Every car company worldwide has its unique logos and brand identities. Some companies simply use the founder’s name as the brand, with the logo being stylized letters of the brand. However, certain companies have captivating stories behind their brand and logo. In the following, we invite you to explore three car companies whose logos and brands are linked to the most intriguing tales.
In the beginning, Rolls-Royce solely adopted a basic logo comprising of two R letters interlocking. Nevertheless, countless car owners desired something more remarkable for their vehicles. One such owner, Count John Scott Mongatu, approached his friend, sculptor Charles Robison Sykes, with a request to design a unique emblem to adorn the roof of his Rolls-Royce automobile.
Following a detailed discussion, Montagu and Sykes reached a collective decision to conceive a symbol of deity. Eleanor Thornton, Montagu’s secretary and romantic partner, served as the inspiration and model for Sykes. His initial rendition gave form to a petite statue portraying a girl with her hand delicately placed upon her lips, with her dress gracefully swaying in the wind. This design embodied the hidden and intimate love shared between Montagu and Eleanor.
Earl Montagu and Charles Rolls, who were both founders of Rolls-Royce, were very good friends. As a result of their close relationship, Rolls-Royce eventually chose to adopt the symbol created by Sykes and incorporate it into their car models. They decided to name this distinguished emblem “The Whisper.”
Sykes made the decision to alter The Whisper to resemble the current Spirit of Ecstasy emblem, and he gave it the name The Spirit of Speed. He further referred to this symbol as a graceful nymph, a goddess representing bliss and delight, who opted to roam the streets in pure enjoyment, settling on the car’s nose. Rolls-Royce sought to relish the open air while indulging in the melodious tunes produced by the fluttering of her garments in the wind.
During the late 1980s, Toyota faced a decline in the US market as German competitors gained an advantage. To establish a strong presence and compete with luxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota aimed to introduce a high-end car. However, they faced a challenge as the Toyota brand was predominantly associated with durable vehicles that lacked a premium touch.
In addition to designing and manufacturing a luxury car, Toyota also had the task of finding a suitable brand name for the vehicle. Out of the 219 submitted names, four made it to the final round: Vectre, Verone, Caliber, and Alexis. Ultimately, Alexis was selected as the chosen name. However, during deliberations, Toyota leaders decided to shorten it to Lexus.
There are various explanations regarding the meaning of the name Lexus, with one popular belief being that it symbolizes “Luxury Export to the United States” due to its focus on manufacturing luxury cars for the American market. Another theory suggests that Lexus represents a fusion of the words “Luxury” and “Elegance”, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to both qualities. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the name Lexus itself does not have a definitive or concrete meaning.
Mercedes-Benz’s roots can be traced back to the merger of two separate car companies. The first of these, Benz & Co., Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Mannheim, was founded by Karl Benz in 1883. In 1886, this company made history by introducing the world’s first automobile.
In 1890, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach joined forces to establish Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. Just two years later, the company introduced the Phoenix engine, marking the launch of their first car model.
After the death of Daimler in 1900, the Austrian diplomat and businessman Emil Jellinek made a significant financial investment in Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. However, he had a few specific requests for the car model that Maybach was to design. Additionally, Jellinek asked that the car be named after his newly-born daughter, Mercedes. The name Mercedes translates to “gift” or “affection” in Spanish.
In a sudden turn of events, the Mercedes car model experienced a tremendous surge in popularity. This prompted Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft to make the decision, in June 1902, of adopting this name as the brand for all its car models. Remarkably, a mere three days later, the name Mercedes was officially registered as a trademark.
Following the conclusion of World War I, both Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Co. Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Mannheim encountered numerous challenges in their business operations. In order to revive their businesses, the two companies made the decision in 1926 to merge and establish a new automobile company under the brand name Mercedes-Benz.
The origin of the Mercedes-Benz 3-pointed star logo can be traced back to a postcard sent by Gottlieb Daimler to his wife in the 1970s. In the postcard, he had marked the location of his residence with a 3-pointed star. Enclosed with the star was a message that read, “Someday, this star will illuminate the factories of our triumphant success.”
Paul and Adolf Daimler, the two sons of Gottlieb Daimler, later transformed their father’s idea into a symbol featuring a yellow star with three points. This symbol underwent numerous improvements throughout the years and eventually evolved into the iconic three-pointed star surrounded by a gleaming silver circle that we know today.
Originally tied to the Daimler family, the symbolic three-pointed star has evolved to embody the prowess and widespread acclaim of Daimler engines across various terrains, waterways, and skies.
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