American Car Brands – All American Car Companies

American Car Brands

America pioneered mass-market car production in the beginning of the 20th century and was the largest car market in the world for over a hundred years, triggering creation of hundreds of brands.

However, it is ‘The Big Three’ that united the best American car brands and survived through times. They are General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler US. Joined by several other companies, these giants form what is one of the most influential car industries in the world.

The List of Major American Car Brands

Ford

Ford logo - American car brands

Founded: 1903
Founder: Henry Ford
Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Ford Motor Company
Owner: The Vanguard Group; Evercore Wealth Management; Ford family
Website: ford.com

Of all American car brands Ford probably has the most special place in automotive history. Founded by legendary entrepreneur Henry Ford, the company pioneered mass production of cars by introducing many innovations to the industry, such as assembly lines, and made cars affordable to middle class. Today Ford is a global automotive brand selling millions of vehicles worldwide.

Chevrolet

Chevrolet logo - American car brands

Founded: 1911
Founder: Louis Chevrolet; William C. Durant
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, U.S
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: chevrolet.com

Since the famous American “bowtie” brand’s foundation at the beginning of last century, Chevrolet has competed Ford in mass-market. Advertised as affordable vehicles, the company has always been GM’s leading brand. However, they also produce sports cars, including the famous Corvette, trucks and commercial transport. Chevrolet’s SUV, Suburban, built from 1933 is the longest-living nameplate in the world.

Chrysler

Chrysler logo - American car brands

Founded: 1925
Founder: Walter P. Chrysler
Headquarters: FCA US LLC Headquarters and Technology Center, Auburn Hills, Metro Detroit, Michigan, United States
Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Website: chrysler.com

From the start of its history, Chrysler marketed their vehicles under different brands depending on price tags and purpose, including Dodge, Plymouth and DeSoto. The American car manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy several times, but survived in 1970s and 2000s. Today Chrysler is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US and produces mass-market models.

Cadillac

Cadillac logo - American car brands

Founded: 1902
Founder: William Murphy; Lemuel Bowen; Henry M. Leland
Headquarters: Warren, Michigan, United States
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: www.cadillac.com

Cadillac is an old American luxury car brand, formed on Henry Ford Company base and later acquired by GM. Cadillac set the American standard of V8 engines, was often used for institutional and governmental purposes and provided platforms for limousines, ambulances, funeral vehicles. The company’s golden years fell to 1960s, with de Ville and Eldorado being major hits.

Dodge

Dodge logo - American car brands

Founded: 1900
Founder: John Francis Dodge; Horace Elgin Dodge
Headquarters: Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Parent: FCA US LLC
Website: www.dodge.com

Established in 1900 as automobile parts’ supplier, Dodge Brothers produced the first vehicle in 1914. The company soon merged with Chrysler and was positioned as mid-range car manufacturer. The brand has been also known for producing trucks. However, after Fiat takeover, Dodge was deprived of mass-market models and trucks and focused on performance vehicles, producing modern American sports cars.

Jeep

Jeep logo - American car brands

Founded: 1941
Headquarters: Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Parent: Chrysler
Website: jeep.com

The first Jeep automobiles, officially named Willys MB, were the main light 4×4 vehicles of the US army during World War II. Their off-road abilities, simple design and endurance triggered creation of a Jeep brand in 1950. Ever since Jeep has been a leader in American SUV market and has a big role in FCA group’s development program.

Ram

Ram truck logo - American car brands

Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Parent: FCA US LLC
Website: ramtrucks.com/en

Dodge has been among the leaders in truck manufacturing since the start of its history. However, after Fiat takeover, the truck division was separated from Dodge and was named Ram Trucks after the most successful pickup model. Today the company produces light and mid-weight trucks mainly for North American market.

Lincoln

Lincoln logo - American car brands

Founded: 1917
Founder: Henry M. Leland; Wilfred Leland
Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Ford Motor Company
Website: www.lincoln.com

Lincoln boasts notorious history as one of the best American luxury brands, being Ford’s division for most of its time. The manufacturer supplied limousines for many US presidents, including J.F.Kennedy. In March 2015 Lincoln revealed the concept of returning flagship model Continental that should boost the company’s presence in emerging Chinese luxury market.

Buick

Buick logo - American car brands

Founded: 1899
Founder: David Dunbar Buick
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: www.buick.com

Buick is the oldest American made car brand with over a hundred-year history that stood at the origins of GM. The marque is positioned in between Chevrolet and Cadillac in the company’s hierarchy and its models are basically rebranded Opel vehicles. Buick cars are sold at the markets where the German brand is not present, namely US, Canada, Mexico and China.

GMC

GMC logo - American car brands

Founded: 1901
Founder: William C. Durant
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: gmc.com

Since the beginning of the 20th century GMC has manufactured trucks and commercial vehicles. Despite being basically identical to Chevrolet vehicles, GMC models mostly aim corporate and commercial customers, demanding better trim level. The company also produced coaches up to late 1980s. Today GMC offers a wide range of trucks, SUVs and vans in North America and Middle East.

Tesla

Tesla Motors logo - American car brands

Founded: 2003
Founder: Martin Eberhard; Marc Tarpenning; Elon Musk; J. B. Straubel; Ian Wright
Headquarters: Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Website: www.tesla.com

Tesla Motors is a revolutionary electric cars and electric powertrains manufacturer, founded in California in 2003. With a goal to make fully electric cars affordable and convenient, Tesla keeps introducing innovations to the market and provides automotive giants like Daimler and Toyota with their in-house electric components. The brand created its own ‘Supercharger’ station network, available to Tesla S owners. This luxury 4-door sedan has become a symbol of a modern electric car.

These brands were lucky to make it through the history of ups and downs while America has seen many great car manufacturers that were discontinued due to financial or marketing reasons. One of the oldest car manufacturers in the world, Oldsmobile, was dropped by GM in 2004. Pontiac, Saturn and brutal SUV brand Hummer fell victims to GM major restructuring in 2010. Plymouth resulted surplus to Chrysler development plans in 2001. The same applied to Ford division Mercury, in 2011.

The List of Minor American Car Manufacturers

Hundreds of entrepreneurs took their chances trying to grab a slice of a huge pie, created by automotive boom in US at the beginning of last century. However, most of them went bankrupt or merged with bigger brands. With car market being extremely intense, modern businessmen see their opportunities in creating exclusive sport cars and providing tuning services, like Hennessey Performance Engineering, Panoz or Fisker Automotive.

Another way to enter the market is creating modern electric vehicles. Tesla Motors is a good example of modern successful business in automotive industry. Detroit Electric, that manufactured vehicles at the beginning of last century, was resurrected in 2008 to work on modern electric vehicles.

Eagle

Eagle logo - American car brands

Founded: 1988
Headquarters: Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Parent Company: Chrysler Corporation

Eagle was an affiliate of the Chrysler Corporation following the acquisition of American Motors Corporation (AMC).  It existed until the end of the 1998 model year. It was marketed as a more “European” model than the automaker’s typical vehicles.

Name Eagle was inspired by the four-wheel drive AMC Eagle models that were presented for the 1980 model year. This was the last of American Motors’ completely US designed cars and apparently, the primary massively produced crossover. The Eagle name likewise showed up on various Jeep cars.

Unlike Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth brands, the Eagle refused from the traditional Chrysler Corporation “Pentastar” symbol. Rather, all models featured the Eagle head logo, seen at the upper right.

Corvette

Corvette logo - American car brands

Founded: 1953
Headquarters: USA – Flint, St. Louis, Bowling Green
Parent Company: General Motors

Throughout the numerous years of its existence, the Corvette logo has experienced many structural adjustments and that some were unobtrusive, while others were serious. The symbolic on the flag’s emblem has also been altered.  Corvette has likewise observed a reasonable number of modifications. If you ever traced the history of Corvette logo, you might have noticed that their maple leaf sort of emblem, called a “fleur-de-lis” likewise appears after at some point.

The first Corvette logo was developed by Robert Bartholomew in 1953. Back then, the vehicle logo had been crossing staffs with a checkered flag on the right and an American banner on the left. However, right before the Corvette show, the American flag was replaced by a white racing flag and Chevrolet bow tie symbol and fleur de lis. The last one represents peace and purity. Since 2004, Corvette logo adopted brighter darker shades of red.

Polaris

Polaris logo - American car brands

Founded: 1954
Founder: Edgar Hetteen; Allen Hetteen; David Johnson
Headquarters: Medina, Minnesota, U.S.
Website: www.polaris.com

For over 60 years, Polaris company has been making quality vehicles based on groundbreaking technologies regardless of what it focused on: the snowmobile business redesigned ATV categories, or purpose-built military vehicles and extreme 3-wheel moto-roadsters. The company was initially established as a mechanical shop but has quickly developed into one of the world’s biggest Powersports organizations. Also, as of late, we’ve extended their competence beyond Powersports into adjoining markets, like business and military vehicles. Their brand portfolio is diverse, and together with roadsters and commercial vehicles, it also includes boats and spare parts.

Right from the start, Polaris had a polar star on its logo: this is the symbol of something that leads traveled in the right direction. The simple five-pointed star was replaced by a more elegant North star with numerous points, but the meaning has stayed the same just like the company’s philosophy.

Mercury

Mercury logo - American car brands

Founded: 1938
Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Ford Motor Company
Website: www.mercuryvehicles.com

Mercury is a former American division of Ford Motor Company that was founded in 1937 by Edsel Ford. This premium brand was dedicated to the production of medium-priced vehicles somewhere between Ford and Lincoln.

The first logo of the Mercury brand depicted the Roman god Mercury. During the first years, his silhouette profile was used. This logo variant was temporarily revived for 2003–2004, used in the alloy wheel centers. After the 1950s, the logo turned into a simple letter “M” with horizontal even bans expanding outward from the base of its vertical components in each direction. Since 1959, the ‘Big M’ was replaced by a crest emblem. It has been used until the 1980s.

After the presentation of the Mercury Cougar, the vehicle adopted “prowling feline” logo. In 1977 Mercury Cougar logo was replaced by a cat head. The final emblem was adopted in 1984. Centered in the grille, the silver Mercury seal is a combination of three stacked angles. In 1999, the word “Mercury” added to the top half of the insignia.

Saturn

Saturn logo - American car brands

Founded: 1985
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Motors Liquidation Company; General Motors
Website: saturn.com

The Saturn Corporation, otherwise called Saturn LLC, is an official trademark that was established in 1985, as an auxiliary of General Motors. It positioned itself as an alternate sort of vehicle organization and worked to some degree autonomously from its parent organization with its own construction plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Saturn was made to compete with Japanese automakers.

As we see, the Saturn logo resembles the namesake – explicitly the lower-left quadrant of the circle. It looks like a big “X” racing to one side! The emblem was criticized for being red, as Mars is generally perceived as the “Red Planet,” while Saturn is light yellow. As a matter of fact, the astrological image for Saturn additionally has a curving crescent, a symbol of the beginning of the new regime.

Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile logo - American car brands

Founded: 1897
Founder: Ransom E. Olds
Headquarters: Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: www.gm.com

Oldsmobile was an American vehicle brand created by General Motors. During its 107-year history, it created 35.2 million vehicles, including at least 14 mln units built at its Lansing, Michigan production plant. When it was eliminated in 2004, Oldsmobile was one of the oldest automobile brands on the planet, after Daimler, Peugeot, and Tatra. Despite the fact that it was shut in 2004, it remains a functioning trademark of the General Motors Corporation

Oldsmobile’s last logo has international meaning in it. According to the organization, this is a rocket that has changed the direction, which means a new development path for Oldsmobile. The rocket penetrating the oval demonstrates the brand going outside the limits, and its topsy-turvy shape mirrors its originality. During 1960-1979, the company fully registered a rocked as its sign and modified the grilles and taillights on its models to mirror the upstanding rocket.

Plymouth

Plymouth logo - American car brands

Founded: 1925
Founder: Walter Chrysler
Headquarters: Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: Chrysler Corporation
Owner: DaimlerChrysler

Plymouth was a brand founded in the United States, created by the Chrysler Corporation and its successor Daimler Chrysler. The brand previously showed up in 1928 in the United States and was ceased in 2001.

How Plymouth got its logo? Since the Plymouth brand name appealed to Amerian patriotism, its emblem was designed to do so, too. In this way, what symbol better mirrored was the Plymouth Pilgrims rather than their cruising vessel (the Mayflower).

A few versions of emblem even incorporated coats of arms that were believed to be the seal from where the Pilgrims landed. It decorated the brand’s models from 1949 until 1958, when it was replaced with model-explicit emblems.

During the 1990s, when Chrysler endeavored to bring Plymouth through a renaissance, the Mayflower seal was restored. However, it did correspond with what customers were anticipating.

The new picture reminded of a quiet sailboat slowly flowing on the water. Customers did not like this version, especially male buyers dismissed the new picture.

Hummer

Hummer logo - American car brands

Founded: 1992
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Parent Company: General Motors
Website: www.hummer.com

Hummer is a famous brand that has been established as an affiliate of General Motors since 1999. Initially, it specialized in the production of sport-utility and large military cars with its famous SUVs and 4×4 Humvees being among the most highly demanded models. Offering agility, mobility, and exceptional performance on its multi-purpose platform, Humvees are now used by the US Army and other military services.

Hammer’s logo is pretty simple: it’s shown as a letter H on a dark background – such a minimalistic approach is typical of military cars. At the same time, it’s believed to represent a bridge or gate of a castle – a sign of traditions. Unlike all other car logos, Hammer emblem is highly advertised: it’s being used on clothes, hats, jewelry, flashlights, and many other items. Thus, the emblem is as popular as the vehicles themselves.

Delorean

Delorean logo - American car brands

Founded: 1975
Founder: John DeLorean
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Website: www.delorean.com

The first DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) was a car manufacturing company founded by John DeLorean in 1975. It is associated with the one model it created — the hardened steel DeLorean DMC-12 sports vehicle with its gull-wing entryways. The brief and tempestuous history of the company finished by bankruptcy in 1982. Attempting to gather money for sustaining the dying company, John DeLorean was even caught in drug trafficking.

As for DeLorean Motor Company logo, customers liked its perfect symmetry. The emblem consisted of three letters only but looked very futuristic and elegant. During a few years of the company’s existence, the emblem was not changed.

Fisker

Fisker logo - American car brands

Founded: 2007
Founder: Henrik Fisker; Bernhard Koehler
Headquarters: Anaheim, California, U.S.
Website: www.fiskerautomotive.com

Fisker Automotive was a company initially situated in Anaheim, California, established by Henrik Fisker in 2007. The organization’s first car was the Fisker Karma, one of the world’s first hybrid plug-in electric machines. It appeared at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, and first sales started in in 2011.

The Fisker logo is a round emblem with an orange and blue center encompassed by a white fringe containing the brand name. The orange speaks to the setting sun into the blue water of the Pacific sea. Two silver vertical stripes in the middle speak to refer to the organization’s founders Henrik Fisker and Berhard Koehler.

Hennessey

Hennessey logo - American car brands

Founded: 1991
Founder: John Hennessey
Headquarters: Sealy, Texas, United States
Website: hennesseyperformance.com

Hennessey company appeared on the market in 1991 when John Hennessey decided to improve his own car to reach maximum speed and agility. In his garage, he worked with Supra, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and other cars, and in 1993, he modified Venom Viper which has quickly become a true leader among its counterparts. Through the years of its existence, the company has been modifying the turbo-charged vehicle to drive those to perfection.

Hennessey logo bears the name of the creator. It is written in cursive mode in red or white. Even though the logo is simple, it highlights the importance of its founder who comes up with advanced technological solutions. Hennessey has never lacked customers or fans – it sticks to traditions and delivers the best quality possible.

Faraday Future

Faraday logo - American car brands

Founded: 2014
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California
Owner: Jia Yueting / Evergrande Health
Website: www.ff.com

Faraday Future is an American start-up innovative organization concentrated on the creation of advanced smart electric vehicles. Faraday Future was founded in April 2014 and its head office is located in Los Angeles, California.

Faraday Future is named for one of the basic principles of electric engine innovation known as Faraday’s law of induction. Faraday’s Law is named after English scientist Michael Faraday who found electromagnetic induction. It’s not hard to guess that Faraday Future logo shows the connection lines between electrodes – this is what underlies the technological foundation of its vehicles. Electricity is the main driver of the vehicles from Faraday Future, and there was no better way to show it!

Shelby American

Shelby logo - American car brands

Founded: 1962

This is one of the most famous American companies producing racing cars. It was founded by Caroll Shelby and won numerous racing games helping Ford to enter the American market. Its flagship models are the small and big block Cobra, and it has been releasing new cars since 2005.

Logically, the badge of the company is adorned with snake cobra embraced by a circle with the company name overlapping it. The logo is made in black and white, but it’s quite detailed. Cobra represents hidden power, agility, and deathly danger, just like Shelby’s car did during the races.

Rivian

Rivian logo - American car brands

Founded: 2009
Founder: Robert “RJ” Scaringe
Headquarters: Plymouth, Michigan, U.S.
Website: www.rivian.com

Rivian is an American automobile company that produces vehicles and provides products & services related to the transport. It focuses on SUVs, semi-autonomous vehicles, and off-road vehicles. By 2030, the company plans to produce 100% of vehicles with renewable energy. The company stays independent so far and runs its facilities in Michigan.

Zimmer

Zimmer logo - American car brands

Founded: 1978
Founder: Paul Zimmer
Headquarters: Syracuse, New York
Parent company: Zimmer Motorcars Corporation
Website: www.zimmermotorcars.com

This car brand is mostly known for the neo-classic cars (also called as ‘Zimmer Motorcars’), and produced a few flagman cars in retro style. The company ceased existing closer to 1998. In 1997, it was purchased by Art Zimmer, and today produces 10-20 cars and 10-20 fully custom 4-door dually Silverado trucks each year.

Panoz

Panoz logo - American car brands

Founded: 1989
Founder: Dan Panoz
Headquarters: Braselton, Georgia, U.S.
Website: www.panoz.com

Panoz company was established to produce racing car series, but it also creates usual road cars. Panos incorporates the latest automobile technologies in their cars, and also partners with BMW Motorsport. Panos also runs the affiliate company Élan Motorsports that designs and builds racecars for professionals.