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You read them.  You hear them.  You say them.
They’re names of family, friends, and co-workers.
They’re also companies, products, brands, and models.
Everyone and everything has a name of some kind.
I bet you’re thinking of several at this exact moment.  But, have you ever thought about where that name came from?
I’m sure you know why you were given your name.  You have a reason why you named your child(ren) the way you did.  Same goes for a pet.  There’s always some sort of story that accompanies a given name.
It’s no different with Toyota and the models on our lot at Heffner Toyota.
Toyota Motors Corporation was founded by the Toyoda family. The word “Toyoda” uses ten Japanese strokes to write while “Toyota” uses only eight.  Eight is considered a lucky number in Japanese culture.  For these reasons “Toyota” was chosen as the company’s name.
Toyoda Symbols
Now the Toyota Ellipses isn’t a name as much as a symbol, and that too has a reason. In 1990, Toyota debuted the three overlapping Ellipses logo on American vehicles. The Toyota Ellipses symbolize the unification of the hearts of Toyota guests and the heart of Toyota products. The background space represents Toyota’s technological advancement and the boundless opportunities ahead.
Toyota Ellipses - Logo
But let’s get back to names as that is the current name of the game.  The Toyota vehicles you love to drive all have stories behind their names as well.
The name Camry was taken from the Japanese word “kanmuri”, meaning ‘crown’. A fitting name for a flagship vehicle.
Prius” is derived from the Latin prefix meaning “to go before”. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.
A “Corolla” is the ring of petals around the central part of a flower. The name was intended to evoke the image of a beautifully styled, eye-catching compact car.
Tundra is a term that conveys strength and ruggedness.
Tacoma is from the Salish Indian word for the mountain that provided water to their tribe (later changed to Mount Rainier). The name suggests images of strength and power.
Yaris stems from a goddess in Greek mythology, named Charis, who was a symbol of beauty and elegance. Toyota used the German expression of agreement, “ya”, because they thought this new name best symbolizes the car’s broad appeal in styling and is representative of Toyota’s next generation of global cars.
The new C-HR is an abbreviation that stands for Coupe High Rider.
The RAV4 is another abbreviation. Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 wheel drive.
RAV4
4Runner is a combination of what it provides; 4-wheel drive and off-road runner.
Sequoia is named after the great Sequoia tree to convey strength, longevity, and beauty.
Sienna is derived from the Italian city of Siena.
Avalon portrays images of comfort spaciousness and sophistication.
Highlander is named after an inhabitant of the Scottish Highlands; conveys power, energy, and ruggedness.
Matrix a rectangular arrangement of rows and columns – fitting the cross-functional nature, the versatility, and the interior functionality of the vehicle.
Venza is a combination of the words “venture” and “Monza”, a city in Northern Italy with a race course named Autodromo Nazionare Monza.
There you have it, a list of the meanings behind the names of our Toyota models.  If you would like to do more than just read about them, visit us at Heffner Toyota and see your choice in person, for that matter, try taking one for a test drive and see if you agree with its given name.

***blog idea originated from Karen Savage, Senior Product Ambassador with Heffner Toyota, and is an extension of her monthly newsletter.***