Automotive Company Logos With Hidden Meanings

Probably one of the most important aspect of any company is a well-designed logo. And without a doubt, a lot of process and thought goes into designing a logo – aesthetics, kerning, symbolism and a ton of other factors! More often than not, a logo denotes much more than merely the company’s name; it might also carry some deep significance – which may be the company’s history, inspiration, or the ideologies behind the company’s working.

In this article, we take a look at the hidden meanings behind the logos of popular automotive brands.



Astronomy enthusiasts might recognize the Pleidas star cluster which is denoted on the logo; and the word ‘Subaru’ is named after the Japanese word for the same.

The six stars represent the six companies which merged together to form Fuji Heavy Industries – out of which Subaru is the automotive manufacturer.


This logo can be instantly recognized almost anywhere in the world, owing to its presence on popular racing cars such as the Eclipse and the Lancer Evo series.

The three red diamonds on the Mitsubishi logo represent the three ship fleets owned by the company founders, which was also the first major activity of the Japanese manufacturer.

  1. VOLVO

A circle with an arrow pointing outwards is commonly the symbol of masculinity, and the symbolism is pretty much present in this logo. The symbol actually represented Mars – the Roman God of War.

It signifies the relationship between the God of War and the metal used to manufacture weapons at that time – Iron. The Volvo founders wanted a symbol to represent the strength of their cars, and this symbol fit the bill!

Another interesting factoid: The name ‘Volvo’ literally means ‘I roll’ in Latin, referring to the activity of manufacturing bearings with which the company first entered the automotive industry!


This is a very simple logo, and is the same when viewed upside down. The ‘H’ denoted in the logo stands for Hyundai, of course. But it is also symbolic of the company’s desire to expand.

The elliptical shape indicates the company global expansion; and the ‘H’ is also symbolic of the company and the customer shaking hands.


Another simple logo, the Chevrolet logo is also referred to as “The Bowtie” emblem. It is said to be inspired from the design of a wallpaper in a French hotel room where GM founder William Durant stayed at once.

A research by historian Ken Kauffman suggests that the bowtie emblem was actually based upon a logo for coalettes. Others claim that the design was based upon the Swiss Cross, in order to honour the homeland of Louis Chevrolet’s (who was one of the founders of the company) parents.


Finally, saving one of the most interesting logos for the last, here we have the Toyota logo. The logo comprises of three ellipses – which represents the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress and limitless opportunities of the future.

The logo also has eight strokes, and this was considered as a talisman for the Japanese company, as the number eight is regarded as a lucky number in East Asian culture.

Regarding the name, in Japanese, “Toyo” signifies abundance, and “ta” means rice. In some Asian cultures, the rice represents wealth, so there’s another lucky charm!

Finally, there’s this symbolism as well!

Every logo has a meaning behind it, and the way it’s designed can often be considered as sheer genius. In the next part, I’ll be talking about the meaning of logos of luxury car companies.

This is Part 1 of our two-phase article. Read Part II here.

Exit mobile version