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My question is simple, if someone asks me: Hast du ein Auto?. Can I say something like: Ja, Ich habe ein Volkswagenauto, or Fiatauto? Or should I separate the words?

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    Hast du ein Auto? — Ja, einen VW. (not Volkswagen, but "Fauweh"). But it's more common to say the type of car instead of the brand for VW cars because of its high market share in Germany. Hast du ein Auto? — Ja, einen Bora. – Janka May 10 '17 at 0:45
  • Dass jemand so ein spießiges Auto wie einen Bora hat, würde er niemals als erstes erwähnen. Bora-Fahrer sagen, sie hätten einen VW ;) – tofro May 10 '17 at 6:30
  • Volkswagen ist vollkommen in Ordnung und wird auch benutzt, nur Volkswagenauto sagt niemand oder auch Fiatauto nicht. Was sollte aber die Trennung der Wörter bewirken? – user unknown May 10 '17 at 7:19
  • Haha, ein japanischer Kollege war ganz stolz auf seinen Bora VR6. Obwohl es den nicht als Rechtslenker gab und er in Japan deshalb total unpraktisch ist. Es ist das Brüllen aus dem Korsett der Spießerkarre, das den Bora verkäuflich gemacht hat. – Janka May 10 '17 at 9:21
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You don't need the "auto." Just say, "Ich habe einen Volkswagen," or "Ich habe einen Fiat." The "Auto" is understood once you name the type.

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    It is worth noting that it has to be "einen Fiat". Cars referenced by their brand are masculine, even though "Auto" is neuter; and yes, this makes little sense. – Kilian Foth May 10 '17 at 6:15
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    Interesting side fact: Motorbikes referred to by brand are feminine for some obscure reason, even though the Motorbike is neuter as well - "Ich fahre eine Yamaha". - "Ich fahre einen BMW" vs. "Ich fahre eine BMW": The former clearly means a car, the latter a bike. – tofro May 10 '17 at 6:33
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    @KilianForth: It makes sense as it may be based on der Wagen. The word even appears at the end of Volkswagen. Also note that some vehicle brands are rather feminine, such as die Vespa or die Isetta. I am not sure whether the difference is indeed cars vs. motorbikes, as tofro claims. It is possible, though, and fits with the fact that motorbikers speak of their vehicles as die Maschine. The same applies to airplanes (die Boeing, die MiG, die Tomcat), again unless the brand name is very close to a differently gendered German word (der Airbus). – O. R. Mapper May 10 '17 at 7:02
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    @O.R.Mapper Isetta is not a brand, but a make. "Die Isetta ist ein BMW". Same applies to "die Ente ist ein Citroen". – tofro May 10 '17 at 7:10
  • @tofro: Hmm, aren't some makes usually registered as brands? Or is that exclusively called trademark then, not brand? In any case, Tomcat would then be a make, as well. I 5hink the gender logic applies to brands and makes alike. – O. R. Mapper May 10 '17 at 7:17

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