History of cars and car companies will without a doubt fascinate you. But have you ever given a thought on how these car companies and certain cars got their names. It is very interesting to brood over the names of car making firms and their trademark vehicles.
Behind every Car and Car Company, there is an inventor and a founder or an entrepreneur. It has happened many a time that the inventors gave their names to their opus magnum. In the same way, most car companies are named after their founders. But there are a few car manufacturers that have got their name because of some other reason. Let us find out what the names of the car manufacturers have to say.
- August Horch founded the luxury car manufacturing company, Audi. As he was barred from using his own family name in his car business because of trademark infringement, he decided to name his car company ‘Audi’ which is the Latin translation of ‘Horch’ meaning ‘to hear’
- Volkswagen is a response to German Dictator Adolf Hitler's call for a car for the common folk. Volkswagen means 'people's car' in German.
- The naming of the Pontiac brand is a remembrance of the brave and headstrong American Indian chief, Chief Pontiac, who led an unsuccessful uprising against the British shortly after the French and Indian War.
- “Toyota”, derives its name from the Toyoda Loom Works in Kariya, Japan. When Toyoda Loom Works begun to make cars, the Toyoda family changed the 'd’ to a 't' to make it simpler and more elegant in Japanese script.
- Michio Suzuki established the Suzuki Motor Corporation and the Honda Motor Company is named after its founder Soichiro Honda.
- Walter P. Chrysler got the naming rights to the Maxwell Motor Company after he and another industrialist bought up shares in the firm over a two-year period.
- Franz Josef Popp renamed the Rapp Engine Works as the Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH or Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) in 1917 to signal a new beginning in the automotive world.
- Mahindra brothers in collaboration with Ghulam Mohammed established a franchise of Willys Jeeps and then baptized it as Mahindra & Mohammed, on 2nd October 1945. Post-partition, Ghulam Mohammed moved to Pakistan and the company was then re-named Mahindra & Mahindra.
- Buick Motor Car Company was founded in 1903 by David Buick. Founder of General Motors, William C. Durant succeeded him and kept the name Buick for one of his company divisions and for the car.
- Surprisingly, the man who practically created General Motors single-handedly never really liked the idea of a 'Durant' car. Moreover, General Motors began as International Motors Company. But Durant’s attorney advised him that it would be easier to raise capital under a new name and suggested the name General Motors Company.