The Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen AG) is one of the most notorious automotive manufacturing companies out there and at this moment of time, are the world's largest automaker in terms of sales. They are known for their domination of the market with their luxurious car manufacturing brands which populate roads across the world; and are still continuing to grow as time goes on. They are headquartered out of Wolfsburg, Germany and offer services from the production of turbomachinery and motorcycles to leasing and fleet management.
One question many people wonder about the Volkswagen Group is what companies do VW actually own? But, before we get into that, how about a little history on the Volkswagen Group.
History of the Volkswagen Group
The Volkswagen Group was founded 83 years ago in 1937 in Germany's capital, Berlin, on the lead up to the 2nd world war which would start two years later in 1939. It was founded as Volkswagen, or in the German language, 'people's car', to manufacturer what we now know as the VW Beetle. The Beetle was known as the Porsche Type 60 due to the fact that it was designed by Ferdinand Porsche's firm, and was supported by the infamous leader of the nazi party, Adolf Hitler. Volkswagen was close at one point after the war to being acquired by Ford, however, Ford turned it down as they did not believe that VW was worth their time. The 1960s saw Volkswagenwerk take upon Auto Union GmbH, which would go on to become Audi, where the first few Audi models were created. The growth of the group saw the acquiring of SEAT and Skoda between the 1980s and 90s and before the millennium hit; prestigious automotive brands, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti. In the 21st century, The Volkswagen group also acquired Porsche and BMW amongst other big names.
Below is the full list of manufacturers that the Volkswagen Group owns:
What about a little background check?
Audi was founded way back in 1910 and is one of the oldest manufacturers in the game. They are a German manufacturer who were historically founded in Zwickau, Germany and are representative of some of the most luxurious vehicles in the market. They offer a diverse range of vehicles from the small size of the Audi A1 to the Q7 and Q8 as well as a performance range with the likes of S3 and even more powerful the RS range; which holds incredible power coupled with astonishing looks. It's argued that the modern era of Audi, and the Audi that we know today, began in the 1960s when the company was acquired by the Volkswagen Group.
As far as luxury goes, there aren't many manufacturers who can compete with Bentley. Bentley is a notorious luxury car manufacturer based out of Crewe in the United Kingdom; They have been part of the Volkswagen group for just over twenty years and are known for their vehicles such as the Bentley Bentayga and Continental GT which are incredibly powerful and prestigious. Moving forward into the future of the automotive industry, Bentley had not long ago introduced the Bentayga hybrid and have expanded to the United States and China in 2019.
Similar to Bentley, Bugatti are known for their production of incredibly luxurious vehicles which are unobtainable by many due to their steep price points; with the most notorious vehicle being the Bugatti Chiron; which can range between £1-3 million. Bugatti is headquartered in Molsheim, France and was founded back in 1909 and became part of the Volkswagen group in 1998.
Lamborghini is a luxury Italian sports car manufacturer based out of Sant Agata Bolognese, Italy (Bologna) and is a subsidiary of Audi. They are a relatively new manufacturer in comparison to others but have been going since 1963 and joined the Volkswagen group in 1998. Their vehicles include the all-new Urus SUV, Huracan and Aventador amongst others.
100% ownership as of 2012
The name Ferdinand Porsche may ring a bell for many automotive fans as he is the creator of the first hybrid vehicle and is also behind the Porsche brand, Volkswagen Beetle and Mercedes-Benz SSK. Although Austrian himself, the Porsche brand remains of German origin and was founded in 1931 in Stuttgart, Germany. Porsche is one of the most successful sports car manufacturers across the industry with the likes of the Macan, 911 and Panamera.
SEAT is a Spanish manufacturer based out of Martorell, Spain in Catalonia. They were founded in 1950 and have over 15,000 employees, and have been a member of the Volkswagen Group since way back in 1986. Their vehicles are named after locations in Spain, such as the Ibiza, Leon and Arona. They are also known for their performance variants of vehicles which trade under the Cupra name; such as the Seat Leon Cupra.
Skoda is a notorious manufacturer based out of the Czech Republic (Czechia) way back in 1895, making them one of the oldest manufacturers in the automotive industry and the biggest business in the Czech Republic. They are headquartered in Mlada Boleslav and have just over an astonishing 35,000 employees. They build their vehicles to be affordable whilst having great performance and looks, with examples such as the Skoda Octavia and Superb.
As a step away from the automotive industry, The Volkswagen Group obtained the famous Italian Motorcycle brand only 7 years ago in 2012. They are known for their racetrack success in MotoGP and Superbike. Ducati is headquartered in Bologna, Italy and was founded 93 years ago in 1926.
94.36% ownership as of 2019, part of the group since 2012
MAN are a historical commercial company which were founded 261 years ago in 1758 and joined the Volkswagen group in 2012. They supply trucks, buses, vans, turbomachinery amongst many more, in a competitive sector whilst still retaining one of the leading positions. They are headquartered in Munich, Germany and in 2016 generated an annual sales of around $13.6 billion.