From Lamborghini and Volkswagen to Rolls-Royce and BMW, ultra-luxury and performance carmakers are often owned by much bigger brands here are some of the most notable


In addition, the plea deal includes a $1.5 billion settlement for various environmental, customs and financial violations. On 22 September 2015, VW AG admitted that 11 million cars worldwide had been fitted with software intended to deceive emissions testing. The company issued a profit warning, saying it had set aside $7 billion to fix the fraud. On 23 September 2015, Martin Winterkorn announced his resignation from the CEO position after a crisis meeting of the company board. Müller was the head of the Porsche marque within the VW corporate umbrella. Only a small number of Type 60 Volkswagens were made during this time.

But Audi recovered and flourished, only to be stung by scandal again in 2015 as part of the larger Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal. Today Audi is a well-known and respected seller of sporty luxury cars and SUVs. Initially Volkswagen did not want Auto Union to operate as an independent entity—VW just wanted the capacity of its plant in Ingolstadt. Auto Union engineers developed the first Audi 100 in secret. A year later, Auto Union merged with NSU Motorenwerke, known for motorcycles, small cars, and rotary engines.

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In my opinion, BMW doesn’t need any other brand, but if they bought one they would definitely work hard on improving it. Once again, we have a car brand that looks, sounds, runs, and feels British, mainly because it was. Rolls Royce vehicles are known for their luxurious appearance, style, and performance.

Toyota and Honda

It is one of only four brands GM retained after emerging from bankruptcy in 2009. BMW bought the Rover Group in 1984 and unloaded all but the Mini brand in 2000. In 1920 the company and brand name were changed to Alfa Romeo in deference to Nicola Romeo who took control of the company in 1915 and converted the plant to make military equipment. Alfa Romeo is an Italian brand with a history of financial troubles—and partners and owners who tried to address it. The brand made a splash in the U.S. with the original NSX and has grown to include a lineup of crossovers to complement its sedans. Skoda’s reputation for engineering excellence suffered during the Communist era, but under Volkswagen, Skoda has become the smart choice for those who want the quality and drivability of a Volkswagen product at a value price.

nsu motorenwerke

Audi has been a part of the Volkswagen group since 1965 though it was founded in 1909 as an independent company. Volkswagen Group is undoubtedly one of the largest companies in the world. And not just in the automotive segment but across all segments globally. In fact, the Volkswagen Group is ranked as one of the top 10 companies in the world by revenue, controls 12 brands, with over 50 subsidiaries and is majority-owned by the Porsche-Piech family . Volkswagen has cemented itself as an automotive powerhouse, consistently outselling its competition. Some of the most recognisable vehicle brand names in the world find themselves under by the Volkswagen Group.

Which Car Brands Does the BMW Group Own?

Volkswagen was founded in Berlin in 1937 and incorporated in Wolfsburg to manufacture the car that would become known as the Beetle. The company’s production grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, it acquired Auto Union, which subsequently produced the first postwar Audi models.

The company is headquartered and builds its luxury sports cars in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. Kia was founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, which made steel tubing and bicycle parts, then complete bicycles. The company changed its name to Kia in 1952 and obtained licenses to build Honda motorcycles and Mazda cars and trucks, later adding Fiat and Peugeot vehicles.

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Quality and reliability reached or exceeded that of many established brands, but the public was not getting the message, so Hyundai introduced a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty to promote both sales and awareness. The carmaker was founded in 1967, and the first model was the Cortina, licensed from Ford and released in 1968. The first car developed in-house was the Hyundai Pony compact car, which was exported to Canada in 1983.

Subsidiaries and brands

Founded in 1909, Bugatti manufactured lots of successful race cars for decades, but stopped production in the 1950s. The Bugatti marque was revived as a maker of super-fast, limited-production sports cars with the introduction of the EB110 in 1991. The Volkswagen Group bought the brand in 1998, and still owns it today. Many of the vehicles that are sold by these manufacturers are trucks, commercial vehicles and motorcycles which at this moment in time OSV do not supply.

The US EPA press release on its Notice of Violation, and the California Air Resources Board letter dated 18 September 2015 contain significant chronological detail of the agencies interaction with VW on the issue. Once known for selling small and shoddy cars, South Korea’s Hyundai, along with its corporate relation Kia, have grown to become trusted full-line brands that score highly in quality surveys. In addition to maintaining those nameplates, the company launched the Genesis luxury division in 2015 to sell upscale autos to non-traditional Hyundai buyers. The company that’s officially known as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG has long been a brand of choice among automotive enthusiasts, with sedans, wagons, coupes and SUVs that outperform the competition.


In the late ’90s Mazda planned but never launched the Amati luxury division, due to the bursting of the Japanese economic bubble. Maserati is an Italian brand that is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with dual headquarters in Turin, Italy, and Auburn Hills. The Maserati brand, which dates back to 1914, operates out of Modena. Lexus offers sedans of different sizes from the compact IS to the ES, GS, and full-size LS. Sport utility vehicles range in size from the subcompact UX to the NX, and RX, the larger GX, and the full-size LX.

Many car brands sold today are subsidiaries of much larger companies, and the same is true for some of the most expensive, luxurious, and high-performance supercars available. In addition to its core Volkswagen brand, the group also sells vehicles under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche brand names. The company that Enzo Ferrari established in 1940 as a motorsports entity is inarguably one of the world’s leading sports car makers, with a line of exotic and expensive vehicles that go fast and look ever so good doing it. The purveyor of the prancing horse logo was owned for a time by Fiat, and later Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but was spun off in 2016 as its own entity, Ferrari N.V. Several brands that have been retired are included in the list, such as Scion, because models are still available on the used-car market. We have omitted small-volume brands, such as Aston Martin and Ferrari, that are without major automaker parent companies.

After a relative stint of stability, Ford sold Aston to a consortium that, in turn, sold a majority stake to an Italian private equity firm. Aston Martin went public in 2018 followed by a disastrous collapse of its share price. Now Canadian billionaire, fashion tycoon, and Racing Point Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll has taken a substantial stake in the company, so the roller coaster ride is not over. Aston Martin has gone bankrupt at least seven times, dating back to 1924. Among its past owners is David Brown Limited, a machine tool company that rolled Aston into its Tractor Group in 1947.

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VW continued to expand its interest in the organization, obtaining a controlling holding in 1994 and a bigger stake in 1995. Skoda turned into a Volkswagen Group totally possessed in 2000. SEAT was formed in 1950 by Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (S.E.A.T. ), a Spanish state-claimed mechanical holding organization, and quickly turned into the country’s biggest vehicle supplier. In 1982, Volkswagen extended outside of Germany because of a joint effort between Audi AG and SEAT, a Spanish vehicle maker. In 1986, the Volkswagen Group obtained a greater part and controlling stake in SEAT.

For years Volvos were known for their boxy look but the brand has been reinvented, starting with the current XC90, and is now known for simple yet elegant styling. The subsequent Volvo XC40 and XC60 crossovers, as well as the S60 and S90 sedans and V60 and V90 wagons have been met with critical success. Subaru is known for its use of a boxer engine layout and its all-wheel-drive system.

Fisker Inc. is bmw owned by volkswagen Fisker, reborn electric car brand that has partnered with Magna-Steyr to build its vehicles. Each brand has its own unique identity and strengths, which helps VW appeal to a variety of customers. By owning so many different companies, VW has become one of the largest and most successful car manufacturers in the world, and deservedly so. It is probably not very shocking that Volkswagen Group is the owner of the car brand Volkswagen.

Bizarrely, RR decided to license their name and logo to BMW despite the sale to VW, which was going through financial problems. The two German manufacturers entered negotiations and managed to reach an agreement. As of 2003, RR was officially a part of BMW while VW kept the Bentley brand. Speaking of Volkswagen, I should note that the sale of RR, just like the sale of Mini, came with its own controversy. BMW was already providing the brand with engines and other car components.

Britain’s Bentley and Italy’s Lamborghini were added to the company’s portfolio in 1998, along with the then-dormant French brand, Bugatti. Volkswagen AG is an automotive giant that has far reaching tentacles across the globe. The German automaker has a full stable of brands, some of which are household names, others are less known. Not satisfied with the plethora of marques it already owns, Volkswagen purchased 19.9% of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s shares in January 2010. However, Suzuki filed a lawsuit at in arbitration court in London requesting that Volkswagen return that stake. In August 2012, Volkswagen purchased the remaining stake in Porsche, becoming its parent company.

  • As automakers have slimmed down to become more profitable and efficient, we’ve seen storied names, such as Mercury, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac, fade into the history books.
  • Polestar is a new performance electric vehicle brand that is jointly owned by Volvo Car Group of Sweden and Volvo’s parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a Chinese company.
  • It was in 1999 that the Renault-Nissan Alliance, led by CEO Carlos Ghosn, was formed and is credited with saving the financially troubled Nissan—although it appears the automaker is scrambling yet again to find its footing.
  • Under the direction of designer Peter Schreyer, MotorTrend’s 2020 Person of the Year, Kia is leading the way in design.

One of the biggest players in the automotive industry is the Volkswagen Group. In 2017, it was the world’s second-largest automaker and has the largest market share in Europe. When you compare them to other major manufacturers, the BMW doesn’t own a lot of other brands. However, they continue to invest a lot of resources and energy into maintaining what they have. Fans of the Mini and the RR can’t get enough of the new units and the sales continue rising.

The company designs, manufactures, and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines and turbomachinery, as well as offering related services, including financing, leasing, and fleet management. In 2016, it was the world’s largest automaker by sales, and keeping this title in 2017, 2018, and 2019, selling 10.9 million vehicles. It has maintained the largest market share in Europe for over two decades. It ranked seventh in the 2020 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies.

In this article, we have focused on the Manufacturers and Vehicles that we do supply and can help our customers to source. Under the Volkswagen Law, no shareholder in Volkswagen AG could exercise more than 20 percent of the firm’s voting rights, regardless of their level of stock holding. This law was supposed to protect Volkswagen Group from takeovers. In October 2005, Porsche acquired an 18.53 percent stake in the business, and in July 2006, Porsche increased that ownership to more than 25 percent. Analysts disagreed as to whether the investment was a good fit for Porsche’s strategy. Rooted in Europe, the Volkswagen Group operates in 153 countries.

This ultra-high-performance, French luxury brand was purchased by Volkswagen in 1998. Ferdinand Piech urged Volkswagen to buy the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque as a logical follow-up to the acqusitions of Lamborghini and Bentley. In 2000, Volkswagen officially incorporated Bugatti Automobiles as a wholly owned subsidiary.

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