We all know the answer, but nevertheless it's nice to hear it straight from the company.
It was only about a week ago when Porsche released a video on YouTube explaining the origins behind the 911’s name (originally 901) and now another clip has been published concerning a similar theme: the company’s name. Born on September 3, 1875 in Maffersdorf (now Vratislavice nad Nisou in Czech Republic), founder Ferdinand Porsche established “Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG” in 1931 to provide engineering consultancy services.
The firm’s first big contract came from the German government and the request was to make a car for the people, a Volkswagen. Thus, the Beetle was born. It wasn’t until 1939 when Porsche completed its first car – the 64 – but with World War II starting, there were other priorities, like the Kübelwagen (a military version of the Beetle).
What the video isn’t telling you is that the name “Porsche” is actually derived from “Boris,” which in turn comes from the Turkic name “Bogoris” meaning “wolf” or “snow leopard.”
Prior to founding the namesake company, Porsche was named chief designer at Austro-Daimler in 1906 before moving up the corporate ladder to become managing director 10 years later. He left the company in 1923 following disputes regarding the development of future models. A few months later, he was appointed as technical director at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. If the company rings a bell, it’s because it merged with Benz & Cie in 1926 to form Daimler-Benz. Nowadays we know it as Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.
In 1929, he left the company to join Steyr Automobile after the high-ranked officials at Daimler-Benz were not keen on Porsche’s idea of engineering a small and lightweight car. With the Great Depression (originating in the U.S.) hitting hard shortly thereafter, Ferdinand Porsche’s role at Steyr was no longer necessary, so he returned to Stuttgart to start his own company. The rest is history.