A search for the origins of the word ‘vezel’ reveals it is linked to the Dutch language word for ‘body fibre,’ or something like that.
English translations aside, the moniker quickly zapped the body fibres of Honda distributors as soon as the carmaker unveiled the compact Vezel SUV at the Tokyo motor show.
To a man they were reported as saying that Vezel would likely be a Japanese domestic market name only. American, Australian, British and South African motoring writers were quick to write that Honda surely would not burden its global markets with the name.
Honda NZ general manager Murray Selby told NZ reporters at the Tokyo show that Vezel would be launched here later next year, but he wasn’t sure if the name would be used worldwide or just in Japan.
The name has been laughed about on motoring sites for the past few days. One commentator asked how it would be pronounced: “Vez-ull? Vez-elle? Vee-zel? Vess-el?
American bible Car and Driver said it didn’t matter because it was sure to be changed for the US.
Honda’s marketing spin was that Vezel “belongs to a new category of automobiles that fuses together multifaceted values at high level.”
Whatever it is, Honda NZ desparately needs something to revive its falling share of the market. It hasn’t appeared in the top 10 sales charts for ages, where it once was a fixture.
The new Jazz might help lift sales numbers when it gets here next year.
Vezel is based on the new Jazz platform and offers two engine choices: a 1.5-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre petrol-electric.
Front and all-wheel drivetrains are available. Vezel, or whatever, will sit below the bigger CR-V in the Honda line-up.