Chevrolet's new sedan's SS designation has Israel crying foul.
The Chevrolet SS (the Holden Commodore SS-V in this part of the world) was unveiled to much fanfare at Daytona last weekend.
But news reports out of Israel are saying the car is not welcome in that part of the world because the SS nametag is shared with the Shutzstaffel (known then as the SS), the infamous unit headed by Heinrich Himmler in Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Baruch Shuv, a manager of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and chairman of the Organisation of Partisans, Underground Fighters and Ghetto Rebels, told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth that “the use of this name is very inappropriate ... It is not a name that bring will them pride or success.”
The Chevrolet SS is manufactured in Australia.
Previous GM cars have carried the SS suffix, but this is the first time that the initials have been used exclusively without the full name "Super Sport" in the branding.
Although rear-wheel performance sedans have been common in this part of the world thanks to the Commodore and Ford Falcon, the Chevrolet SS is the first rear-wheel-drive performance sedan from "The Bowtie" in 17 years.
The SS isn't the first car to create headlines over its naming.
The Mitsubishi Pajero was renamed Montero in Spain because the Spanish translation for Pajero is wanker.
And Toyota was forced to rename its Australian-built Avalon before its official release in 2000. The car was originally due to be called a Centaur until Toyota's local PR agency informed them it was the name of an Australian hospital ship sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1943, killing 268 people.
Toyota Australia then raised eyebrows at head office in Japan when it suggested a new sports version of the Aurion large car be called the Chicane. Chikan is the term given to perverts who grope women on trains.
Porsche also struck trouble in the United States in September 2011 when it released online ads with the tagline: "The next 911 is coming".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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