GWM axes controversial Funky Cat name as firm adopts new numbered naming strategy

  • Controversial Funky Cat name will disappear in January
  • Electric hatchback will now be called Ora 03
  • All Ora models will wear numbered names from 2024
  • GWM confirms new electric saloon will be called Ora 07

Time 10:39 am, November 22, 2023

Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor (GWM) has dropped the Funky Cat name of its Ora-branded electric hatchback as it seeks to boost its brand across Europe.

The Ora Funky Cat will be renamed Ora 03 in January 2024, with GWM becoming the maker and ‘Ora 03’ the model name.

The renaming also ‘coincides’ with the ending of ‘an amicable settlement of an opposition to the registration of the “Funky Cat” trademark in the UK market’, said the firm.

The company also confirmed its Tesla Model 3-rivalling electric saloon, dubbed ‘Next Cat’ since its UK reveal in April, will be called Ora 07, and all future models will use this new numbered naming strategy.

The change is part of a wider plan by the Chinese carmaker to bolster its brand in Europe.

Its brands Ora and Wey will be phased out and sold under one ‘master brand’, and ‘forms part of GWM’s commitment to long term success in Europe, leveraging its automotive brands to create one cohesive brand platform that covers a wide range of customer segments and needs’, the company said.

Next GWM Ora model

GWM’s new electric saloon will be called Ora 07 when it arrives next year

The rebranding will take effect from January 2024 when the first Ora 03-badged cars arrive on British shores.

The VW ID.3-rivalling electric hatchback, which is now available in two battery sizes 45kWh and 59kWh and starts at £31,995, will continue to be called Funky Cat until that time.

GWM Ora UK confirmed that there will be no changes to any dealerships, corporate identity and marketing.

GMW Ora UK managing director Toby Marshall said: ‘After one year of operations in the UK market, the GWM Ora UK team has made exceptional progress.

‘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.

‘I look forward to sharing more news about our full Ora 03 line-up and our highly anticipated Ora 07 very soon.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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