The quirkily-named Ora Funky Cat is to be renamed after a trademark spat in the UK prompted what its maker Great Wall Motor (GWM) is calling a strategic change in brand direction.
GWM said it would adopt a phased approach to its new brand strategy in the UK, initially through launching a new naming convention for GWM ORA cars across the Chinese manufacturer’s European markets.
“This update also coincides with an amicable settlement of an opposition to the registration of the ‘Funky Cat’ trademark in the UK market,” it said.
GWM ORA’s launch model, ORA Funky Cat, will be known as ‘ORA 03’ from 2024, with future models adopting this same approach.
The ‘Next Cat’ premium saloon model which will be the second model to be launched next year will therefore be known as the ‘ORA 07’.
Toby Marshall, managing director, GWM ORA UK, said: “This latest band strategy update affirms GWM’s commitment to the European region and the UK market in particular, where ORA Funky Cat has made a real statement already. We now move forward into 2024 and beyond with a new global brand strategy and many exciting new products on the horizon.”
GWM ORA said its numerical naming convention is already used in markets like South Africa, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines, with all European markets to adopt this approach from January.
“This flexible and simplified naming strategy has been designed to transcend demographical bias, with scope to introduce many new and exciting GWM ORA products that will appeal to a wide ranging audience,” it said.
Physically, GWM ORA models will remain unchanged and the new naming convention will only be reflected in the brand’s marketing and communications. Currently there are two models on sale in the UK, ORA Funky Cat First Edition and the newly launched First Edition+ with an MSRP of £33,795.