Tesla, Lincoln Gaining Popularity as Americans Name More Babies After Car Brands

Car-inspired baby names
In the US 764,000 boys, but only 142,000 girls were named after automobiles, which is a boy/ girl split ratio of 382 : 71. Carl Figuracion/Unsplash

When choosing a baby name there is a wide range of influence to draw from, whether it be family traditions, positive life experiences or even a favorite vehicle. And although car names retain a cheesy reputation, many parents still draw inspiration from the automotive industry.

Uswitch — an insurance, energy, broadband and mobile switching site —sorted through government naming data from 2000 to 2019 in order to determine the most popular car-inspired names of the past two decades.

Using a list of 86 names based on car manufacturers and models, removing popular people names that have been given to cars, such as Zoe, Uswitch compiled the roster of the top 10 names for boys and girls.

The analysis discovered that the car naming trend was more popular in boys than girls during that time. Austin, potentially inspired by the British Austin Motor Company, was clear winner for most popular boys name with 171,670, while Morgan, potentially inspired by the British Morgan Motor Company is the most popular at 98,326 names.

The top ten most popular car-inspired baby names for boys are:

  1. Austin - 171,670
  2. Cooper - 81, 597
  3. Devin - 65,767
  4. Hudson - 63, 573
  5. Lincoln - 60,682
  6. Bentley - 45, 339
  7. Holden - 20, 334
  8. Colt - 14, 648
  9. Morgan - 11, 828
  10. Prince - 9,316

The top ten most popular car-inspired baby names for girls are:

  1. Morgan - 98,326
  2. Mercedes - 11,381
  3. Devin - 4,178
  4. Lexus - 2,942
  5. Bentley - 2,358
  6. Austin - 2,105
  7. Cooper - 1,716
  8. Tesla -1,468
  9. Lincoln - 1,277
  10. Hudson - 1,274

On the opposite end, the least popular car baby name for boys was Chevrolet, with just five babies in 2017 named after the automobile company. For girls, the least common name is Mini as only five girls born in 2016 were most recently given the name.

"With the names of vehicle manufacturers and car models being so unique, it's easy to see why parents might take inspiration from the growing list of enticing names, said Florence Codjoe, a car insurance expert at Uswitch.

"Interestingly, as the world of motoring starts to adapt to the introduction of more electric vehicles, we're starting to see inspiration from electric vehicle brands too. For example, the name Tesla for boys has grown in popularity by 25.2 percent in the USA."

Although Tesla didn't rank in the overall top 10, the name's popularity has been rising steadily increasing since 2014. The company was founded in 2008 and by 2009 there were already five baby boys given the name. The most notable peak the name was in 2016 when 18 boys were named Tesla, — around the time Tesla sales broke records.

Celebrity influence can also cause naming spikes. In 2013, married actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard named their daughter Lincoln Bell Shepard and the following year twice as many baby girls had the name then the previous year.