How many American car brands can you name off the top of your head? There are plenty of options to choose from, including Dodge, Buick, and even Ford. America is actually the second largest manufacturer of cars in the world today, falling only slightly behind China, which accounts for 28% of all the cars and trucks produced worldwide.
Today, around 12% of all the cars on the planet are made in America, and the country has created some of the most iconic American car logos as a result.
The industrialist Henry Ford introduced the world to the first solution for assembly line production in America. Additionally, America is home to some of the biggest car conglomerates, like Chrysler, and General Motors.
Today, we’re going to be looking at all kinds of American car companies, from brands producing high-performance luxury cars, to the organizations better-known for their mass-market vehicles.
Here’s your ultimate list of American cars, and their fantastic logos.
Performance car brands from America
There is no shortage of American car company logos to explore in this article. America has produced a huge range of different vehicles for a variety of purposes, from luxury cars to performance models specifically designed to generate speed.
To start our list of American cars, we’re going to be looking at some of the top performers on the market. These vehicles are best-known for their amazing technical prowess, superior design and impeccable speed.
Let’s dive in!
Otherwise known as Hennessey Performance Engineering, the Hennessey brand is an American “tuning” house, responsible for modifying and upgrading sports cars from a host of other companies, including McLaren, Porsche, Dodge, and Lotus.
The company, located in Texas, focuses on producing amazing high-powered cars for professionals.
The Hennessey logo is simple but effective. The hand-drawn style wordmark looks almost like a signature, perfect for putting an artist’s flair on stunning vehicle designs. The red coloring depicts power and passion.
Better-known to some as “Shelby Super Cars”, SSC first launched in 1998. The company, located in North America, is owned by Jerod Shelby.
Iconic for their creation of the SSC Ultimate Aero, a sportscar equipped with a pushrod, twin turbocharged V8 engine, SSC has gained a lot of attention over the years. The Ultimate Aero even achieved a Guinness World Speed Record.
SSC’s logo features the name of the company written in bold sans-serif font, with the “North America” tagline placed underneath. SSC also includes a shield in its logo, depicting a classic coat of arms.
One of the more recent manufacturers of American supercars, Trion launched in 2012 with the vision of automotive engineer, Richard Patterson. At present, the company is working on the “Nemesis” vehicle, which will be the first car produced fully by the brand.
According to the company, this debut model will feature a quad-cam V8 engine and a range of variation options.
The Trion logo is classically patriotic, featuring a shield shape with the colors of the American flag placed within. The Trion emblem also includes various gradients to make it look as though the shield is shining in the light.
Rezvani Motors, with its iconic wing emblem, is an automotive designer in California. The company was founded by Ferris Rezvani in 2014, making it one of the younger brands on this list.
Ferris recently built his knowledge of automobiles working with Aston Martin. The main product of Rezvani is the “Beast”, a self-funded performance car project.
The Rezvani logo features a set of red wings over an oval. The image looks closer to something you might expect on an aircraft at first glance, but it’s excellent for conveying ideas of speed and freedom.
Founded in 1984 by Steve Saleen, the Saleen company is best-known for the production of amazing racing and sports car vehicles. The company became public in 2013 and was founded by a former race car driver (like many top racing car companies).
The flagship car of the brand is the Saleen S7, introduced in the year 2000.
Saleen’s logo is an interesting combination of a wordmark and graphic. The Saleen name in sans-serif font is sleek and modern, with a stylized “A” which looks like a upward-pointing triangle. The graphic is intended to look similar to a road, depicted in white and red.
Sports car brands from America
Like in many parts of the world, the top sports car and performance car brands in the USA often overlap. Compared to some other parts of the world, there are fewer American car companies focusing on speed and sporting performance.
However, the names we do know, like Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette, are popular world-wide.
Let’s take a look at some of the sports cars from America.
Otherwise known as the “Ford Mustang”, the Mustang brand officially appeared in 1964, to provide Ford with its own racing and sports car segment.
Combining the exceptional performance of Ford vehicles with cutting-edge engineering, the Ford Mustang is one of the most successful brands in the automobile industry.
Unsurprisingly, Ford chose to focus specifically on the Mustang horse with their choice of logo. The animal appears to be running on the emblem, depicted in sleek silver. Behind the horse is a series of three stripes, representing the colors of the American flag.
The image is simultaneously patriotic and excellent at depicting performance prowess.
While perhaps not quite as well-known as options like Corvette and Mustang, VLF is still a highly sought after logo from our list of American automakers. The company formed in 2012 after the bankruptcy of the Fisker automotive brand.
The end of that organization gave birth to two new independent business projects, including VLF, which focuses on sports cars.
For its logo, VLF chose a diamond with an elongated top section, depicted in blue and silver. The letters of the brand’s name are emblazoned on the front of the design in thick, block letters, demonstrating power and professionalism.
An American automobile manufacturer founded in 1971, Vector motors traces its history all the way back to the Vehicle Design Force, created by Gerald Wiegert. The production of vehicles by Vector Automotive continued until 1993, although the company has yet to become officially “defunct”.
Vector has a somewhat complex logo compared to some of the American car brands we’ve looked at until now. The design includes an arrow shape which looks somewhat like an A tipped on its side. The shape is depicted in purple and silver and surrounded by the wordmark for the brand.
Luxury car brands from America
If you’re looking for American car emblems designed to depict luxury and class, there are a handful of excellent options to choose from, starting with the unforgettable Cadillac. Luxury cars in America aren’t quite as common as mass-market and performance vehicles, but there are still a few names which have spread around the world over the years.
One of the many luxury automobiles brands owned by General Motors, Cadillac cars are popular across the globe. Generally, Cadillac vehicles are produced at a slightly lower quantity than some of the other vehicles we see throughout America.
Today, Cadillac stands out as one of the first automotive brands to appear in the world, produced originally in 1902.
The Cadillac logo is a fantastic insight into the heritage of the company. The image looks similar to a shield, with a coat of arms in the background. The design, depicted in blue, gold, silver, and red, creates a sense of luxury, excellence, and power.
Learn more about the Cadillac logo here.
The Lincoln Motor Company, now known simply as Lincoln, is the luxury division of the automobile manufacturer, Ford. Marketed alongside major brands like Cadillac as a car for those with a passion for opulence, Lincoln’s cars are all about class and sophistication.
The current product range for Lincoln includes a combination of sport-utility and luxury crossover vehicles.
The Lincoln logo exudes class and elegance. Split into two segments, this emblem shows the name of the company on the right-hand side. The left-hand-side features a curved oval with a cross in the middle.
Mass market car brands from America
Many of the better-known American car emblems are attributed to mass market vehicle companies in America. The country is home to some of the most recognisable company logos in history, including Dodge, Ford, and many other famous names.
Even if you’re not a die-hard fan of American cars, you’ve probably seen some of the following American car company logos before. Many of these vehicle brands ship to customers around the globe.
Dodge, founded originally in the year 1900, is one of the most popular car names in history. The Dodge line-up of vehicles have included everything from performance cars to everyday automobiles.
Originally founded as the Dodge Brothers Company, the organisation has come a long way over the years, even producing its sub-brands, Dodge Ram and Dodge Viper.
The Dodge logo features the name of the company in bold, sans-serif capital letters. To the right of the word mark are two red stripes, angled to the right. The image is simple, but it still depicts class and speed.
Another extremely popular example from our list of American car logos, Buick is a division of the General Motors corporation. Launched by David Buick in 1899, the company has produced a huge range of premium and inexpensive cars over the years, helping it to attract a wider range of customers.
The brand achieved record sales numbers worldwide in 2017.
Buick’s logo combines a sans-serif wordmark in all capital letters, with a circular emblem. Inside the circle are a selection of three shields in red, white, and blue – the colors of the American flag.
Perhaps the best-known of all American car brands, Ford has captured the attention of customers all around the world over more than 100 years. Ford was the company responsible for revolutionizing the mass-production of cars within lines for automated assembly.
It’s also the company behind a range of popular sub-brands, including the Mustang.
The Ford logo features the signature of Henry Ford, the founder of the company, placed within a blue oval. The image has updated a few times over the years, but the signature element remained consistent for most of the company’s history.
Learn more about the Ford logo here.
General Motors is an American automotive manufacturing brand first launched in 1908. The company was reformed again in 2009. This brand is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world and has 8 plants around the globe.
The four core automobile brands produced by General Motors are GMC, Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet.
The GM brand uses an eye-catching and minimalist emblem as its logo. The image features the letters “GM” written in blue with a line under the “m”. The letters are surrounded by a blue box border, with curved edges.
This symbol depicts strength and stability. While the sans-serif and lower case font also helps to make the brand seem friendlier and more accessible.
Launched originally in 1911, Chevrolet stands as easily one of the best-known automobile companies in the world. One of the most sought after brands in the GM line-up, Chevrolet produces countless different kinds of cars for its customers, including everything from SUVs and pickups, to sedans, and more commercial vehicles.
Chevrolet is also invested in constantly updating its feature packages.
The Chevrolet’s logo is easy to identify anywhere in the world, although the symbol has evolved a few times over the years since the company’s launch. However, the primary element (the bow or cross), remains consistent.
Today, the bow features a silver and gold design to symbolize luxury and class.
Learn more about the Chevrolet logo here.
With heritage all around the globe, Jeep has become one of the most popular brands in the world over the more than 80 years since its inception. The company is particularly well-known for its innovation in the world of four-wheel drive and offroad cars.
Jeep was also responsible for producing a large number of military vehicles in the past.
Though many people associate the Jeep logo with a star, the company actually uses a simple sans-serif wordmark as its official logo. The wordmark is written in sentence case, unlike many of the alternative American car logos, which feature all capital letters.
Learn more about the Jeep logo here.
RAM, or RAM Trucks, is a spin-off company produced by the Doge corporation. The RAM brand is better-known for producing pickup trucks and other high-performance cars designed for stability and strength.
The company is only around 12 years old at the time of writing, which makes it one of the younger vehicle brands on this list.
RAM’s logo is a classic image, perfect for the car. Based on the name of the brand, the company uses a ram’s head in silver on a black and silver shield. Underneath this eye-catching element, is the name “RAM” in all capital, bold letters.
The overall image is all about strength and power.
Considered by some to be a luxury vehicle manufacturer, Chrysler actually produces a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs. The company is one of the largest automobile corporations in America and produces some of the finest vehicles in the world.
Since its initial launch in 1925, the Chrysler brand has captured the attention of automotive fans across the planet.
Chrysler’s brand identity is defined by the name of the company, written in bold, sans-serif letters above a winged shape which looks similar to the front of a vehicle. The name “Chrysler” is also depicted on this shape, in a blue badge.
Learn more about the Chrysler logo here.
American car brands: Electric vehicles
When it comes to sorting through American car brand logos, you’ll quickly notice the country is one of the top contenders when it comes to delivering new, modern vehicles. Electric cars are quickly becoming more common in America (as well as other parts of the world).
As we globally search for a more efficient and sustainable way to power our vehicles, many car companies are beginning to focus on increasing their electric vehicle production. Some companies even concentrate exclusively on electric cars.
We can’t have a list of American automakers without mentioning Tesla. Though Tesla might be one of the newer automobile companies in the industry today it’s also one of the better-known, thanks to the innovator, Elon Musk.
The company has helped to drive the development of a host of new electric car components, including batteries.
Tesla uses a modern wordmark, in which the letters look almost like futuristic glyphs. The Tesla emblem is a large red T, with a pointed bottom, and a unique shape on the top which adds to the overall sharpness and impact of the design.
Lucid Motors first launched in 2007, with a dream to create some of the most lightweight and effective electric batteries and powertrains in the market. The CEO of Lucid formerly served as the VP of Engineering for Tesla.
In 2021, Lucid began building its very first all-electric “Air” sedan vehicles to begin shipping to customers.
The logo of choice for Lucid is a simple but eye-catching wordmark, using wide, thin sans-serif letters. The letters in this logo are depicted entirely in uppercase.
Faraday Future is an American and Chinese electronic vehicle startup. The company, founded in 2014 may not have been around for as long as some of the companies on this list, but it’s rapidly gaining attention as a leading competitor of Tesla.
The company is currently involved with producing an electric version of an Aston Martin.
Faraday Future has a unique and eye-catching emblem, which combines a simple icon made up of disconnected lines, with a wordmark. The Faraday Future wordmark is simple and accessible, as a sans-serif design written in sentence case.
Another younger name in our list of American cars, Karma Automotive is an American producer of electric luxury vehicles founded in 2014. This company sells vehicles through a network of dealers throughout the Middle Ease, North America, South America, and Europe.
The company is yet to gain the same recognition as Tesla at this stage, but it is growing rapidly.
Karma’s logo features a stylized wordmark written in all capitals, with no line in the middle of the “A’s”. The design also includes a blue circle surrounded by red, yellow and silver. The image is textured to look almost three dimensional.
Vehicle manufacturers from America
Though there are plenty of American car brands to talk about on this list, it’s worth remembering there are other vehicles on the road with logos just as compelling and eye-catching.
America is home to a number of vehicles like trucks, lorries, and commercial vehicles, made specifically to serve a unique purpose for customers.
One of the older commercial manufacturers in the US today, Paccar is a Fortune 500 company responsible for creating heavy-duty and mid-sized trucks, as well as various busses and parts.
The Paccar company is one of the biggest manufacturers of trucks in the world, and it’s responsible for helping to distribute crucial commercial technology for vehicles around the world.
The Paccar wordmark is a stylized, bold design, featuring connected letters for the “CCA” part of the word. The A’s in this design are also slightly slanted to the right, depicting an idea of forward motion and progression.
Another extremely well-known company in the commercial landscape, Navistar is an international bus and truck manufacturer, and the successor to the International Harvester brand established in 1902.
The Navistar truck and bus manufacturing segment belongs to the wider Navistar International Corporation, which also produces engines and plug-in electric vehicles.
Navistar has a modern and eye-catching logo featuring an all-capital sans-serif wordmark. The logo, written in blue to represent reliability, is tilted to the right to show motion, and features an arrow-shaped slash running through the middle.
Previously known as the IC Corporation, IC Bus is an American manufacturer of busses, located in Illinois. This company is actually a subsidiary of the Navistar International brand.
According to the business leaders, the name “IC” actually stands for Integrated Coach. This alludes to how the brand’s vehicles are assembled under a single corporate structure.
The IC bus logo is an eye-catching yellow shield with a black and silver background, depicting strength and character. The letters “IC” are also placed within the middle of the shield.
Otherwise known as “Kenworth Truck Company”, Kenworth is an American truck company originally founded in 1923 as a Gersix Motor Company successor.
Headquartered in a Seattle suburb of Kirkland, Washington, Kenworth has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PACCAR organization since 1945, operating alongside Peterbilt Motors.
Kenworth’s logo features a design with the letters “KW” in a ribbon, placed alongside the company’s wordmark, written in bold sans-serif letters.
The American company for the production of tractors and trucks, Freightliner is one of the better-known brands around the globe today. The company was originally founded in 1929 by a young chauffeur named James Leland.
Initially, James planned on building a small series truck with a cabin above the power unit, however, the first model quickly captured the attention of the market.
Today, Freightliner’s logo conveys ideas of sophistication and strength, with broad capital letters written on a black background. The use of silver and black in this wordmark-focused logo demonstrates ideas of modernity and class.
A popular name among American automakers with an instantly recognizable logo, Western Star launched in 1967, when the White company in America began producing lightweight trucks.
Over the years, Western Star has changed hands a few times, and is now the subsidiary of Daimler Trucks for North America.
The Western Star logo features a wordmark written in bold, sans-serif font, and a large “W” emblem. In the middle of the black and silver “W” is a red star outlined in silver. The image created by this logo is one of patriotism, passion, and strength.
Defunct car brands from America
Like all countries, America is also the host to numerous American car brand logos and brands which eventually disappeared over time. While some vehicle manufacturers were purchased by other brands, others simply shut down when their revenue and profit levels began to drop.
Here, we’ll take a look at a handful of some of the better-known American car companies which shut down and became “defunct” over the years.
Despite eventually closing its doors in 2011, Mercury remained relatively successful for a long time, originally launching during 1938. During its time on the market, Mercury offered affordable vehicles of all sizes to the market, capturing the attention of countless customers.
The logo for Mercury was a simple circular emblem with three angled lines in the middle, similar to roads. A wordmark was also included in most of the company’s branding, featuring the name of the company in sans-serif, capital letters.
Another extremely popular, and well-known company in the US which eventually became defunct, Pontiac started life in 1926 and ended its production in 2010.
The organization specialized in the production of middle-class cars, conceived as one of the many valuable divisions of the General Motors brand.
The Pontiac logo showcased the name of the company in sans-serif font, with a large arrow-head shape placed above the wordmark. The arrowhead was depicted in red, to convey passion, with a silver outline, and gold star in the middle.
Also known as “The Saturn Corporation”, Saturn was an automobile manufacturer in America from the years of 1985 to 2010, when the brand was officially dissolved.
Initially, the company – launched as a subsidiary of General Motors – was an attempt to compete with Japanese imports in the compact car market.
The Saturn logo combined a modern-looking wordmark with a connected “U” and “R” in the word Saturn, and an unusual “A” to showcase futuristic thinking. The emblem also included a white outline of the Saturn planet on a red background.
Though Hummer only officially ran between the years of 1992 and 2010, it still became a very well-known organization over the years. The brand was established after the AM General Company decided to rename some of the off-road vehicles it was producing for the US Army.
The cars created by Hummer impressed the masses with their phenomenal off-road abilities.
Hummer chose a simple but powerful wordmark for its logo. The bold shape of the letters, combined with the unique edges on the letters created a sense of durability for this brand.
Still sought after by collectors to this day, Oldsmobile vehicles were responsible for some of the oldest American car emblems in the country. Officially launched in 1897, the company ran for over 100 years, before closing its doors in 2004.
The funder of the company was Ransom E. Olds, which explains the name of the brand. Eventually, Oldsmobile became a part of General Motors.
Effective and sleek, the Oldsmobile logo combined a sans-serif wordmark with a stylized silver circle, featuring a line through the middle.
The “Rambler” trademark was first introduced by Thomas B. Jeffrey in the 1900s, and Charles W Nash bought the name in 1916, eventually introducing the Rambler automobile company in 1954.
Although this defunct American car logo is lesser known today than some of the alternative companies mentioned on this list, it still collected its fair share of fans.
The most recent version of the Rambler logo was introduced in the 60s. The design features the letter “R” written in a haphazard handwritten style. The “R” is surrounded by a red circle.
Though the DMC Delorean never achieved the success expected when it launched in 1975, the company ended up rising to fame anyway. The DeLorean Motor Company, or DMC produced a sportscar featuring gull-wing doors, and eventually fell to bankruptcy in 1982.
Despite this, the Back to the Future movies have made the Delorean an icon.
DMC’s brand logo is a simple but effective monogram, where the “D” and the “C” are inverted to look like reflections of each other, either side of the “M”.
Another extremely well-known option among American car company logos, Studebaker gained quite a following over the years, and continues to attract collectors today.
The automobile manufacturer was responsible for producing wagons and carts for the military and farmers when it first launched in 1852. Eventually, the brand began making classic cars.
The most recent version of the Studebaker logo before it shut down featured a circle with red and blue on either side, with a silver and blue border. The letter “S” was depicted in the middle as a stylistic line.
This logo was refreshing and modern.
Marketed by the Ford Motor company from around 1956 to 1959, Edsel was one of the biggest failures on our list of American car companies. Initially, the Edsel brand was designed to give Ford a fourth brand and gain more market share in comparison to General Motors and Chrysler.
Unfortunately, the brand simply couldn’t compete.
Edsel’s logo was a unique design, featuring a large “E” in a green circle. The choice of green was perhaps to convey ideas of wealth or organic growth. This circle was bordered by a series of thin silver lines.
An America luxury car manufacturer, designed by the Packard Motor Car company of Detroit, Packard was intended to compete in the high-class car landscape.
The company was considered the leader in luxury cars before World War 2, and there are even museums which continue to showcase some of the initial models today.
The emblem for Packard was as prestigious as the company itself, with a unique coat of arms placed inside of an ornate silver oval. The colors of red and gold helped to highlight the luxurious nature of the vehicles.
With collectors still holding onto Hudson cars around the world today, you may still be able to see one of these cars from time to time. The Hudson Car company made vehicles in Detroit between the years of 1909 and 1954.
The brand saw significant success during the Second World War, wherein they sold more than 80,00 vehicles.
Hudson’s logo was attractive and traditional, featuring a kite-style shield in a red curved badge. Either side of the shield were parts of a castle, and depictions of ships, highlighting the history and heritage of the brand.
Another luxury car manufacturer which survived almost 30 years in the American market, Stutz produced all kinds of high-end sports and everyday vehicles.
Known for producing some of America’s fastest cars in its time, Stutz became an icon of amazing vehicles designed for the rich and famous.
The Stutz logo highlights its race-car heritage, with the checkboard finish line of a racing line embedded into a set of blue wings. The wings, and the name of the brand are placed on a red circle, with a white and gold background highlighting the location of the company.
Established in 1913, Duesenberg was a very popular name during its almost 30-year lifespan. The company was best-known for producing high-quality and attractive passenger cars for drivers in the United States.
Though the brand didn’t last for as long as the founders had hoped, the models created became timeless classics.
The Duesenberg logo features a stunning golden eagle with its wings spread wide, and the word “Duesenberg” written across the middle. The number “8” was also evident in the emblem as a reference to the company’s most popular vehicle.
Mosler Automotive was an American manufacturer of sports cars, headquartered in Florida. The company was established in 1985 by Warren Mosler, as the “Consulier Industries” brand. During its time on the market, Mosler produced a handful of attractive sports vehicles.
The logo for Mosler was an eye-catching bright yellow shield with the name of the company depicted in large, capital letters. The company also featured an “M” and “T” in their logo, with arrow elements depicted into the serifs on the letters.
One of the vehicle manufacturers from America which ended up going defunct almost 100 years after its inception, Sterling was an extremely well-known commercial company. The brand specialized in the production and sale of heavy trucks and produced a number of great models over the years.
Sterling’s logo combined the wordmark for the company, with a black oval, featuring a capital “S” in silver. The overall image of the brand was clean and simple, with a bold, modern finish.
Produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Detroit Electric was an electric car company specializing in lightweight electrical vehicles.
One of the original car companies in America to produce fully electric vehicles, Detroit Electric produced a total of 13,000 cars from the years of 1907 to 1939.
Classically stylish, the Detroit Electric vehicle featured the name of the company, written in a swooping handwriting style font. The use of this type helped the company to appear more luxurious and approachable.
A true icon of American automobile manufacturing history, the Franklin Automobile Company existed for a short time between 1902 and 1934.
This company was responsible for producing some of the most advanced cars on the market for their time. The vehicles included air-cooled engines and were some of the most lightweight cars on the road.
Franklin used a logo style similar to many classic brand marks of the age in the 1900s. The company’s symbol was a handwritten-style wordmark with a lot of swooping embellishment, intended to depict ideas of class and sophistication.
The Cole Motor Car company was one of the earlier automobile makers in the United States. When it comes pinpointing American car brand logos, you might have a hard time finding an emblem from a Cole vehicle unless you happen across it in a museum.
The company produced high-wheeled classic cars in America for a little over 15 years.
Cole’s logo was a classically elegant emblem for the time, depicting a handwritten-style wordmark on a blue background hexagon shape.
Paying homage to American car companies
There is no shortage of American cars to celebrate on the market today, and throughout automobile manufacturing history. American car brands include everything from the unforgettable Ford Mustang and Chrysler to the industry-leading Corvette.
Today, many of the American car logos we covered above have spread throughout the globe, onto roads from cities around the world. Even some of the older, and defunct vehicle manufacturers we looked at above are still making an impact.
Many of these cars are now displayed in museums to highlight the amazing history of some top car brands.
If you’d like to learn more about the iconic brands mentioned above, make sure you check out the Fabrik Logofile for more behind-the-scenes guides and information.
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.