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- Many car companies, like Ford and Chrysler, are named after their founder’s last names
- Other automakers, like Aston Martin and Cadillac, have a more unique background to their recognizable names.
- Here are nine automakers who have a more interesting explanation to the names that the companies bear.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Many car companies, such as Ford and Chrysler, are named after their founder’s last names — Henry Ford and Walter Chrysler respectively.
Here are nine popular car companies with names that are far more complicated than just the surname of a founder.
Subaru is based on a real constellation.
Subaru is the Japanese word for "unite," which is the most direct explanation for the name.
A six-star cluster in Pleiades, a constellation in Taurus, is also named Subaru, according to the company. The six-star constellation is what inspired the Subaru logo.
Subaru also claims to be the first automaker with a Japanese name.
Nissan is an abbreviation.
Nissan was originally named Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha, or Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. However, the company changed its name to Nissan in 1934.
The name was changed when Nippon Sangyo, a holding company that the founder’s father owned, bought out the company that according to to the company’s website.
Audi was nearly named after a last name.
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
When Audi founder August Horch was first deciding what to name his new company, he considered settling with his last name, according to Automotive News. However, his name was already being used by A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen Werke, an auto company he helped found but later separated from.
Instead, Horch — which means "listen" in German — settled with Audi, the Latin translation of that word.
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