Fiat Chrysler Trademarks ‘Hornet’ Name

Whilst perusing the internet recently, looking for nothing in particular, we happened to stumble upon this scrap of intel: a trademark filing from April 13th by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the name “Hornet.”

This is the first we’ve heard of Fiat Chrysler going after the “Hornet” name, to be sure, but it does have some historical significance. The American Motors Corporation produced an AMC Hornet throughout the 1970s as a compact, rear-wheel drive sedan. And remember: Chrysler acquired what was left of AMC in the late 1980s.

But then, the “Hornet” is significant to Fiat Chrysler for something even more recent: the 2006 Dodge Hornet concept. That was a miniature, 5-door MPV originally planned for launch in 2010, before the meltdown of America’s banking institutions thrust the automotive industry into uncertain times. That concept featured a supercharged 1.6-liter inline-4, and styling not unlike that of the Scion xB.

So, does the recent “Hornet” trademark filing by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles mean anything? Not necessarily. The company had previously filed for the same name back in 2011; this more recent filing is more of a renewal. Furthermore, from the Hudson Hornet of the 1950s, to the later AMC Hornet, and finally the Dodge Hornet, the name has represented three profoundly different vehicles, making the badge’s true exemplar rather difficult to nail down.

Probably, then, this Fiat Chrysler trademark filing was just a matter of routine. We look forward to the future proving us wrong.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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