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10+ Best American Car Brands Popular Around the World

American Car Brands Image

Discover the Top Ten American Brands of Cars Known Globally

Since the invention of the motor vehicle, developing cars and tuning them for better performance have been a hallmark of the USA. Many established American car brands have grown out of garages and small shops, to become some of the biggest companies in the world.

This drive to achieve the pinnacle of speed, performance, and luxury has made a few companies like Cadillac, Mustang, and Tesla become a global phenomenon. From creating entirely new categories of cars, to breaking the glass ceiling of electric vehicles and making them a popular consumer product, that is the legacy of the American automotive industry.

During their time in the industry, these automotive companies have often utilized expert branding services, in order to make their mark. This is especially true for the time when Japanese imports were cheaper, more reliable, and easier and cheaper to keep than American domestic products.

In order to make people buy their products instead of the imports, these branding agencies used a number of techniques, like piquing the patriotism of the American people by portraying it as their American duty to buy locally produced vehicles.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular car brands from the USA.

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1- The Inception and Rise of the American Car Brands

In the late 1800s, many engineers and entrepreneurs were working on creating self-powered vehicles. Employing a variety of power sources, like steam, gasoline, and even electric. However, these early productions were quite expensive, and out of the reach for the vast majority of people.

Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout

The first reliable, and affordable mass produced automobile, was the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, created in 1901. Its inventor, Ransom E. Olds, is credited as being the founder of the assembly line process, and used a fixed production line to produce his automobiles.

However, it wasn’t until Henry Ford revealed the Ford Model T in 1908, that a true American, mass produced automobile for the masses actually came into production. Designed and priced to be affordable for anyone with a reasonable income, and the introduction of automobile loans and payment plans, made it easy for people to own one.

The car soon became so popular, that by 1927, nearly half of the cars in the USA were a Model T, with fifteen million units produced by the end of 1927. This made Ford cars the most popular roadster for the American people.

Ford Model T

In the decades after that, various companies started to improve their automobiles, from providing different luxury trims, to improving on the horsepower of the car’s engine. And once the Prohibition Era began, the tuner culture was born, which gave way to the formation of the NASCAR racing league.

With trade of alcohol banned in those times, entrepreneurs started brewing and supplying homemade spirits and drinks to distributors around the country. The expert drivers who carried these spirits to and fro were called bootleggers, and this dangerous job often involved escaping the clutches of the police.

bootlegger car

This led to these drivers modifying their cars drastically, especially the performance of their engines. Once it practice became more common, the thrill for speed and danger took a hold of these daredevils. This resulted in many friendly races being organized, where these bootleggers competed to find out who was the fastest.

Eventually, this led to the formation of the NASCAR league, which helped many bootleggers turn their talents towards a more legitimate outlet.

NASCAR race

This entire, rich history of the automotive evolution in the USA is too long to do justice in a single article. However, we can safely say that the drive to develop powerful yet affordable cars is what made many American car brands known around the globe, establishing them as some of the best automobile makers around the globe.

2- Luxury American Car Brands

American car brands come in a variety of flavors. From hardy utility automobiles and muscle cars, to hybrid or completely electric vehicles, car makers in the USA create products for customers from every niche.

Luxury vehicles are one of the more common category of cars that America car companies are known for. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular luxury automobile brands of North America.

2.1- Cadillac

Cadillac logo

The automotive manufacturer began their business in 1902, owned and operated by Henry M. Leland. it is one of the oldest car manufacturing company in the US, coming in at second after fellow luxury car brand called Buick.

Purchased by General Motors in 1909, it became the default luxury vehicle manufacturer for the GM group. Today, its primary market consists of the USA, Canada, and even China. Additionally, it also markets and supplies their offerings to an additional thirty-four nations across the globe.

2.2- Chrysler

Chrysler logo

Founded in 1905, the Chrysler corporation is a popular long established maker of luxury vehicles. Their original logo was a Pentastar, which was changed a few years later. The new design was based on the Kruessler family crest, and when accompanied by wings on either side of the logo, it exuded elegance and sophistication.

After reverting back to the Pentastar logo in the early 1960s, the Chrysler group introduced the winged brand symbol in the 1990s. The new logo, with and elegant design, is one of the most popular and well known car logos in the automotive industry.

2.3- Buick

Buick logo

Another luxury car manufacturer from the GM group, Buick creates automobiles that are marketed to an upscale clientele looking for luxury vehicles. However, while they usually develop cars well above the everyday Chevrolet brand from General Motors, they are below the top tier of luxury GM models, which is held by Cadillac currently.

The logo as well as the colors are a play on the family coat of arms of the Scottish Buik family, which were the originators of the brand. And while the company has used many different types of logos and variants over the years, the main theme of their brand identifier has been the tri-shield imagery. And although the color scheme has given way to a monochrome silver and black color scheme, the core design idea is the same. 

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2.4- Lincoln

Lincoln logo

Lincoln is one luxury car brand in America that isn’t spoken about commonly today. Yet that wasn’t always the case. Started by Henry M. Leland in 1917, it was soon acquired by the Ford Motor Company in 1922.

For a long while, Lincoln was the most popular luxury vehicle manufacturer in the country, manufacturing products for Presidents, businessmen, and other people of note. However, since the arrival of other luxury car brands such as Lexus, the company soon declined in popularity. Nevertheless, the term Lincoln Town Car is often used to refer to the limousines commonly available for hire.

3- American Performance and Sports Car Logos

Performance and power have been the hallmarks of American auto engineering for a long time. That is why, the term Muscle Car is commonly associated with the American sports cars. There are many popular American car brands that produce performance-oriented automobiles. Let’s take a look at some of the best among them.

3.1- Dodge

Dodge logo

Dodge is an American automotive brand which is owned by the Fiat Chrysler Group. It is known for producing lower-end rebadged variants of Chrysler’s premium vehicles. However, its better known for its sports cars. Originally, Dodge was associated as Chrysler’s mid-tier brand, above Plymouth but below the premium brand.

It uses a number of logo variations, including the logomark, the wordmark, or a mix of both. The logo mark featured a Ram’s head, which was later adopted as their symbol by the Ram brand of utility trucks. The wordmark logo, uses a set of clear and distinct logo fonts, with rounded edges and clear space between the characters.

3.2- Corvette

Corvette logo

A sub-brand of the Chevrolet Motors, Corvette is purely sports-oriented in terms of their offerings. The cars produced by the brand are sleek, with an aggressive stance, and easily recognizable by their iconic logo design.

The logo features a pair of crossed flags, the checkered race flag, and another flag with the Chevrolet logo on it. The shiny appearance of the logo, as well as the swept-back, sharply angled design of the logo fits perfectly with the sleek profiles of their cars. Some of their more iconic offerings include the Corvette Stingray from 1968-82, which was a sheer beauty to look at, and a great pleasure to drive.

3.3- Mustang

Mustang logo

Just like Porsche came up with the Targa category of sports cars, different from what was being seen in the industry, Mustang too is known for creating an entire category of cars in the American market. And with its iconic logo featuring a galloping horse, the company is one of the few American car brands known around the world by automotive aficionados.

Known for creating pony cars, a style of performance cars with shorter backs and elongated hoods, the Ford Mustang brand has created many iconic cars, which are considered classics today. And with shorter and lighter bodies, but with powerful engines under the hood, these sleek cars are some of the best on the streets.

3.4- Hennessey

Hennessey logo

Originally, Hennessey is a performance garage that tunes sports cars from various companies like Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Ford, Lotus, and many others. Their purpose is to extract the maximum amount of power and performance out of the car, by modifying individual components to maximize power.

2010 saw the company reveal their first production car, a heavily modified Lotus Exige, called the Hennessey Venom GT. Currently known as the fastest street-legal car in the world, but it does not hold the record for it officially. Their logo is a simple lettermark, featuring the company’s initials.

3.5- Saleen

Saleen logo

Saleen Automotive company creates high-performance automotive parts. Founded and owned by Steve Saleen, the company produces a variety of vehicles on order. However, their flagship car, and the most well-known offering by the company, was the Saleen S7, released in 2000.

Unlike their other offerings which build over an existing chassis from other American car brands, the S7 was designed and built from scratch by the company. The car featured a mid-engine layout, and was the company only addition to the supercars available at that time.

3.6- SSC

SSC logo

SSC Automotive, or Shelby Super Cars, is one of the lesser known American car brands. A performance oriented company, they focus on creating powerful, high performance cars, often categorized as Hypercars. These types of supercars are a step above the normal, with insane amounts of power produced by their engines.

Not to be confused by the Carroll Shelby International, another performance house from America, the company has created a number of automotive offerings since its beginning in the late 1990s. Some of their well-known cars include the SSC Aero, a sports car based on the Pontiac Fiero, and the current production SSC Tuatara, a hypercar series based on the profile of jet fighters.

4- EV American Car Brands

Today, the world is moving towards better and more environment-friendly option for power compared to fossil fuels. From using renewable resources like air and water to generate power, the automotive industry too is looking for more efficient ways than petrol/diesel/gas based vehicles.

The electric vehicle, or EV category is slowly taking over the world, especially more and more foreign and American car brands are producing cars with purely electrical engines. Even big performance brands like McLaren have introduced electrical cars like the McLaren P1, a purely electric sports car that matches the performance and speeds of similar sports cars.

Let’s take a look at some of USA’s best electric car brands.

4.1- Tesla

Tesla logo

Started by current billionaire and world’s richest man, Elon Musk, in 2003, Tesla produces purely electric vehicles. They also manufacture energy storage solutions, solar energy capturing systems, and clean energy production systems.

Their logo represents a cross-section of an electrical motor, paying homage to the forgotten inventor and scientific visionary, Nikola Tesla. Known for their electric cars, the company produces top-of-the-line automobiles like the famous Tesla 3, which is one of the best and most reliable electric vehicles produced by any company.  

4.2- Karma

Karma logo

Owned by the Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang, Karma is based in California. Originally called Fisker Automotive, it was founded by Henrik Fisker. Their luxury car at the time, called the Fisker Karma, was a plug-in hybrid sports car. While well-received at its inception, two separate recalls due to battery issues forced the company into bankruptcy.

Currently, the company produces a new car by the name of Karma Revero. Based on the original Fisker Karma, the car uses the revamped power system, and was debuted in 2016. So far, the company plans to produce and sell 3000 of these electric sports car, before introducing a new variant within their lineup.

5- What Makes These Car Brand Logos So Iconic?

All of these logos representing the various American car brands are unique and distinct in their own right. and that has helped these symbols become iconic. But what is about these logos that make these brand identifiers so irresistible to their viewers?

If you take any of the logos discussed earlier, you will see that each of these brand symbols, in their own unique way, pays tribute to the company. Now it can be in the form of the design itself, or through other factors such as color combinations etcetera. This connection helps customers and viewers associate the brand, and their offerings, together easily.

For example, the Ford Mustang symbol is one of the easier ones to remember. But not only does it help us remember its name, but the association with horses also symbolizes the type of cars they produce.

This is what makes these car brands logos so iconic.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many companies in the US who design and develop vehicles currently, a few of them big brands like Ford, as well as smaller independent companies like Saleen or Karma.

Many American car brands have gone out of business, such as AMC, Fisker Automotive, Pontiac, and many more.

American car brands that manufacture luxury cars include Lincoln and Cadillac.

Yes, many American automotive companies create highly reliable vehicles nowadays. However, there was a time when some cars like the AMC Gremlin, were considered failures or Lemons, due to their high tendency to be unreliable.

Conclusion

The history of the American car brands, and the general rise and development of the American automotive industry, is an incredibly vast topic. From the famed motor city of Detroit, to the southern hot rodding aficionados, designing and building cars has been a favorite pastime for many generations of gearheads.

Now that you know about these famous American automotive companies and the logos that represent them, want to know how to create a logo that represents you brand as well as the ones listen here?