Here’s a great piece on Neatorama about how some of the world’s most recognizable automobile brands got their logos.
For instance, Mitsubishi’s logo combined the crests of two families. The diamonds came from the Iwasakis, a former samurai clan to which Mitsubishi founder and Yataro Iwasaki and his well-groomed mustache belonged. Their radial arrangement came from the three leaves of the Tosa Clan, whom Iwasaki was working for when the Meiji Restoration abolished the feudal system. The name of the company itself comes from the Japanese word mitsu, meaning three, and hishi, meaning water chestnut but is used to denote a diamond. Somehow, “triple water chestnut mafia” just doesn’t have the same ring.
Check out the article for logo origins of Mazda and a host of other European and American car companies.