Why did Toyoda name his company "Toyota?" What does "Audi" mean? What the heck is a Camaro? You might know the answers to some of these questions, and you might not. But even if you do, you'll want to take a look at this video from Mental Floss.

Over the course of seven minutes (it's an 8:16 video, but the last minute and 16 seconds is largely just housekeeping stuff), host John Green loads you up with all sorts of automotive naming tidbits, which are sure to be of use at your next pub quiz. Of course, you might know some of these already, like Hitler's connection with Ferdinand Porsche and Volkswagen, while some are a surprise, even to the members of the Autoblog team, like the meaning of "Hyundai" and "Corolla."

Take a look below for the info, courtesy of Mental Floss.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      thedriveatfive
      • 7 Months Ago
      Was worth watching. It really was not boring, but for people with ADHD (like me): Hyundai: The Present Age Tiburon: Shark VW: peoples car Toyota: easyer to write in japanese then toyada Corola and Camry both mean Crown Prius: to go before Nissan: combination of Nippon Sangyo Camaro: No one knows Corvette: Named after a small destoyer like vessel Mercedes-Benz: Combo of two seperate prior auto brands Jeep ~ G.P. ~ General purpose Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolles Royce, Honda, Caddilac: named after people who started them Aston Martin: Named after place: Aston, and people: Martins. Pontiac: Named for pontiac michigan Audi: Listen Volvo: I roll in latin Subaru: Pleiades star constilation ALFA: anonima lombarda fabbrica automobili FIAT: fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torine
      JayH
      • 7 Months Ago
      andre citro├źn, the peugeot family, the gurgel guy from brazil, renault also a last name, like lancia... those are boring... interesting is to know the names that mean something in different languages, like the ones that come from latin, or for exemple how the volkswagens are related to wind... or FIAT tempra... FIAT marea... this video could've been much longer ^_^
      thefinalmonster
      • 7 Months Ago
      I would have loved to READ these. Stopped playing the video 1/3's in.
        SpikedLemon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @thefinalmonster
        Yeah, I'm really not a fan of watching video content. Can I just get the transcript?
      fran
      • 7 Months Ago
      I just want the answer for Ferrari LaFerrari. Why? Just why!??
        scott.bezold
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fran
        I too was upset with such a stupid sounding name but my 1st generation italian friend summed this up for me. Apparently, in Italy you don't say I have a 360 modena or sl55 AMG like we do they simply say I have "the ferrari" or I have "the Mercedes". La Ferrari goes with this theme, since there is no higher model you have "the Ferrari" (La Ferrari in Itialian). Made sense to me hearing it from a 63 year old Italian guy.
      someone
      • 7 Months Ago
      That would have been so much better to have been able to read instead of watch.
        David
        • 7 Months Ago
        @someone
        Yes, especially given how horrible his pronunciations are. I mean, mispronouncing "Porsche," for example, really reduces his credibility. It's always bugged me how Subaru's logo only has six stars, rather than seven.
          Georg
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          Lachmund there was Porsche in the video at the Beetle section right at the start... and he mispronounced Porsche like 99% of all americans it is not Porsch it is PORSCH(E)
          GR
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          I speak Japanese and can tell you that Americans and most non-Japanese don't pronounce Subaru correctly. It's not "Sue-berr-Roo", but more a "Su/Bah/Ru". The pronunciation of the syllables are short, not stretched like how non-Japanese pronounce it. Watch a JDM Subaru commercial on youtube to see what I mean. Also, the Pleiades cluster was chosen as a representation of six companies merging after WWII from the disbandment of Nakajima Aircraft Co. to form Fuji Heavy Industries. Subaru was born from that. This is why their corporation is called Fuji Heavy Ind. Also, the word "Subaru" can mean "uniting together" so the double meaning worked perfectly.
          Andrew Pappas
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          Feurig it's right, Pleiades is many stars. Greek mythology lists seven sisters, but they have stories of a lost sister to account for those who can only see six. In Japanese mythology, it's only six...
          Lachmund
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          Oh thanks Georg. Had to watch the video twice anyeay but still missed it.
          Lachmund
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          There wasn't even Porsche in the video! He pronounced Horch in the wrong way though
          Timbo
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          Wasn't Subaru disbanded from 6 companies because they were a monopoly and created a lot (most) of the Japanese militaries war machines?
          Feurig
          • 7 Months Ago
          @David
          Technically the Pleiades has over 1000 stars I think, so 7 wouldn't really be correct either. ;)
      Pat
      • 7 Months Ago
      Interesting info but I don't quite agree on some interpretations of the names Pontiac = named after an eponynous coach & spring company --> try named after an Ottawa chief.
      S40Powered
      • 7 Months Ago
      That was kinda painful to watch.
      J W
      • 7 Months Ago
      Love the information, I wish someone else delivered it though.
      joe shmoe
      • 7 Months Ago
      passat means trade wind. or pass gas.
        Douglas
        • 7 Months Ago
        @joe shmoe
        move the P over 3 spaces and it becomes Asspat
      Terry Actill
      • 7 Months Ago
      Tell me why they called it the Pontiac Aztek. Tell me WHO thought that was a good idea.
      Jonathan Shew
      • 7 Months Ago
      This guy is a blow hard who miss states facts & completely ignores the real stories. He claims to be an expert on several other topics including health care & the economy. Where the heck is he broadcasting from, his moms dining room? That is just odd.
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