How to pronounce the world’s leading car brands correctly.
From the French, Italians, Germans to the Japanese, many car brands are mispronounced. This can be caused by a misunderstanding of different languages, popular culture references or just bad brand management.
Having worked with Porsche, we are very aware of how much they struggle with people mispronouncing their brand name. The German luxury car brand is forever stressing that the ‘e’ should be pronounced but not overstressed. The correct pronunciation is explained below, which is closest to Por-szeh in English.
Check out our list of some of the brands that people that often cause public debate or frustration from brand owners and fans. In some cases there are still some acceptable variations of what’s right, especially when the original pronunciation is too hard or doesn’t make sense in English. For example BMW should be BEy-Em-VEY if want to say it like the Germans do.
See what how many you are pronouncing correctly and what ones surprise you. There’s some of the incorrect pronunciations that are pretty amusing. No, we didn’t make these up. We are assured that some people actually do pronounce the brands this way.
Car brand names and their pronunciation (A-Z)
|Brand name||Correct pronunciation||Incorrect|
|Alfa Romeo||Ahl-fa Ro-meh-yo||Al-fa Ro-meo|
|Audi||Ow-dee (as in how)||Aw-dee (as in audio)|
|BMW||B-M-W (English) or BEy-Em-VEY (German)||Bee-en-vey or Bee-em-way|
|Hyundai||Hun-day (English) or cHYUN-DEH (Korean)||Hi-un-dye or He-un-day|
|Lamborghini||Lambor-gee-nee||Lam-bor-jee-ni or LAHm-bor-gini,|
|Mazda||Maz-da (English) Mat-su-da (Japanese)||Maarz-da|
|Mercedes-Benz||Mur-say-dees-bens (English) or Mer-tsey-dess-Bents (German)||Mur-seedeez Bens|
|Peugeot||Per-zho or Peoh-Zhoh||Per-zhot, Per-go, Pyu-zho|
|Porsche||Por-szeh or Por-sheh||Poor-sh, Por-sha or poor-shee|
|Renault||Ren-oh||Ren-olt or Ren-alt|
|Subaru||SOO-ba-RROO||Sue-boo-roo or Sue-brrroo|
|Volkswagen (VW)||Folks var-gn or VW (English) or Fow-vey (German)||Volks wag-en|
|Volvo||Vohl-voh||Vol-vo or Vol-vow|
This list has been compiled from various sources, including representatives from the brands. In some cases, there are conflicting sources and we have opted for what is most commonly accepted.
If want to challenge any of the pronunciations, or suggest some more brands that are incorrectly pronounced, please contact us or leave a comment below and we’d be happy to update this list.
Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences and drive your business growth. Michael has extensive experience working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.