How Many Car Brands Do Volkswagen Own?

John | 22 - 08 - 2020
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Twelve Brands. 

Volkswagen owns twelve brands out of which seven brands are from the European countries. Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Comercial Vehicles, Scania, and MAN are the brands owned by Volkswagen. The Volkswagen group of companies also owns customer financing services, fleet management, leasing, banking, and insurance activities. 

Car Companies Owned by Volkswagen

The German name for “Volkswagen” translates to “People’s car.” This automotive giant has a full stable of brands and for nearly 100 years the car company has retained its reputation for manufacturing affordable automobiles. Volkswagen was started by Adolph Hitler in 1930 to make cheap cars that every common German worker could afford. Then, Volkswagen has evolved over the years and established its reputation across the world with multiple vehicle brands and nameplates. 

1. What Is This Model's Official Name?
  • A. Type 2
  • B. Ghia
  • C. Kamper
  • D. Berliner

Volkswagen Factory during World War II

Established by the German government ruled by the Nazi Party, the factory was repurposed to produce military equipment and vehicles upon the outbreak of World War II in 1939.  The factory was lying in ruins due to allied bombing. However, it was rebuilt and began mass-producing cars. The company now produces vans, commercial and personal vehicles. Volkswagen’s quality was tarnished in 2015 after it was discovered that the company installed software in the diesel engines to artificially boost results during the emission test. The scandal resulted in the company’s first quarterly loss. Later, they significantly strengthened and broadened its product line through acquisitions of heavy trucks, busses, luxury sedans, sports vehicles, and more. 

Volkswagen Owned Companies

Audi

Audi was founded in 1909 and became a part of Volkswagen in 1965. This brand was under the Auto Union GmbH am arm of Daimler since the end of World War II. Today, they sell over 65 models of luxury vehicles. 

Bentley 

Bentley was founded in 1919 and they formed a partnership with Volkswagen in 1998. Bentley offered its Rolls Royce model for sale and BMW bid for it. Volkswagen then outbid the model and got most of the rights with just the exception of the Rolls Royce name and logo. The complete ownership was concluded in 2003.

Buggati

It was founded in 1909 and became a part of Volkswagen in 1998. The complete ownership was finalized in 2000 after which they took over the Ettore Bugatti guesthouse and turned it into their headquarters. 

Lamborghini 

It was an Italian company founded in 1963. Lamborghini offers competition to Ferrari in the first year of production. The car brand got fame for its rear-wheel drive. After the worldwide financial struggle in 1973, the company filed bankruptcy in 1978. It changed several ownerships after which Volkswagen took over the company in 1998 and made it a subsidiary of Audi.

Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche was founded in 1931. Their first car was produced in 1939 and used many components from the VW beetle. During WorldWar II, Porsche was involved in manufacturing military tanks. The most popular Porsche 911 was released in 1989 which was the first four-wheel drive to have Tiptronic transmission. In August 2009, the two companies decided to merge the entities. By the end of 2015, Volkswagen held a major share in Porsche. 

SEAT

It is a Spanish manufacturer founded in 1950. Volkswagen began various management partnerships with SEAT since the 1980s. It increased the stake by 1986 and held 75% in 1990. Volkswagen currently owns the entire equity stake of SEAT. 

Škoda

This Czech car manufacturing company was founded in 1985. It was initially owned by the state in 1925 and later privatized in 1991. Volkswagen showed interest in this company in 1991 by purchasing a 30% stake. Finally, it acquired all equity shares and made Škoda a fully owned Volkswagen sub-brand.

Ducati

It is a motorcycle manufacturing company that started in 1926. Ducati is known for its high-performance four-stroke motorcycles. Initially, they produced condensers, vacuum tubes, and radio components. The company survived the effects of world war II. Volkswagen bought the company in 2012. 

MAN 

The automobile maker had its roots in 1758. It later merged with Good Hope and New Forges to form Oberhausen. MAN survived WWII but the GHH group was split. Volkswagen bought the company in 2011. 

Scania

Scania started its journey as a commercial vehicle manufacturer in 1911. It has production bases in over 10 African companies and many countries across Asia and Europe. Volkswagen took complete control of Scania in 2015. 

With over 125 production plans all over the world, The Volkswagen Group shaped mobility for generations to come. They have grown through a series of mergers and acquisitions. 

Which is your favorite car brand? Leave your comment below. Don’t forget to take our quiz on top brands owned by Volkswagen.

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