Let’s get back to the car business. We know a lot of the car companies are named after their founders – the trend was spread worldwide from the earliest electric automobiles. These include Ford (after Henry Ford), Peugeot (after the Peugeot family), also later Bentley (after Walter Owen Bentley), Porsche (after Ferdinand Porsche). The trend is also present in Asia by car manufacturers like Toyota (after Kiichiro Toyoda) and Honda (after Soichiro Honda).
However, there are still original company names between the world-wide known brands in the car industry. The naming strategy is often so unique that they cannot be put in categories. But Audi and Volvo can. Can you guess what the connection between those two famous car companies is in terms of naming? Latin.
Volvo – on the different car company names
Despite that Volvo is a Swedish company the founders didn’t name the car Viking or Nordic or anything like that. They decided on the Latin word volvere, meaning to roll. It seems a logical word choice since the purpose of working on a Swedish car project was to build cars that could withstand the cold Scandinavian weather and uneven roads – basically a car that rolls. What they did is only conjugate the verb volvere in first person (because unlike in English many other languages use similar but still different words when saying I roll, you roll, etc) and voilà – you have Volvo. It’s like the car speaks to you – I roll.
Audi – on the translated car company names
The reason for naming the famous car company Audi isn’t that spontaneous compared to Volvo. The truth is that the founder August Horch (and no the AU in Audi doesn’t come from the first two letters of the founder’s name) had originally founded another car company named August Horch & Co. This happened in 1904 when the German engineer had quit working for Karl Benz. However, after some problems in the company, in 1909 Horch founded a second company – but his family name could not be used again as a name for the company because he didn’t have the rights on the company name. The story says that one of his business partners’ son came up with the name Audi. But this wasn’t a random Latin word that simply starts with the letter A (as you may know by now from our blog posts having a company name that starts with A is great because you get listed early in alphabetically ordered lists). If you speak German you’ll know that horch comes from the infinitive form of horchen and actually has a meaning – to listen (carefully). Now, can you guess what the Latin translation of horchen is? It’s audire – a verb that when conjugated in the same form as horch, becomes audi. The name seemed logical since August Horch could no longer use his own name. And a little more than 100 years later Audi is still one of the most popular names in the car industry.
If you are interested in learning more naming stories about car brands and models you can check out our car-related naming articles on Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti, the currently most expensive car Lykan, the latest Rolls-Royce Wraith model, or an article on translated top 10 dog names and their meaning.
Audi is not Latin, but an abriviation of Auto Union Deutsch-Industrie
That is not true Peter, I work directly in training for VW, Audi came from the latin word Listen, It is not from any other meaning. Because Horch means Listen in German, He wanted to find a way to represent his last name but was unable to use Horch after leaving his own company. He then came up with Audi, Derived from Audire.
So what about FIAT ? This Means to do something good. Comes from latin also FIO.
FIAT is an acronym. It stands for Fabrico Italiano Automobile Torino
No FIAT is Fix It Again, Tony!
FIAT – First In All Troubles
For volvo, the male logo does have any sense?
The Volvo symbol is the symbol of Mars. It is just a coincidence it is also the symbol for males.
Actually, they car makers named their company Volvo because (and I cannot make accent marks with this computer) volvo is Norwegian for a type of powerful female witch. It is where we get the word vulva. Many men name their cars after women or consider them women, so the car is more like a wandering womb or a sexy vixen taking the man for a ride. The male symbol is not coincidental, then, but their attempt to bestow male power on a decidedly female (to men) power, perhaps to control it?
The Latin origin of the Volvo name is correct but the Audi story in the article is questionable. One commenter wrote that Audi is an acronym for Auto Union Deutsche Industrie which is what I always heard and was formed from an amalgam of several German companies in the ashes of WW II.
Volvo took the symbol for iron (same as the symbols for Mars and male) as theirs to denote strength. As for the company name being the same as that of a Norwegian witch, I’d have to look that one up but as a physician I can tell you that the origin of the word “vulva” is also Latin and has nothing to do with Scandinavian folklore.
Whether or not it was the intension, it is a pretty big coincidence that “Völva” is so similar to Volvo. http://freya.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/?page_id=258
Astrologically speaking, Mars does rule iron, which likely how the symbol ♂️ became the symbol for iron.
Volvo; Mars is the latin got of war and iron. Cars are made of iron…
Audi does’nt stand for “Auto Union Deutsche Industrie”.
Audi is one of the Auto Union’s 4 circle logo, actually.
Audi + late Horsch + late Wanderer + late DKW = Auto Union.
Nowaday, Audi is the only one brand remaining (VW Gruppe).
the “I roll” refers to the initial ball bearing manufacture business and not the car business for VOLVO. And the Male symbol is the called the Iron Mark which signifies the superior Swedish iron manufacturing process and quality of the iron which indirectly means a high quality car.
The AUDI company published a brochure that gave Latin as the origin.
Audi is derived from audio or auditory in Latin referring to listen, like listen to the engine, that kind of thing
Deepak is correct about “I roll” and ball bearings, although it has nothing specifically to do with cars. The Volvo brand was first established as a subsidiary of SKF in 1915, over a decade before they made their first car. SKF, of course, were and remain a leading manufacturer of bearings.
And Alain is correct about Audi, which was represented by one of the four Auto Union rings in pre-WW2 Germany.
If you look at Audi´s cases. It´s always one of the 1st companies to be mentioned when you see list of the automotive companies. Or in a directory
VOLVO is a symbol of iron, my best choice is VOLVO
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