says “Opposed.” GWM seems to have tried to register it under a variety of variants of that name with no success.

It turns out the trademark is currently owned by a German tour operator.

German trademark

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What?!? I have not been able to figure out why

So weird. RIP Funky Cat.

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Erik Skavold
Erik Skavold
3 months ago

This car was supposed to come to Norway too – but the importer has put the whole project on hold due to GWM currently operating in Russia.

Goblin
Goblin
3 months ago

I saw one parked in Berlin in September and it was beautiful inside and out. Finish looked good, colors were wonderful. Very impressed.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
3 months ago

David’s GF: “What do you drive?”

David: “I drive a Funky Cat.”

David’s GF: “Marry me!”

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
3 months ago

Awesome name…my favorite name (as far as this category of cars at least) is the Suzuki Cappuccino!

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

Quick! Someone start an Etsy store selling Funky Cat badges so people can re-badge their O3!

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
3 months ago

“What in the name of Johan de Nysschen is this crap?”

This does reek of his naming schemes. Can’t wait for Inifiniti to realize the error of their ways and bring back the old names (or new ones).

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
3 months ago

In a world … where cars get more similar, names get increasingly important. So Funky Cat was too far out for most regular people. Nice try.

MG did it the right way and bought up a dead local brand to unload their rather boring Chinese cars under. So wouldn’t it be nice to also see some Triumphs, Sunbeams or even Austins or Morrisses (Morisi?) which neither smoked or rusted and drove kind of nice and modern?
––Or Borgwards, Wartburgs or Talbots, there’s plenty to choose from!

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
3 months ago

––Or Borgwards

Foton tried, but their cars were too boring. Yes, somehow more boring than SAIC MGs.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
3 months ago

I know, but they didn’t really get anywhere. So still up for grabs.

I wouldn’t mind if this was called a Triumph GT or something European sounding 😉

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
3 months ago

REWE is also owner of the second largest supermarket chain in Germany. I still don’t know how that makes them interested in Funky Cats but I guess having a product line under that name makes more sense for a supermarket chain that for a travel agency.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

I saw one of these the other day,if very briefly. Its looks immediately reminded me of a combination Panamera*,Mini a Nissan Leaf.
Well,the Leaf’s giant arse to be precise.
I wont say it’s ugly but it sure as hell is odd

*edit.Corrected my dumb mistake

Last edited 3 months ago by Ron888
Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I saw one yesterday, absolutely agree it’s a sort of baby Panamera in terms of overall shape. The face is sort of like a cute Tesla, but there’s something classic/traditional about it too with the chrome highlight around the lights.

Yung
Yung
3 months ago

in Javanese, ‘ora’ means ‘no’

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
3 months ago
Reply to  Yung

In Italian it means “hour”. Here’s hoping that’s not referring to the durability.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
3 months ago

Here in Oz, it’s known simply as the GWM Ora. It’s also currently, thanks to end of year discounts, the cheapest EV we can buy. AU$36,583 drive away. After March 31, it’ll go back to it’s standard price of AU$39,990 drive away which matches with similar offerings from MG and BYD.

Last edited 3 months ago by Silent But Deadly
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

Damnit. More of the omnipresent greying of the world. Playful silliness is always needed. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull up behind a Funky Cat in traffic?

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
3 months ago

Man, the cat funk in my mom’s house can be overwhelming, but I’m guessing that’s not the funk of which you speak.

El Barto
El Barto
3 months ago

Yeah, nah – don’t buy any Chinese EV, even if it is called Funky Cat. You’re helping finance the CCP, who are not our friends. They don’t even want to be our friends.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
3 months ago

It’s called the Good Cat everywhere else. But they’re changing that too.

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

Chinese and Japanese vehicles have the funkiest and funniest names. They could have at least tried to see if kitty kitty was copyrighted already. Ora Pussy cat has a nice ring, too.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago
Reply to  Greensoul

I havent seen much of this from china yet but hey,bring it on!

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
3 months ago
Reply to  Greensoul

Oh no.
Now I can’t stop picturing an Ora Funky Cat in a Pussywagon livery from Kill Bill.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago

Did they also change the Mazda Bongo Friendee and the Isuzu GIGA Light Dump?

Because losing all of those would just be a tragedy.

David Escargot
David Escargot
3 months ago

They said, get back, Funky Cat
Better get back to the woods
Well, I miss those days, when cars had real names
And, mmhm-hm-hm, oh, change ain’t gonna do me good

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago

Just so long as Trumpchi is still around.

Miles Long
Miles Long
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I burned my “Trump” mattress. Didn’t need to, just wanted to.

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
3 months ago

The brand Ora is an off-shoot of Great Wall Motor, better known as GWM. Could GWM have sold cars as Great Wall Motor in Great Britain? Maybe, but Great Wall sort of gives away the game

I know the whole “Chevy Nova didn’t sell well in Mexico because ‘no va’ means ‘doesn’t go’ in Spanish” bit is a myth, but naming your company that manufactures moving objects after an object that is quite famous for NOT moving still seems like bad move.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cayde-6
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

It moved when the Mongolians ran into it

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

I am absolutely certain Nova myth is like saying FIAT doesn’t sell here because people think it means “Fix It Again Tony.”

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

Bring back, Funky Cat
Alphanumeric ain’t where it’s at

Miles Long
Miles Long
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

… They said, bring back, funky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well, I quit those days and my redneck ways
And, mmhm-hm-hm, oh, change is gonna do me good

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

What? Funky Kitty was taken, too?

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

Looks like a pre-adolescent Panamera with baby fat.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
3 months ago

Won’t you take me too…
Funky CAAAAAAAAT!

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