Volkswagen is a German car manufacturer founded by German Labour Front in 1937 and is currently owned by Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, also known as the Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen has become the largest car seller in terms of worldwide sales. This is due in large part to its own line of popular vehicles and those it has acquired over the years.
Companies Owned by Volkswagen
Audi is the newest acquisition by Volkswagen, which was acquired for 267 million in 2020. Jetta is a popular line of compact and family-type vehicles for Volkswagen along with being its biggest selling model.
Founded in 1909, Audi is one of the oldest automotive companies that was acquired by Volkswagen. The original purchase of Audi stock by Volkswagen in 1965 led to the acquisition of the company. However, the full purchase of Audi did not occur until 2020 when Volkswagen paid $267 million to buy out the remaining stock.
Since 1919, Bentley has been producing some of the best, most popular luxury vehicles in the world. The Bentley name is synonymous with style and class. In 1998, Bentley formed a partnership with Volkswagen. Five years later, Volkswagen completed the transfer by obtaining full ownership of the company for a total of $790 million. Today, all Bentley vehicles are now sold under Volkswagen ownership although the company does retain its name.
Founded in 1909, the same year as Audi, Bugatti is an Italian company with the reputation of making the fastest car in the world today. in 1998, Bugatti became part of the Volkswagen company, but full ownership did not occur for another two years at a total cost of just $50 million. Interestingly enough, the guesthouse owned by Ettore Bugatti is now the headquarters of the Bugatti company.
Founded by Antonio Cavalieri in 1926, Ducati produced a number of different devices until they focused on motorcycles. Since being purchased by the Italian government in 1950, the company has changed hands several times until 2012 when it finally became a part of the Volkswagen group for a purchase price of $1.2 billion.
The Volkswagen Jetta is a compact car that has been manufactured by the company since 1979. It is next to the Beetle and the Bug arguably the most recognizable of all cars produced by Volkswagen. Currently, the Jetta is the top-selling model of Volkswagen vehicles with sales topping the 14 million mark in 2014.
Arguably the most famous name for high-speed consumer vehicles, Lamborghini was founded in 1963 and grew rapidly thanks to its famous Miura sports coup. However, since the early 1970s the company has struggled to stay afloat. It was purchased several times until Chrysler took over in 1987. When Volkswagen purchased Chrysler in 1998, Lamborghini became a part of the Volkswagen family for a grand total of $8.8 billion.
Sometimes called MAN SE, the company dates back to 1758, although it did not produce vehicles until well just before World War One. Its major focus was busses and trucks along with trains. MAN entered a joint partnership with Force Motors, but in 2011 Volkswagen purchased the majority stock in the company for about $290 million and it has been a part of Volkswagen ever since.
One of the most recognizable of all brands in automotive, Porsche was founded in 1931, although it did not produce a vehicle until 1939. Both Porsche and Volkswagen merged in 2009, although both companies had worked together for decades. By 2015, Volkswagen purchased majority interest in Porsche for a total of $5.7 billion.
This company specializes in busses and trucks. Founded in 1911, this Swedish company has production bases across Europe and Africa. It merged with Saab AB in the 1990s and after attempts by Volvo to purchase it, Volkswagen obtained majority interest in 2015 for $4.3 billion. Today, Scania is 100% owned by Volkswagen.
Founded in 1950, SEAT quickly became the leading car supplier company in all of Spain. It remained an independent company until 1986 when it was purchased by Volkswagen. The company is still headquartered in Barcelona and sells on average more than 427,000 vehicles each year to 75 countries around the world.
Created by Laurin and Klemet in 1895, Skoda originally produced bicycles until it transitioned to motorcycles over the next few years. By 1905, it was making automobiles and the company was eventually purchased by the state in 1948. By 1991, the Czech government privatized Skoda which became part of the Volkswagen group for nearly $1 billion. Today, it is second only to Porsche in terms of profits for the Volkswagen company.
Although it may seem that Volkswagen has cornered the market on European vehicles, there are some brands that are still independent of the company.
What Brands does Volkswagen Own?
Among several well known car companies that are owned by Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi are quite popular today. Volkswagen have also acquired shares of high end car companies such as Lamborghini, Bentley and Ferrari.
Volkswagen does not own Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz is owned by Daimler AG, a company that produces high-end vehicles for the luxury market. Daimler AG is located in Suttgart, Baden-Wurttemburg in Germany.
Volkswagen Group paid around $13 billion in 2017 to acquire 90% of Ferrari stock which makes it the majority owner. Before being purchased by Volkswagen, Ferrari had been a part of Fiat. However, when Ferrari separated from Fiat in 2017, Volkswagen made it clear that it was interested in the company.
Volkswagen owns a piece of the company, but not Volvo itself. Volvo is still headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. However, in 1999 Volkswagen purchased just over 75% of the stock which was owned by WirelessCar. The deal allowed Volvo to focus on creating commercial vehicles.
Volkswagen does not own BMW. BMW is owned by The BMW Group and has managed to maintain its independence since its founding in 1916. The company originally produced aircraft engines, but then became associated with the production of vehicles. BMW is the 14th largest producer of motor vehicles which includes the Mini and Rolls Royce line.
Volkswagen does not own Rolls Royce. In 1998, BMW believed it has outbid Volkswagen to purchase the Rolls Royce name and logo for its vehicles. However, it turned out that the aerospace firm of Rolls Royce, not the car manufacturing firm actually owned the name. Plus, Vickers sold the name to BMW, which now manufactures its line of vehicles such as the Phantom, under the auspices of Rolls Royce which is not owned by Volkswagen.