The True Meaning Of Car Company Names

If you've ever wondered about the history behind car company names, here's a chance to find some information.


For more than a hundred years, the humble car has been part of our lives. From being a means of getting from A to B, many of them have gone on to become iconic design classics. The names of many of the manufacturers have become bywords for various qualities and characteristics, but have you ever wondered where those names come from?

Many car companies are named after their founders, of course. They include Ford, Renault, Citroen, Buick and Rolls-Royce. The latter was a collaboration between electrical engineer Henry Royce and car dealer Charles Rolls, who met each other in 1906. Some other company names have rather more obscure origins, however.

VOLVO

The Swedish manufacturer began building automobiles back in 1927, and in the ensuing years has become a major worldwide brand. The name is Latin in origin, and means ‘I roll’. They make a wide selection of cars, every one of which is well known for being among the safest on the road.

BMW

One of the most famous names in the whole industry, BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke. The company is based in Munich. The company, one of Germany’s largest, employs more than 95,000 people. These days, they have become something of a byword for comfort and style.

FIAT

The Italian company began trading way back in 1899, and is almost as old as the car itself. The name is an acronym which stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which in English means Italian Automobile Factory of Turin. FIAT manufacture vehicles to suit all budgets and all tastes.

SAAB

Another acronym-based company name, this one being the Swedish translation of Swedish Aeroplane Company limited. Saab was founded in 1937 in Trollhättan, a city that lies 75km north of Gothenburg. The company’s cars are known for their sleek styling and understated elegance.

SUBARU

The Japanese car manufacturer has been in existence since the 1950s, so is a relative newcomer. The name is from the Japanese word for the Pleiades star cluster, which is represented on the company’s logo. Subaru make a variety of vehicles, but are perhaps best known for cars with high performance engines.

MITSUBISHI

The Mitsubishi conglomerate produces an awful lot more than cars. They are also involved in shipping, banking, food and chemicals. Their name has several rough translations, including three diamonds, hence their distinctive logo. In recent years, Mitsubishi cars have enjoyed a boom in popularity in many countries around the world.

The True Meaning Of Car Company Names The True Meaning Of Car Company Names Reviewed by Sandipan Chakraborty on August 25, 2011 Rating: 5
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