Chinese, US and Romanian brands have added their distinctive logos to the regions roads since 1996
Well-known in eastern Europe, Renault’s Romanian subsidiary Dacia arrived in western Europe last year. With the launch of the Logan, Dacia’s low-cost car, the badge’s background was changed to blue.
Licensed sales of the rugged US brand in Europe began at the start of the new century. Hummer uses a mix of logos on its models. The H2 has the word “Hummer” in capital letters in the grille (above) and a large chrome “H2” on the fenders. The H1 has the word Hummer in black on the back. The name is derived from Humvee, itself a US Army nickname for HMMWV, the acronym for High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. The Hummer name and brand were created in 1992 when GM took over AM General and built versions of the truck for civilian use.
The Chinese carmaker began sales in western Europe in 2005 by launching an SUV. The company’s badge features a silver, swooshing character that looks like an “L” lying on its side inside a red diamond.
DaimlerChrysler launched Maybach in 2002. The ultraluxury brand’s logo features an M-on-M motif within a curvy triangle. It is a derivative of the original Maybach badge. The letters stand for Maybach Manufacturing.
The “S” in the word “Smart” on the DaimlerChrysler subsidiary’s cars comes from concept originator Swatch. The “m” comes from manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, and “art” speaks for itself. At its 1998 launch, a triangle implying swift forward motion was enclosed within the “a” of Smart, but the badge was soon redesigned to reflect an evolving concept and product with the triangle linked to a “c” shape (right), according to the company. The “c” is described as the “a” with the right-hand portion removed, its circular shape symbolizing mobility.
The Chinese-controlled Korean carmaker started sell cars in Europe in 2002. The carmaker’s badge represents the wings of twin dragons. The dragon is the symbol for high quality in Korea. The logo also symbolizes flight because the company sees itself as a soaring success.
The Indian carmaker’s badge features two silver right angles facing each other that create a “T” inside a silver oval. Tata is the family name of the Indian conglomerate’s chairman.
You can reach Ian Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org.