Ford Motor Company has filed two applications to register the words “AVIATOR” and “AV8R” as trademarks with the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Motrolix was first to discover.
The automaker’s January 6th, 2015 application for “AVIATOR” specifies that the mark will be used in the following ways, including:
- Land motor vehicles, namely, automobiles and their structural parts and engines
- Exterior insignia badges for vehicles
- Vehicle rooftop cargo carriers
- Spare tire covers
- Fitted motor vehicle covers
- Bug deflectors as structural parts of motor vehicles
- Running boards for motor vehicles
- Mud flaps for motor vehicles
- Hitch plugs for motor vehicles in the nature of trailer hitch covers
- Automobile windshield sunshades and license plate frames for motor vehicles
- Windshields for motor vehicles
- Windows for motor vehicles
Meanwhile, the “AV8R” trademark lists “passenger automobiles and exterior insignia badges” as its only use case.
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The Motrolix Take
The trademark filings suggest that Ford Motor Company is planning to release a vehicle with the Aviator (or AV8R) name.
During the early 2000s, the automaker’s Lincoln brand sold the Lincoln Aviator which, for all intents and purposes, was a slightly more luxurious Ford Explorer. The fifth-generation Explorer came out in 2011 turned the popular body-on-frame SUV into a car-based crossover, but Lincoln didn’t get a version for itself, and the Aviator was discontinued. Instead, the big L got the MKT, a variant of the part-wagon, part-CUV Ford Flex. The MKT hasn’t been well-received and sales have been dismal, at best.
With that in mind, we believe that the Aviator (or AV8R) will be Lincoln’s version of Ford’s Explorer — just as it was in the past. The move would be prudent for Lincoln, as the brand is currently being carried by crossovers, including the new MKC and MKX CUVs due to the growing popularity of the luxury crossover segment. And now that it already has Lincolns CUVs based on Fords (the MKC is based on the Escape while the MKX is based on the Edge), rounding out the portfolio with an Explorer-based Lincoln seems to be a no-brainer, especially given that Ford doesn’t want to miss the boat on the nascent full-size luxury crossover space currently defined by the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (soon to be known as GLS) as well as forthcoming entrants from BMW (X7) and Audi (Q9) on their way.
Notably, Ford’s trademark filings are out of the norm as they don’t fit into Lincoln’s three-letter naming convention. But with rumors of Lincoln bringing back the Continental, perhaps the brand is looking to change its nomenclature to include “real names”.
Stay tuned as we learn more.