They wanted to build cheap cars and take advantage of a lower tax rate for small cars. When they were the most successful, a strike of the customs officials broke their supply of parts from Argentina. Then the federal government and the state government of Ceará reneged on their financing deals. This might have been because of lobbying from the big 4 (Fiat, GM, VW, and Ford), but I don't know if this has been proved.
I wonder what other brands translate to ridiculous, non-brand-y words in other languages.
Bunda, jewel store in Australia, literally means butt in Brazilian Portuguese (not slang).
Not really a brand I think, but the Tintin character also means male genitalia in Japanese. (it's also common in Brazil to toast with drinks saying "tintin / chin chin" because of the sound that glasses make, which gets a few jokes among the Brazilian-Japanese community.)
The Mitsubishi "Pajero" is called "Montero" in Spanish speaking countries. Again in Spanish, "Pajero" means "wanker".
Naah, that is a myth that has been debunked some 20 years ago:
It is curious how it still surfaces from time to time.
The Pajero is instead a known "brand blunder":
Urban legend: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/chevrolet-nova-name-spanis...
If you mean “in Spanish-speaking countries”, alright. In Portuguese “nova” just means “new”, just as French's “nouveau” or Italian's “nuova”.
I'm skeptical of that. "go" isn't really idiomatic for "work" in English, and in Romance languages, you're going to use the local variant of "marcher" (literally "to walk") or "to function" to refer to technology working, so I suspect using the literal translation of "to go" is going to be a very strained idiomatic relationship at best.
> The name e-tron is very similar to the French word étron (meaning turd), causing some ridicule of the e-Tron in France [...] 
In Australia, they even turned it into a full-blown marque for a few years, so it was actually possible to buy a TRD Aurion or TRD Hilux. And, yes, fans of their competitors did indeed call them TuRDs.
The name of Microsoft's iPod competitor "Zune" is pronounced the same as the modern hebrew noun for "fuck"/"copulation", which is especially fitting given that you were able to "squirt" songs.
Together with the marketing slogan "Small on the outside, big on the inside", it would have been particularly hilarious.
Btw, Gurgel translates to gargle in Swedish, too.
Citroën had this problem a lot with their vans: they also have a commercial van called the Jumpy, which obviously isn't something you want to say about any vehicle, so it was changed to Dispatch for the UK. And they have a larger van called the Jumper, which was changed to Boxer, probably because "Jumper" also carries criminal connotations in English (bail jumper, stile jumper, etc.).
The Citicar / Comuta is similar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citicar
On the other hand, they were made from fiberglass or "plasteel" (a composite of fiberglass and steel), and I'm not sure how mouldable that material is.
From the Gurgel wiki description:
> its specifications were comparable to similar models of the time (see CitiCar).
I wonder which came first.
The citicar was produced from '74 while the gurgel was only presented in '74, and never actually commercialised.
I expect the specs they're talking about were mostly bound by battery technology.