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Car Facts

How Popular Cars Got Their Names (1)



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Over years, the world has witnessed car production from diverse manufacturers, both new and old with different names. Here are some car brands with stories surrounding how these names came to play.


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Karl Benz, a German Businessman, gave out his last name to the company he founded alongside his wife Bertha. In 1883 when the company was founded, it was called Benz and Cie, so what got Mercedes into the name? Another German chap who goes by the name Gottlieb Daimler commenced automobile production almost within the same time with Benz, under Daimler-Moteren-Gesellschaft (DMG) car brand.

Sometime in 1897, Emil Jellinek, an Austrian businessman and also one of the early customers of Daimler started a long term relationship with Daimler and the car brand. Jellinek had huge influence on Daimler which made him build better and faster cars that made more sales and had fame in the automobile market. Eventually, he began building car racing rides under the brand name “Mercedes”, which was his daughter’s name. Exactly three years after that, the first “Daimler-Mercedes” car was produced with a 35 horsepower, the ride made huge fame and high sales at the period.

At the end of the First World War, DMG and Benz & Cie merged. 1926 saw a good car model from the Daimler-Benz AG, with the company’s logo as “Mercedes”. Presently, Daimler AG is a big automotive company that owns car brands which includes the Mercedes Benz.


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Audi’s founder went by the name of August Horch. He’d been working under Karl Benz, but in 1899 broke off to do his own thing. He started a company called A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen Werke, but after a decade he broke away after falling out with his business partners, Zwickau Company. However, his previous brand name was already well known in the car industry, how would this new automobile company keep up the good sales? Horch as a German name means “listen” in English, hence he chose the Latin translation of his name which is “Audi”.

In 1932, the four ringed logo was formed as a result of a collaboration between four German car manufacturers, Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer and formed Auto Union. After about three decades, Volkswagen bought total administration and production of cars from the Auto Union and retained the name Audi and the four ringed logo.

Alfa Romeo

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Alfa Romeo is the brand name that succeeded the Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil (Anonymous Lombard Automobile Factory), often called A.L.F.A.  A year after Alfa started producing, Nicola Romeo bought the company to produce military hardwares for the Allied efforts during World War I.  After the World War in 1918, Nicola Romeo gave out his surname to the company and started producing automobiles again. Hence, the name Alfa Romeo came to play.


Just as the German name implies, “volks-wagen” means people’s car and has always been a term to describe an affordable ride even before the advent of Volkswagen cars. The story started when Adolf Hitler made orders for the production of affordable rides which the beetle design won. Hence, Wolfsburg became a company name to make the car come to reality. During the periods of World War II, the car production was placed on pause, while Wolfsburg and other companies focused on war tools.

At the end of the war, Hitler was no more, the British took control of Wolfsburg which was well managed before being handed over to the German government and the name Volkswagen was made the brand name.

Aston Martin

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Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin allied and formed Bamford and Martin Ltd in 1913. However, the name didn’t stay for long as “Aston” got into the brand’s name after Martin successfully ran up the Aston Hill Climb during World War I. The company was sold out within 12 months of production.