Events Globalist Coffeehouse: A Cross-Cultural Look at Cars

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  • STARTOct 21st - 6:30pm

  • ENDOct 21st - 7:30pm


Globalist Coffeehouse: A Cross-Cultural Look at Cars

Please join like-minded “global thinkers” for a monthly discussion on the major political/economic issues that our world is currently experiencing. Due to the Delta-Variant, this will be an online zoom discussion. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to return to an in-person discussion at the Shoal Creek Saloon.  The topic will be Cars!

And now for something a little different: a cross-cultural look at cars or “you are what you drive.”   Cars, cars, cars – they are everywhere and in every society. But what brands of cars are successful in a culture or a country? Which ones make a statement or suggest a certain economic/social status? In the US we have our own stereotypes – “soccer moms” drive Honda Odyssey minivans, and “rednecks” drive Chevy Silverado pickups.

But what about other cultures and countries? In China, you drive a Lexus to demonstrate your status, but why not a Mercedes? Why is a car brand successful or a total “bomb” in certain countries?  A wonderful naming disaster is the Mitsubishi “Pajero.” A very good vehicle, but it didn’t sell in Spain or Spanish speaking cultures because it was lost in a very negative translation. There are numerous other lost in translation car brands. The Chevy Nova did not sell in Latin America because translated within the culture “nova” meant “it doesn’t go.”  The Toyota Fiera was translated as an “ugly old woman” in Puerto Rico.  There are also car subcultures in many societies, such as Low Riders in the U.S.  Japan has “Dodge Van Racers” and in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East there are “Desert Drifters.”

What about your own observations or even personal experiences with automobile culture in the countries you have worked in or traveled through?   Please join us for what will be a very interesting conversation.

For further information please contact:

Ellen Murry, WAC Advisory Board
Polina Anastassieva, WAC management team



October 21
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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World Affairs Council Austin
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