As you may be aware, BMW is not an American or English brand. BMW hails from Germany. Bavaria, Munich to be more precise. Therefore, if we’re to be completely fair, the name of the company is not always pronounced the way it should be. That’s nothing new though in the automotive industry. Looking at Hyundai, look at Lamborghini or even Audi and Volkswagen and, you’ll see the same pattern.
So, how does a native German say the name of the beloved Bavarian brand? Well, BMW decided to make things crystal clear and created a two-second video with the correct pronunciation.
It goes like this: Bee-Ehm-Wie. I know it’s a bit of a stretch from the English version but if you want to be 100% correct, that’s how you should say it.
Now, whether you want to switch or not, it’s all up to you, but now, you can tell your friends you know how it’s actually supposed to be pronounced.
One funny story about the BMW acronym took place when the German brand was just starting its incursion on the North American continent. Apparently, when they first came here and started racing, people had no idea what BMW stood for. Some of the first instances where the logo was shown was on the BMW 3.0 CSL race cars competing at Sebring or Laguna Seca. People would see them and just make up names for it.
Apparently, most thought BMW stood for British Motor Works, not Bayerische Motoren Werke. This made the man who created the Motorsport division, Jochen Neerpasch (who told me this story) react and change the liveries, displaying the entire name of the company at first.
After all, if there was anything Mr. Neerpasch was brilliant at, it was marketing. And after several years, people finally learned that this is actually a German brand, not a British one.