Skip to main content

Audi: Audi’s famous four linked rings represent the four companies that merged in 1932 to create a new brand – Auto Union. The companies – Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer – still built their own vehicles, but after Volkswagen bought Auto Union in 1965, Audi eventually became the sole nameplate.

Audi

1 of 8

Mercedes-Benz: The founder of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, Gottlieb Daimler, first used a three-pointed star as the logo for his cars in 1909, with each point representing Daimler’s ambition to dominate in the air, on the sea and on land. When Daimler merged with a company owned by Karl Benz, the tri-star was put into a circle surrounded by the company’s new name: Mercedes-Benz.

Laura Leyshon/The Globe and Mail

2 of 8

Ferrari: That famous prancing horse of Ferrari was first associated with an Italian flying ace of the First World War, Francesco Baracca, who had painted the horse on the side of his plane. Baracca was shot down and killed in 1918. Enzo Ferrari met the pilot’s mother , Countess Paolina, a few years later when he was racing, and she suggested using the horse would bring him luck . When Ferrari eventually began making his own cars, he added the black horse with a yellow background , which was a symbolic colour of his birthplace, Modena .

ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/Reuters

3 of 8

Ford: In 1966, Henry Ford II hired the legendary graphic designer Paul Rand to rethink the Ford logo. Rand came up with a sleeker version of the traditional Blue Oval, with sans serif type inside a flatter oval shape. However, Henry Ford ’s son decided against changing one of the most iconic car logos. of all time.

Ford

4 of 8

Story continues below advertisement

Hyundai: It’s easy to assume the italicized H on the front of every Hyundai is simply the company’s first initial, but there’s more to it than that. The H represents two people shaking hands – one is a company representative and the other is a satisfied customer. And The oval surrounding the two represents Hyundai’s global expansion beyond the company’s home of South Korea.

Hyundai

5 of 8

Subaru: Subaru’s odd-looking logo with stars in an oval is the result of the company’s own name; it’s the Japanese word for the Pleiades celestial star cluster. The stars on a dark blue background represent the companies that joined together to form Fuji Heavy Industries, which owns Subaru.

Subaru

6 of 8

Volkswagen: This Volkswagen logo was the result of an in-house competition among the company’s German factory workers in 1938. Franz Reimspiess, who worked on the Beetle’s engine design, was the winner, though his original plan had the stacked VW we know today circled with a stylized swastika in honour of Nazi Germany. Obviously, That was omitted after the Allies took over the factory.

Volkswagen

7 of 8

BMW: The BMW logo The logo is not, in fact, a depiction of a spinning propeller, as many people think. First Designed in 1917, the blue and white represent the colours of Bavaria in Germany, where the company is based. The logo was then used, however, in various print advertisements in the next few years advertising BMW’s radial aircraft engines.

Kevin Van Paassen/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

8 of 8

Report an error Editorial code of conduct