Harder than string theory, this. Can one clearly recount the Suzuki Ignis story?
There are two product lines made by Suzuki. One is a line of small, quite conventional five and three door cars called the Swift or the Ignis or Cultus. And the other is a line of three and five door cars called the Ignis or Swift.
These are some notes taken as I was scanning my references:
Suzuki Swift 2000-2008.
Suzuki Cultus 1983-1988 and 1998 -2003
Suzuki Swift 2000-2004 (“Ignis” body, see photograph at the top of the article)
Suzuki Swift 1988 -1994 the plain Swift-body with the glazed c-pillar, also called Cultus (get milk x 2 litres)
Suzuki Swift 2004-2010 – “Swift” body with glazed A-pillar.
Suzuki Swift 2000-2006 (the HT51S “Ignis”-bodied version)
Suzuki Ignis 2003-2008 (Ignis body)
Sometimes the car is sold as Subaru Justy too (I have dealt with that)
What I had planned to do was to look up the product history of the thing I know as the Ignis. Here is a photo of the body I had in mind, to be clear:
All I wanted to do was to find out if this somewhat overlooked car had a secret history of quiet, steady success. I might find out later.
The resultant search shows that Suzuki have been quite inconsistent in their product name strategy or that Wikipedia is not presenting an accurate story or both. What this subject calls for is a diagram and a timeline which it is more time-consuming than a bunch of words on a page. It´ll have to wait. Before I get down to that it occurred to me to ask if anyone had any other suggestions for products with complex and/confusing naming strategies?
Most likely the winners will be Japanese models sold in different markets with overlapping model generations. It might be like this: product A is launched in Japan from 2000-2010; it is made and sold in Europe from 2002-2012; meanwhile product A is renamed as product B and also sold in Europe alongside A for two years because B is so different from A. In Japan product A is not sold concurrently with product B and they both have the same name. In one market product B has no direct predecessor as it is “a new line” but in another market B is presented as the replacement for A because they have the same name even though the first generation is a five door hatchback and the second generation is a three door CUV (for example).
Remember in this hypothetical case, there is a product line with one name (say Rocket) where generation one is the five door hatch and generation two is the three door. In a development of this, in Europe product B is replaced with a successor to Japanese-market A, and give a new name, C. But product A’s name is revived for a different product somewhere else and it resembles product C. It can get confusing.
If you grow up, as I did, thinking that a car model represented the Platonic manifestation of some ideal, then it is really hard to understand alternative conceptions, that the name and thing it names can be dissociated and re-associated like dance partners in a waltz.
Cars like the Golf and BMW 3 series are quite fixed reference points (from where I am standing), the 3 more than the Golf because the Golf has had another life outside Europe with old iterations soldiering on. The Cultus/Ignis/Swift issue shows that the product can be sold under different names in various markets at the same time. It is a matter of some expediency as to which name is used. The Cultus/Ignis/Swift is probably an unusually messy one. The Carina/Avensis and Mazda 626 would be outstanding examples of complex model histories. It’s not really Wikipedia’s fault that the articles can’t quite keep track of the name switch overs.