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News & views

Provos back in Belfast? Don’t go there, Kia

[10 Mar 2013] Korean car-maker Kia has relied on intelligence from its Frankfurt branch when naming its new car ‘Provo’. Apparently the Germans derived the name from the verb ‘provoke’, as in ‘provoke a reaction’. It will certainly do that on the streets of Northern Ireland, where the Provisional IRA, aka the Provos, fought a decades-long struggle with anyone who shimmied into their gun-sights without good cause.

With a bit of lateral thinking, Kia could instead have dubbed their vehicle the McGuinness and used the slogan ‘It goes like a bomb’. (We offer marketing advice of this quality free of charge.)

 At least Provo is a slightly better moniker than Vauxhall’s ‘Nova’ of the eighties and nineties, a name that in Spanish-speaking countries turned out to be a bit of a no-go area. Just like parts of Belfast used to be, courtesy of the Provos.

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