Car Brand Names and their History : Part 2
Cadillac was named after the 18th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit, Michigan. Cadillac is a small town in the South of France. The company, founded in 1902, was purchased by General Motors in 1909 and survives to this day as a GM brand.
Chevrolet was named after company co-founder Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss-born auto racer. The company was merged into General Motors in 1917 and survives only as a brand name.
The company was founded and named after Walter Chrysler (1875–1940) on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company (est. 1904) was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation.
first called DAT, from the initials of its financiers Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. Soon changed to DATSON to imply a smaller version of their original car, then (as SON can mean “loss” in Japanese) again to DATSUN when they were acquired by Nissan.
FIAT acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin).
Ford was named after its founder, Henry Ford, who introduced automobile mass production in 1914.
Honda came from the name of its founder, Soichiro Honda. The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963. Powered by a small 356 cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car, which followed the T360 into production in October 1963. Its chain driven rear wheels point to Honda’s motorcycle origins
Hyundai connotes the sense of “the present age” or “modernity” in Korean. Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company’s first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968.
The company was earlier known by the name Nippon Sangyo which means “Japan Industries.” Masujiro Hashimoto founded The Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911. In 1914, the company produced its first car, called DAT.
The Renault corporation was founded in 1899 as Société Renault Frères by Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand. The first Renault car, the Renault Voiturette 1CV was sold to a friend of Louis’ father after giving him a test ride on 24 December 1898. The client was so impressed with the way the tiny car ran and how it climbed the streets that he bought it.
Saab was founded in 1937 in Sweden as Svenska Aeroplan aktiebolaget (Swedish Aeroplane Company); the last word is typically abbreviated as AB, hence Saab and Saab Automobile AB.
Subaru came from the Japanese name for the constellation known to Westerners as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, was formed from a merger of six companies, and the constellation is featured on the company’s logo.
Toyota was taken from the name of the founder, Sakichi Toyoda. Initially called Toyeda, it was changed after a contest for a better-sounding name. The new name was written in katakana with eight strokes, a number that is considered lucky in Japan.
Volvo came from the Latin word volvo, which means “I roll.” It was originally a name for a ball bearing being developed by SKF.
The name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia
Automobili Lamborghini was founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini, the child of viticulturists from the comune (township) of Renazzo di Cento, Province of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy.