Drivers Blown Away As BMW Says We’ve Been Pronouncing The Name All Wrong

Drivers have been blown away after learning we're pronouncing BMW (and other popular car manufacturers) wrong...
Credit: Alamy

Drivers all over the internet have been left speechless after discovering they’ve been pronouncing BMW all wrong!

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, abbreviated as BMW, is an uber-famous manufacturer of luxury cars.

The company was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines but soon moved into motor vehicles.

Producing 2,279,503 vehicles in 2017, BMW was named the world’s fourteenth-largest producer of motor vehicles, as per Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles.

And as per Factory Warrant, it was the seventh largest when measured by revenue in 2022.

But today, it’s the brand’s mispronunciation that has the internet feeling shocked.

It turns out, we’ve been saying ‘BMW’ wrong.

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Research reported by This Is Money has shown the vast majority of us don’t know how to pronounce the iconic car brand.

And that’s not all – it seems most of us aren’t pronouncing Hyundai, Lancia and Volkswagen correctly either.

Select Car Leasing has revealed that, based on a survey of 1,000 UK respondents, 95% of people do not know how to pronounce BMW correctly, making it by far the most mispronounced car manufacturer name.

People are only just realising how to properly pronounce BMW. Credit: Alamy

Just six per cent managed to successfully pronounce Hyundai, making it another that’s commonly wrongly said.

A further 89% of people were not able to pronounce Skoda properly. While only 9% of participants managed to get Volkswagen correct.

Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing, explains: “For all the exposure that car manufacturers are subjected to in the digital age, there’s still a gap in understanding when it comes to how they’re pronounced.

“Many of them have become household names across the globe, but according to our research, that doesn’t make mispronunciations any less likely.

“We’ve found that even the automotive stars are being caught out, with Jeremy Clarkson and James May mispronouncing the likes of Koenigsegg and Dacia for years.

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“Our survey reveals the car brands that are most confused and, for the avoidance of any doubt, the proper pronunciations via professional, regional voice actors.”

So, what are the correct pronunciations for all of these mistaken car brands?

Well, the company, Bayerische Motoren Werke, has revealed that the correct way the brand should be pronounced is ‘bee-em-vee’.

This is because the letters are based on the German alphabet, rather than the English.

On top of that bombshell, Hyundai should actually be pronounced as ‘Hun-day’.

BMW should apparently be pronounced ‘bee-em-vee’. Credit: Alamy

Skoda is actually pronounced ‘Schkoda’, which is ‘schocking’.

While the ‘V’ of Volkswagen should actually be pronounced as an ‘F’, making the full name of the car brand ‘Fokes-vah-gun’.

On the plus side, there are a few famous car brands that we have been getting right.

56% of us get the pronunciation of Renault (or ‘Ren-oh’) correct. While more than a third of participants knew that Koenigsegg is pronounced ‘Koh-nig-zegg’.

Have you been making any of these common pronunciation mistakes?

Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected]. All contact will be treated in confidence.

Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.