What Brands Does Volkswagen Own?

Volkswagen AG is an automotive large that has far reaching tentacles throughout the globe. The German automaker has a full steady of manufacturers, a few of that are family names, others are much less recognized. Many readers could be hard-pressed to call all of them.

Unsurprisingly, a number of have German roots, beginning with the namesake Volkswagen model offered in enormous volumes all over the world, together with the luxury Audi brand and iconic Porsche. However Volkswagen has owned Spanish model SEAT since 1990 and the Czech model Škoda since 2000. Britain’s Bentley and Italy’s Lamborghini have been added to the corporate’s portfolio in 1998, together with the then-dormant French model, Bugatti.

In 2019, Volkswagen experimented with its first sub-brand: JETTA, full with its personal supplier community, however solely in China.

The Volkswagen Group is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, however lots of its manufacturers heart their operations elsewhere, whereas reporting again to the mom ship. Volkswagen Group is most recognized for making passenger autos, however it additionally owns heavy truck manufacturers MAN and Scania, the latter as soon as a part of the corporate that additionally made Saab vehicles, in addition to Ducati bikes, which is owned by Audi through Lamborghini.

Here is a snapshot of the automotive manufacturers at the moment below the Volkswagen Group umbrella.


Volkswagen is the mainstream, high-volume model of the Volkswagen Group, based mostly in Wolfsburg, and well-known for creating the Beetle.

VW was based in 1937 in Berlin by the German Labour Entrance on the route of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, who wished an inexpensive “individuals’s automotive”—in German, a Volkswagen. Although he could not drive, Hitler was an auto fanatic, and is claimed to have mandated the automotive have an air-cooled engine, and that it be capable of cruise at its prime velocity—62 mph—on the autobahn with two adults and three youngsters aboard.

Hitler himself unveiled the automotive, formally named the KdF-Wagen, on the 1938 Berlin Motor Present. And although 1000’s of Germans had pre-ordered and made funds on one, little greater than 200 civilian variations have been constructed earlier than the outbreak of World Battle II halted manufacturing.

After the struggle, varied automakers, together with Ford, have been provided the chance to take over manufacturing of the automotive, which had been restarted in December 1945 below the steerage of a British Military officer, Main Ivan Hirst. All rejected the Beetle, and Hirst appointed a German engineer, Heinz Nordhoff, to run the plant as its personal entity in 1948.

The Volkswagen model entered the U.S. market in 1949 with a whopping two models offered the primary 12 months, however the Beetle’s straightforward drivability, and its prime quality and reliability, which had been dramatically improved below Nordhoff’s steerage, rapidly turned a cult following into mass market enchantment. The success of the Beetle cajoled Detroit’s Huge Three into constructing their very own low-price compacts within the late 1950s.

VW struggled for years to discover a successor to the Beetle earlier than the water-cooled, entrance drive Golf took off within the 1970s. And although the Golf turned VW’s heartland automotive—and in its eighth technology continues to be a section benchmark—many different VW fashions missed the mark within the US, providing too few facilities at a premium worth level in contrast with rivals. There have been occasions when it appeared the Volkswagen model would pull out of the market altogether.


Audi is one in all VW’s luxurious manufacturers and operates with some independence from its guardian from a head workplace in Ingolstadt, Germany.

The Audi title was first registered in 1910 by German engineer August Horch—who had based an automaker in his personal title in 1904—and is derived from a latin translation of Horch, which suggests ‘pay attention’ in German. The emblem of 4 rings represents the 4 automakers that merged in 1932 to type Auto Union—Audi, Hord, DKW, and Wanderer.

Volkswagen acquired Auto Union from Daimler-Benz in 1965, and the model was relaunched with the return of the Audi title after 25 years and the introduction of the Audi F103 sequence.

Initially Volkswagen didn’t need Auto Union to function as an impartial entity—VW simply wished the capability of the plant in Ingolstadt. Auto Union engineers resorted to creating the primary Audi 100 in secret and the automotive impressed VW brass and was launched in 1968. A 12 months later Auto Union merged with NSU Motorenwerke, recognized for bikes, small vehicles and rotary engines. The brand new firm, Audi NSU Auto Union AG, was included Jan. 1, 1969, with Audi was a separate model.

Volkswagen launched the Audi model to the U.S. market in 1970. In 1986, the corporate title was shortened to Audi AG and headquarters have been again in Ingolstadt.

Although introduction of quattro all-wheel drive was nicely obtained—the 1980 Audi quattro Coupe, which featured an all-wheel drive system developed from the Volkswagen Iltis navy car, was set the template for contemporary rally vehicles—recollects for studies of sudden unintended acceleration, perpetuated by a fraudulent 60 Minutes report, nearly killed the model in North America within the ’80s.

Whereas Audi initially supplied Volkswagen with engineering abilities it didn’t possess in-house, its influence on the corporate proved far larger: It nurtured the profession of 1 Ferdinand Piech, who joined Audi from Porsche in 1972 when it was determined no member of the Porsche household (he was a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche) ought to have a task within the day-to-day working of the German sports activities automotive maker.

Piech turned chairman of Volkswagen Group in 1993, and was instrumental within the aggressive acquisition of manufacturers—and growth of halo merchandise such because the Golf 4, Audi R8, Bentley Continental, and Bugatti Veyron—that helped remodel the corporate into the worldwide powerfouse it’s at the moment.

Audi was stung by scandal once more in 2015 as a part of the bigger Volkswagen emissions testing scandal, however at the moment is a widely known and revered model of sporty luxurious vehicles and crossovers. Following the general mandate for the Volkswagen Group, Audi is also increasing into electrical autos, beginning with the Audi  E-Tron.


Porsche is a model synonymous with high-performance sports activities vehicles. The German model is owned by the Volkswagen Group and based mostly in Stuttgart.

Porsche was based by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931 and initially helped develop autos for others, just like the Volkswagen Beetle. It was not till after World Battle II that Porsche began constructing vehicles below its personal title, beginning with the 356, which borrowed many design traits, together with its rear-mounted air-cooled four-cylinder engine, with the unique Beetle. The 911, developed as a roomier, extra highly effective, extra comfy substitute for the 356, however powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled engine, appeared in 1963 and over eight generations has turn into not simply the model’s lode star, however one of many world’s most iconic sports activities vehicles.

Voting-share possession by the Porsche and Piëch households have made the company construction a little bit of a cleaning soap opera over time, made no simpler when Porsche and Volkswagen every each tried to take over the opposite within the early ’00s. A denouement was organized to merge their manufacturing operations—and there have been different sophisticated preparations regarding who owned what at completely different company ranges, however it amounted to Porsche AG being owned and run by Volkswagen AG in 2012.


Luscious Lamborghini is an Italian model that’s a part of Germany’s Volkswagen Group.

Lamborghini was based in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, to compete with Ferrari. It’s recognized for its mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, low-slung unique vehicles. It has developed from sports activities vehicles to luxurious sport crossovers, as nicely, with the introduction of the Lamborghini Urus with a twin-turbo V-8.

The model has seen three possession adjustments and a chapter since 1973. Ferruccio retired and offered the corporate in 1974 to a pair of buyers who have been pressured to file for chapter in 1978. The receivers purchased it in 1984. Then in 1987 Chrysler purchased Lamborghini however in 1994 offered it to funding companies in Malaysia and Indonesia. They in flip offered Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group in 1998, which rolled the model into its Audi division.

Volkswagen Group, by way of Lamborghini, took a majority stake within the Italian design home Italdesign Giugiaro, in 2010, and iconic Italian bike make Ducati in 2012.


Bentley is a model of Bentley Motors, a British maker of luxurious autos that’s a part of the German Volkswagen Group. Headquartered in Crewe, U.Ok, Bentley has been a part of VW since 1998.

Bentley was based in 1909 by Walter Owen Bentley and his brother Horace Miller Bentley. The automaker went into receivership in 1931, through the Nice Despair, and was offered to British Central Equitable Belief, which later turned out to be a entrance for Rolls-Royce.

With Rolls-Royce in monetary bother in 1971, the British authorities nationalized the corporate, after which created Rolls-Royce Motors in 1973 to separate the Rolls-Royce and Bentley car-making operation from the strategically delicate Rolls-Royce aerospace enterprise. Rolls-Royce Motors was bought by engineering conglomerate Vickers in 1980.

In 1997 Vickers determined to promote. BMW was comprehensively outbid by Volkswagen AG, the deal closing in 1998. Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch presumed he’d purchased all Rolls-Royce and Bentley property, however the fantastic print revealed that Rolls-Royce plc, the aerospace enterprise, truly owned the Rolls-Royce title and the brand, and had merely licensed it to the automotive enterprise. Worse, it then determined to promote the license to BMW, its accomplice in industrial jet engine manufacture.

Volkswagen had no leverage because the engines in each the Rolls-Royce Seraph and Bentley Arnage have been provided by … BMW. From 1998 to 2003, when BMW had accomplished growth of the all-new Phantom, Volkswagen constructed Rolls-Royce vehicles for BMW.


This ultra-high-performance, French luxurious model was bought by Volkswagen in 1998. Ferdinand Piech urged Volkswagen to purchase the rights to provide vehicles below the Bugatti marque as a logical follow-up to the acqusitions of Lamborghini and Bentley. In 2000, Volkswagen formally included Bugatti Vehicles as a completely owned subsidiary.

Piech then personally set down the standards for the Bugatti he wished Volkswagen to construct: The automotive needed to have greater than 1000hp; it had to have the ability to speed up to 60mph in below 3.0sec; it needed to have a prime velocity of 250mph; and it needed to be luxurious and even tempered sufficient to permit him to drive Mrs Piech to the opera in it within the night.

The targets have been easy. Assembly them was something however, nonetheless. For a begin, a tire able to supporting a automotive as huge, heavy and highly effective because the Veyron at 250mph merely did not exist. Plans have been made for the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 to enter manufacturing in 2003, however it wasn’t till 2005 {that a} Veyron was delivered to the primary buyer.

The Veyron was discontinued in 2014 however Bugatti set the world abuzz once more with the virtually $3 million, 1,479-hp Chiron proven on the Geneva Motor Present in 2016. Bugatti is following up with the Divo and La Voiture Noire particular version automotive—a one-off 1,500-hp automotive constructed and offered for $18.9.5 million. The Centodieci, a re-bodied Chiron, was proven in August 2019, and all 10 offered, regardless of a $9million pricetag. The Chiron Tremendous Sport 300+ has been clocked at 304mph, sustaining Bugatti’s place because the quickest manufacturing automotive on the planet, and the corporate has simply introduced the handling-focused Chiron Pur Sport.


Volkswagen expanded exterior Germany with a co-operation settlement between Audi AG and the Spanish automotive producer SEAT in 1982. The Volkswagen Group took a majority and controlling stake in SEAT in 1986. When Volkswagen took full possession of SEAT in 1990, the Spanish model turned a completely owned subsidiary.

SEAT was the primary non-German marque for the German conglomerate. It additionally supplied larger inroads for VW’s different manufacturers to make inroads within the Spanish market.

The SEAT title dates again to 1950, based by a Spanish state-owned industrial holding firm, Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo (S.E.A.T.) and it rapidly turned the nation’s largest provider of vehicles. Fiat was a key accomplice for a few years, at occasions considered as controlling the enterprise. The connection with Fiat led to 1982 after almost 30 years.

The high-performance motorsport division SEAT Sport was renamed CUPRA in 2018.


In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Volkswagen signed a three way partnership settlement with Czech automaker Skoda and took a 30 p.c stake within the automaker. VW continued to extend its fairness, buying a controlling stake in 1994, and extra in 1995. In 2000, Skoda turned a completely owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

Skoda was based in 1895 as Laurin & Klement, a bicycle maker, which was acquired in 1925 by arms maker and industrial conglomerate Skoda Works. Through the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Skoda made tanks and different armaments, and after the struggle turned a state-owned automaker below the management of the Communist regime.

Skoda’s popularity for engineering excellence suffered through the Communist period, however below Volkswagen, Skoda has turn into the smart alternative for many who need the standard and drivability of a Volkswagen product at a worth worth. Skoda autos are actually offered in additional than 100 nations.


The JETTA sub-brand was launched in China in 2019. Volkswagen took the bizarre step of making a model-based sub-brand as a result of the Jetta mannequin is so well-liked in China. The brand new model targets younger, first-time automotive patrons.

The model launched in September 2019 with two entry-level fashions, the JETTA VS5 compact crossover and VA3 compact sedan. JETTA, which has its personal supplier community, reported gross sales of almost 30,000 within the first three months, making the newcomer an early success. The third car within the lineup would be the VS7, a barely bigger crossover. All of the autos have been designed in Wolfsburg however are assembled on the FAW-VW joint-venture plant in Chengdu, China.

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