There are references in almost all car badges – here’s how to spot some of them

Whilst many drivers are proud to get behind the wheel of a car that bears a certain badge, few know the meaning of each car logo.

Seen as a quick way to identify the company that made a vehicle, almost all the logos that represent car manufacturers have hidden features that can reveal information about the history and mentality of the firms.


All cars manufactured by Audi have a logo consisting of four interlocked circles. However, few realise that this logo is a reference to their past.

Following economic problems in the early 1930s, the German vehicle manufacturers Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer merged into one company, initially called Auto Union.

Initial versions of the symbol featured all four of the prior logos inside each of the rings, before introducing the cleaner version we know today in 1969.

READ MORE: ‘I replaced my Tesla with a petrol car because of an annoying feature’


Whilst many believe that the Toyota logo depicts the head of a person wearing a cowboy hat, the logo first seen in 1989 has another meaning.

The logo shows a stylised letter-T, which is made from three different-sized ovals that all overlap.

According to Toyota, the icon represents the trust that exists between the company and the customers, with the outer ring depicting the world, a reference that Toyotas are strong sellers in many countries.

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Similarly, the Hyundai logo also represents the relation that the South Korean company has with their clients.

A stylised letter-H within an oval, Hyundai’s symbol is said to represent a salesperson shaking the hand of a buyer.

The company state that the logo highlights their commitment to making sure that their customers are content.  


However, some automotive logos make reference to the company’s engineering origins, which predate the launch of their first car.

Citroen’s logo, which features two arrows on top of one another, depicts the chevrons found on a double herringbone gear, which the founder of the company, Andre Citroen, studied as a student.

Before making his first car, Andre manufactured these gears for large ships, with some experts stating that they were fitted onto the Titanic.

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