Cadillac etymology: What does it mean? Who is it named after?

Cadillac, once “the standard of world, is one of the world’s most famous automotive brands, but who or what is it named after?

As with a majority of car brands, Cadillac is named after man. But, interestingly, in this case, it’s not named after its founder.

Instead, Cadillac is named in honour of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French army officer and explorer in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1701 he founded the town of Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit to help his homeland defend its territories and trade routes in the American interior from the British. Eventually Fort Detroit was ceded first to Britain and then to America. It was eventually destroyed by a fire in 1805, and its boundaries lie, mostly, within present day Detroit’s Civic Center.

Aside from establishing what would become Motor City, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac also served as its commander until 1710. After that he served as the governor of Louisiana until 1716.