Brand stories.  Cadillac, the French name of an American brand!

Brand stories. Cadillac, the French name of an American brand!


In Detroit at the turn of the century, a certain Henry Ford founded the Henry Ford Company with the goal of entering this promising automobile market. But following a dispute with its investors, Ford is leaving the company, accompanied by its key partners.

He would found another company, the Ford Motors Company that we still know today. Ford supporters William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen examine the remains of the company for bankruptcy before changing their minds.

They will take the property and start their own car manufacturing company. But we have to find a name for it.



Henry Leland, one of the founders of the brand. Cadillac Media’s photo

Cadillac, the founder of Detroit

Backing up a bit. It was at the age of 25 that a certain Antoine Laumet arrived in America. If historians remain unclear on the reasons for these exiles, several hypotheses circulate ranging from alienation to serious crimes of the past.

Still, the young man is cultured and ambitious. Furthermore, he took advantage of this new life to change his identity to Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

The young man from Gascony decided to take the name of the city of his native place, Cadillac. In 1701, he founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit.

The city of Detroit was born. Two centuries later, the founders of a new city car brand will pay tribute to him. It will be called Cadillac.


The first logo takes the La Mothe family crest
The first logo takes the La Mothe family crest

The first cars

The first Cadillac cars, the Runabout and Tonneau, left the factory in October 1902.

At the New York show in January 2003, it was an apotheosis, the brand received more than 2000 orders. The first logo of the brand launched a few months earlier takes the logo of the La Mothe family in France.

Logo consisting of crown, crest, duck and parallel lines. It is all surrounded by a circle consisting of petals. From 1905, a second logo, inspired by the first, was placed on Cadillac cars.


The Model A, the first Cadillac, was heavily inspired by the Ford A
The Model A, the first Cadillac, was heavily inspired by the Ford A

More than 30 different logos

After the takeover of the brand in 1909 by General Motors, the Cadillac lineup would continue to evolve, with about thirty models. Today the key elements of the symbol retain their blue, black, silver, gold and red colors. Gold representing luxury, silver sophistication, red passion and blue loyalty.

Since 2014, the coat of arms has been modernized, with a more current vision and a modern coat of arms. A sign that the history of Cadillac is more of a French legend than ever, Johnny Hallyday honored it in 1989 with his thirty-sixth studio album which was released on June 15.

The album’s title track, “Cadillac”, written by Etienne Roda-Gil, tells the story of a Detroit pioneer. A very French vision of the American dream.