Type Nomenclature. The Risk of • Confusion by the Use of Letters.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
Circumstances of mistaken identity have arisen, in connection with an " Inspection and Trial " ca-se which that busy department of ours has been conducting recently, which lead us once more to register a distinct protest against the forced employment by sales departments of works-office and dr.awing-offiee type classification.
• But. a -day or two ago we were discussing a very well-known type of Continent-al-built chassis end we were inquiring as to the., models which had during the past. few years been placed On the British market. Promptly, and presnmably with accuracy, came the response: " Well, the 18B was here in May, mo, the 181) arrived six months later, and. then the C33 came to hand, and of course the new One is the modified L," We were gratified with the promptitude of reply, but were more completely Mystified than ever as to what had happened.
Now if we, with all our facilities for keeping track Of the many changes of models which the industry has called forth and will continue to demand, are left in a confused state of mind as a result of the Use by makers, for sales purposes, of these literal distinctions, it is not a difficult task to surmise what. point be the confusion of impression on the user and the possible customer. Surely if there is one thing to be avoided by a sales department more than another it is the adoption of any sales methods of al puzzling and uninfoimative nature. Several well-• known British manufacturers, with avery Clear perdeption of this difficulty, indicate their different models by giving them nicknames or their equivalent. The result of such a. practice has been to avoid any symptom of confusion, and it is one which should be much more widely adopted than it is at present.
The customer never wants to run the risk of confusion between the AD and the BC models, Whereas it often not only occurs between one maker's own Machines but also between similarly lettered types belonging to different makers. The client is puzzled asto the meaning of the hieroglyphics, and even after they have been explained to him, he will have forgotten them in half an hour. Works officials, with their minds concentrated on the production of . the X type or the Y model or the Z pattern cannot .readily perceive that the very frequency of their own association with these classifications makes it likely that they should perceive the customers difficulties in following What is -meant.
There is still room for a lot of improvement in respect of the manner in which type and other particulars of chassis are offered to the customer, who is, in this commercial-vehicle industry, as a rule a keen business man. We have no more use for such enaployinerit of undistinctive markings than we have for --the indeterminate notification of horse-power, load capacity or consumption. If a. customer be told that the U38 type has an engine of 18-33 h.p., and that-it êarries a load of 27-33 cwt., that its engine re-volutions are .600-1500, whilst its petrol -consumption is 6-0 -m.p.g., he is left in a. state of mind _which suggests-that the manufacturer is not himself very sure of _the, characteristics of the machine he has • prOdueed. Classifications of this kind. should be -.very strictly. confined to. -worksorganization 'purposes, where they have their U.Ses. • We even doubt their desirability in-the pleasure-car world. They should not be imported into the sales department, unless it be decided to risk inevitable confusion and other troubles of a like nature.
We have on a. previous occasion Written of our dislike of the use of letters as names for special productions, and we pointed out how in the advertise-. rnent columns of our sister journal .`_' The Motor we counted between 50 and 60 cars and specialities which were known as anything from the ABC to the XYZ. This is an allied subject, and in the near future, when so many factories will have to consider new programmes and new lists of models With new rated capacities, it will be well to. bear in mind the fact that the user should -not be puzzled unneceSsarily. He has dilemmas of his own enough at the present time, and everything should be done to render Matters as easy for him as possible.