Automotive trivia – history of car logos

Have you ever seen a car without its automotive badge? Yes, in India, it seems to be a favorite pastime of thieves who actually steal these badges and sell them at cheap rates in the grey market. Well, here I am not going to actually start up on the way these logos can actually be prevented from stolen but I actually stumbled upon a certain manuscript which actually detailed all the history or trivia behind the different logos of the automobiles.

Audi :

Audi was actually a joint foundation of 4 companies. They were a part of the Auto Consortium Union. The founders of each of this companies, Wanderer, Horch, DKW and Audi finally thought of merging these companies together, in 1932. Then the World War happened and eventually the company name as Audi was dissolved. In Latin, Audi means to “hear”. The 4 rings in the Audi logo mean the 4 founders of the company and after the war ended and normalcy was restored, in 1965, the 4 rings was finally back to be being used as the logo.


The BMW logo is in commemoration of the fact that the company used to manufacture aero engines for the military. It is a very funny thing that these aero engines were used in those planes which destroyed the places where currently BMW has its factories. The round feature in the logo represents a rotating screw in the aircraft engine while the blue and white background means the open sky.

Mercedes :

The 3 pointed star is one of the most revered logos in the automotive world. However, it has a deep meaning and that translates to Mercedes power over air, sea and land. In 1909, Daimler first used it and then subsequently it was combined with the Benz wreath laurel in 1926. This actually meant the union of the two firms. In 1937, the current iteration of the 3 pointed star came into being.

Mitsubishi :

Mitsubishi first started out by building ships. Yes, they built ships at that time. It is said that a ship’s propellers inspired the company’s logo, the 3 diamonds. It is also said  that the Mitsu logo was inspired by the combination of two family emblems and there is no relation with the shipping background in this one.

Renault :

Initially the diamond logo of the Renault was circular in nature and it was more of an emblem for the bonnet. Earlier Renault cars had their horns behind this emblem and later on in 1922, in order for the horn sound to be heard more clearly, the mid portion of the logo was cut and the circle became a diamond.

Ferrari :

The famous Italian manufacturer’s logo was inspired by WWI’s flying ace Francesco Baracca’s emblem. After Francesco Baracca’s death, when Enzo started building race bred Alfas, the former’s parents persuaded Enzo to adopt this symbol for his cars and that’s how the prancing horse symbol came into picture.

Porsche :

The coat of arms is what the Porsche badge is all about. The city of Stuttgart was actually  built on the location of an earlier stud farm – hence the horse. The antlers and red-and-black stripes are part of the arms of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg.

Toyota :

The Toyota symbol feels like that of a cowboy in a big hat, but is actually three ellipses depicting the hearts of the customer, product and the ever-expanding technological advancements and boundless opportunities that lie ahead. Needless to say, the brand stands upto its reputation.

Well, these were some of the brands that I could recall as of now and more details about the same later on in a separate section.

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