Speaking of sport-utilities, roving tribes from desert regions seem to be inspiring vehicle names.
First there was the Volkswagen Touareg, named after the hardy wanderers of the Sahara. Now comes the Nissan Qashqai, a crossover concept bound for the Geneva auto show. The name Qashqai, an Iranian nomadic tribe, appealed to staff at the Nissan Design Europe facility, which opened in London last year.
"The working title of the concept was Urban Nomad, and Qashqai followed on from that," says an insider. "This is a real name, not something made up by consultants, and it has been approved by Japan. Yes, there is a pointed similarity to Touareg, but any similarity to 'cash cow' is purely accidental."