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Barracuda: does trademark foretell a car?

by David Zatz on

FCA has renewed its application for a trademark on the name “Barracuda,” inciting renewed speculation.

FCA isn’t exactly under the gun. Under current U.S. trademark law, the company has until April 12, 2019 to file a Statement Of Use (SOU) showing that the trademark is being used in commerce, in this case in the form of a new motor vehicle. This is the final step before the Barracuda name can be registered.

Some years ago, there was talk of making a new “Dodge Barracuda,” but the idea of a retro-named car with no retro cues at all did not win many friends. The move of a Plymouth name to Dodge likely did not help.

There may still be a Dodge Barracuda, or even a next-generation Dodge Avenger, based on the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Perhaps sold as a coupe, perhaps as a sedan, the rear wheel drive car is rumored to be made in Italy, while Auburn Hills gears up to make their own designs on the new “G” architecture. Italian manufacture would reduce the need for high sales volumes, since the initial investment would be lower, and it would not interfere with building the Charger, Challenger, and 300.

A new Barracuda could also be a clone of the Fiat 124 Spider, giving the car more sales opportunities through the larger CDJR dealer network.

The car would most likely be a stopgap measure. When the 200 leaves production next month, FCA may become the only mainstream automaker in the US with neither compact or midsize sedans or coupes.

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