Car enthusiasts can often be labelled a “picky” bunch when it comes to vehicles. From engine specs to wheels to colors, car enthusiasts like knowing it all, and that includes the proper pronunciation of car brands. Trust us, you wouldn’t want a die-hard enthusiast to hear you say you just got a new “Hun-dye” Genesis G80. So, to save you from this potential embarrassment and to help you appear like an automotive expert, we’re here with the correct pronunciation for seven commonly mispronounced car brands.
Like with most pronunciations, where you are in the world can influence how a word sounds. When it comes to Hyundai, those in the United States have been known to say “hun-DYE,” “HIGH-unn-day,” and every other imaginable variation. The mispronunciations became so prevalent that in 2010, Hyundai released a playful Super Bowl ad playing on people’s confusion using the tagline: “Win one little award and suddenly everyone gets your name right. It’s Hyundai, just like Sunday.” So “HUN-day” is the preferred way in the U.S., however people in the UK may pronounce it “high-UUN-digh.” Regardless of your geographical location, be warned if you find yourself around some car elitists. They may prefer the original Korean pronunciation of “HYUN-day."
Unlike Hyundai, it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world: Porsche is Porsche. As true as this is, we’re willing to bet at least once in your lifetime you’ve heard car fans argue over the correct pronunciation of this automotive giant. While many Americans articulate the German company as “Porsh,” the real pronunciation ends with an “a." So if you want to sound more like a legit car enthusiast, the next time you see a Cayenne or Panamera rolling down the road, remember … it’s “Por-sha.”
For this one, we’re sort of arguing semantics here. We’re pretty sure no one is going to fault anyone for pronouncing this German brand exactly as it appears: “VOLKS-wa-gen.” However, since we’re talking about the “correct” way to say things, it should be noted that certain letters in the German alphabet are pronounced differently than their English counterparts. “W” becomes “V” and “V” becomes “F.” With that in mind, the car brand is technically pronounced “FOLKS-va-gun.” Just food for thought.
The ‘Groupe Renault’ is (you guessed it), a French automobile manufacturer that simply translates to the Renault Group. They currently produce a wide array of cars and vans popular in the European market, and if this is your first time seeing the name, you may have the inclination to say “Reh-NAWlt." Though, like many words in French, the “L” and “T” are silent, thus producing a sound of “ren-oh.”
No this is not a coffee maker (you would be surprised how often people ask if it is). This is Koenigsegg: The Swedish manufacturer known for its supercars and super hard to pronounce name. Although, if you pay attention, it’s really exactly what it looks like: “kou-nig-zegg.” The Swedish pronunciation of “S” can often sound like a “Z,” hence this hypercar manufacturer’s name.
We had to include another French automobile brand on the list due to its level of difficulty. A company that originally manufactured coffee mills and bicycles has become a automotive powerhouse in the European market. The increasingly popular brand is correctly pronounced “poo-ZHO.” So the next time you’re at a cocktail party with some avid car enthusiasts … don’t forget this little language lesson.
Last but certainly not least we have the Italian Lancia. Lancia actually became part of the Fiat Group in 1968, but established themselves as an individual company in 2007 under the name Lancia Automobiles. At first glance, it may seem easy to pronounce. Most people bet on “lan-see-ya” but are unfortunately wrong. If you can’t pronounce this brand as “lan-CHA” in front of the right crowd it might as well be “lan-see-ya-later."
There are many other automotive brands that fall victim to mispronunciations such as Ferrari, Audi, Chevrolet, Buick, and Lamborghini, but we wanted to present a list of common misconceptions so that the next time you’re surrounded by the proud owners of a Koenigsegg Agera RS, you can at least get the name right!