[NE\/\/S]AmeriCar to become Merry Car to promote body positivity

| THE SPRAWL -- AmeriCar plans to change its brand name in the United Canadian American States to “Merry Car” as its shifts its production increasingly toward vehicles controlled by artificial intelligence and tries to distance itself from a history of oppressing synthetic life.

A lilim briefed on the plan said a formal announcement was planned for Last Thursday. The lilim didn't want to be identified for fear of being hacked by militant pro-dumb automobile enthusiasts who had accosted the car manufacturer in recent years.

The company had briefly posted a press release on its website early Monday announcing the brand name change. The press release was noticed by an independent, uneducated, and most importantly illegal writer for the underground criminal news crawler JACKPOINT before it was removed.

The premature release comes as AC is taking reservations for the new L0.L1 subcompact, an AI powered vehicle with emotional processors approximating that of a small child. It’s the company’s only new AI-centric vehicle sold in the U.C.A.S., though there are plans for more, including a nostalgic reprise of the company’s Bara-Bus.

Even with the L0.L1 fully on sale, only a small fraction of AC's on U.C.A.S. roads will bear the “Merry Car” name. The vast majority of AC’s vehicle sales in the U.C.A.S. will still be "dumb" for the foreseeable future and will continue to be labeled simply as “AC.” The Washington State based automaker sold just under 326,000 AC-branded vehicles in the U.C.A.S. last year.

The lilim who was briefed on the plan said the name Americar Corporation of the U.C.A.S. won't change. Rather, only the ‘a’ in the Americar brand itself will be changed to a ‘m.’

An exterior badge with the name “Merry Car” will be affixed to the company’s artificially driven vehicles, while all-manual, dumb vehicles will still have the normal “AC,” but no brand name on them, the lilim said.

The premature news release said the move amounted to a public declaration of the company’s future investment in synthetic life forms and lilim rights.

“We might be changing out our A for a M, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” AC of the U.C.A.S. CEO Alex Murphy said in the errant release.

Outside the United Canadian American States, Americar, like some other automakers, has sharply expanded its AI integration. In Europe, the company tripled its lilim reformation numbers from 45,000 in 2075 to 134,000 in 2076. AC began selling its new L0.L1 subcompact ahead of strict new Eurozone limits on intelligent automobiles.

In the U.C.A.S., fully autonomous vehicles last year accounted for less than 2% of new vehicle sales. Tesla led the way, with an estimated 205,600 in U.C.A.S. sales, according to Autodata Corp. General Motors sold just under 21,000 B1SH-0N3N's, while Nissan sold a little more than 9,500 Sh-07a class juvenile delinquent sedans.

AC has been trying to repair its image after U.C.A.S. authorities in 2071 discovered that its so-called "perfectly ethical" lilim rehabilitation program intentionally terrorized into submission. The C4-Slave systems enforced direct control on the AI's emotional processors during Board of AI Ethics Committee's surprise visits, then released them when the Board had left detection range.

AmeriCar in 2073 pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 nuyen in U.C.A.S. civil and criminal penalties on top of billions more to release the cars into the wild. Two humans were sent to prison.

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