Car brand names you’re probably mispronouncing

car brands, pronunciation,

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 nameCorrect pronunciationIncorrect
Alfa RomeoAhl-fa Ro-meh-yoAl-fa Ro-meo
AudiOw-dee (as in how)Aw-dee (as in audio)
BMWB-M-W (English) or BEy-Em-VEY (German)Bee-en-vey or Bee-em-way
BugattiBoo-gaah-teeBuh-gat-ee
ChevroletShev-ro-layShev-ro-let
CitroënSit-roh-enSit-ron
FerrariFEH-Rrah-reeFuh-rari
HyundaiHun-day (English) or cHYUN-DEH (Korean)Hi-un-dye or He-un-day
JaguarJag-u-areJag-war
LamborghiniLambor-gee-nee Lam-bor-jee-ni or LAHm-bor-gini,
LanciaLan-chaLan-see-a
MaseratiMah-Zeh-RAH-TeeMaza-rati
MaybachMai-BAhkMai-bak
MazdaMaz-da (English) Mat-su-da (Japanese)Maarz-da
Mercedes-BenzMur-say-dees-bens (English) or Mer-tsey-dess-Bents (German)Mur-seedeez Bens
MitsubishiMit-su-bishiMitsa-bishi
NissanNe-sunNiss-un, Niss-an
PeugeotPer-zho or Peoh-ZhohPer-zhot, Per-go, Pyu-zho
PorschePor-szeh or Por-shehPoor-sh, Por-sha or poor-shee
RenaultRen-ohRen-olt or Ren-alt
SeatSAY-atSee-at, seet
SubaruSOO-ba-RROOSue-boo-roo or Sue-brrroo
TeslaTez-laTess-la
ToyotaToy-o-taToy-oda
Volkswagen (VW)Folks var-gn or VW (English) or Fow-vey (German)Volks wag-en
VolvoVohl-vohVol-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.

Want more? Check out how to pronounce Famous everyday brand names, Luxury brand names, and Alcohol brand names.

Michael Hughes

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.

4 Comments

  1. German speaker

    Lmao, the Porsche is totally wrong. It is not pronounced with an “s” in German, it is pronounced with an “sh” and the “e” is not silent.

    Roughly “Por-sheh” would be the correct pronouncation. Or you can check it on YouTube.

    • Thanks ‘German Speaker’ for your feedback. I thought we were fairly close to that with our recommendation of ‘Por-szeh’. We did originally think it was your way but were schooled by some other Germans that the ‘zh’ rather than the ‘sh’ would give a more accurate pronunciation. The challenge here is perhaps how different English speakers pronounce the letters! I’ve added your suggestion of ‘Por-szeh’ in the recommendation as well.

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