Automakers are among the most recognizable brands in the world, yet many people can’t spell some of the company names correctly. While some of the most notable brands are foreign, their widespread fame and iconic advertisements apparently aren’t enough to help us with spelling.
We surveyed 1,000 Americans and found their spelling skills in need of a serious tune-up. More than half of Americans had trouble spelling the name of one of the best-selling car brands in the world. Can you spell it correctly?
Volkswagen ranks second in worldwide market share (behind only Toyota), yet more than half of Americans can’t spell this famous brand's name. This German automaker may be best known for its iconic VW Beetle, but it also owns some of the world’s most luxurious car brands. The Volkswagen Group oversees brands such as Bentley, Bugatti, Audi, Lamborghini, and Porsche, some of which also make the list of commonly misspelled car brands.
Who did spell Volkswagen correctly? Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 were more likely than those in any other age group to choose the correct answer (58%).
Hailing from Italy, Ferrari is one of the world's most iconic luxury automobile brands. In 2018, a 1964 Ferrari GTO made history by becoming the most expensive car to sell at auction, fetching a price of $70 million. While Ferraris may not be the most commonly spotted cars on the road, the brand's pop culture cachet makes up for that. From a film cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to famous owners like Elvis Presley and Kim Kardashian, Ferrari has become an iconic brand. However, close to 42% of Americans still misspelled its brand name.
Again, people aged 18 to 24 were most likely to spell Ferrari correctly (65%) with 45-to-54-year-olds close behind (63%). Men were slightly more likely than women to use the correct number of ‘r’s in Ferrari.
Lamborghini, another Italian automaker, was allegedly born out of a feud with the founder of Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari. These two famous brands are now close competitors, with tricky spellings to match. We found more than one-third of Americans couldn’t spell Lamborghini correctly.
Across the board, Americans had less trouble spelling Lamborghini correctly than they did other foreign carmakers. The 24–to-35 age group took first place with 73% getting the spelling of Lamborghini coorect. Women fared slightly worse than men in terms of spelling this brand name with only 60% spelling it correctly compared to 66% of men.
Although very commonly mispronounced, Porsche didn’t trick the majority of many Americans when it came to spelling. We found only one out of four Americans misspelled the German automaker. In the U.S., Porsche has posted record-breaking sales numbers thanks to its popular SUV models like the Macan and Cayenne. This popularity still couldn’t help the 24% of people who misspelled the brand name.
Millennials (aged 25 to 44) were most likely to choose the correct spelling (83%) and Baby Boomers (55-plus) were least likely (67%).
So, how did you score? These survey results might have you paying a little more attention to the car bumper in front of you. Spelling skills aside, from Lamborghinis to Volkswagens, it's worth learning how to save on car insurance rates no matter what vehicle you drive.
This study was conducted for The Zebra using Google Consumer Surveys. The sample consisted of no less than 1,000 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. Generation groups were estimated to the closest age ranges provided by Google’s demographic data. This survey was conducted in October 2019.