What does Volkswagen own?

You’re probably familiar with a lot of the brands owned by the Volkswagen Group. Whether you’re heading to a Volkswagen dealership or on the browse for another luxury car — have you considered checking out the following luxury brands owned by the same company?

Ownership of Audi

Believe it or not, Audi joined the Volkswagen Group in 1965. It was then that Volkswagen completed the acquisition of Auto Union GmbH from Daimler-Benz, with this subsidiary responsible for producing the first Audi vehicles since the end of the Second World War.

You’ll already be familiar with Audi, as it is one of the leading brands around the world and works across 100 different markets. The German manufacturer is also capturing plenty of attention with its revolutionary technology — piloted driving, electromobility and an Audi AI setup are just a few ways that the brand is helping to shape the future of driving.

  • Founded: 1909
  • Employees: 90,705
  • Models in the UK: 65
  • 2017 sales: 174,982
  • Market share in 2017: 6.89%

Ownership of Bentley

The history of the Volkswagen Group and Bentley dates back to 1998, but there’s a lot that went on before the group acquired the company fully.

Bentley owner Vickers also put Rolls-Royce Motors up for sale in 1997. BMW came in with an offer of £340 million for the company — not too big of a surprise considering that BMW had been supplying Bentley and Rolls-Royce with engines and other components, as well as the fact that BMW and Vickers both had experience building aircraft engines.

Volkswagen were able to win the bid and offered Vickers an astonishing £430 million. Even with the deal going through, Volkswagen didn’t have ownership of everything. They had the production and administrative facilities, the model nameplates, the vehicle designs and both the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks — but they didn’t have the Rolls-Royce name or logo, which remained in ownership of Rolls-Royce Holdings.

However, things did not end there. BMW began to supply components for new Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars in that year, as well as paid £40 million to Rolls-Royce so that they could licence the Rolls-Royce name and logo. After plenty of battling and negotiating, an agreement was made for BMW to continue with their deal to supply engines and components. Meanwhile, Volkswagen gained access to the rights of both the names and logos.

The deal that was previously made was altered at the start of 2003. This is when Volkswagen officially became the sole provider of cars that were under the Bentley marque — BMW were presented with Rolls-Royce at the same time.

  • Founded: 1919
  • Employees: 4,332
  • Models in the UK: 18
  • 2017 sales: 1,753
  • Market share in 2017: 0.07%

Ownership of Bugatti

Over the last century, Bugatti has produced some of the most recognisable cars — with ambitions to drive technological advances forward and change the way we travel forever. The partnership between the Volkswagen Group and Bugatti began in 1998, when Volkswagen bought the rights to produce cars which were under the Bugatti marque.

Bugatti Automobiles wasn’t properly adopted by Volkswagen until 2000. Around the same time, the Group also bought the former guest house of Ettore Bugatti — based in Dorlisheim — and transformed it into the company’s headquarters.

  • Founded: 1909
  • Employees: 302
  • Models in the UK: 1
  • 2017 sales: N/A
  • Market share in 2017: N/A

Ownership of Lamborghini

Volkswagen Group achieved a lot in 1998. As well as beginning their partnerships with Bentley and Bugatti during that year, the German company also set their sights on adding Lamborghini to their impressive portfolio of acquisitions.

No matter where you are in the world, these iconic sportscars are recognisable — and became owned by MegaTech in 1998. A financial crisis would impact a lot of Asia during this year though, with one repercussion being that Lamborghini had to seek a change in ownership. The new chairman of Volkswagen at the time, Ferdinand Piëch, stepped up and bought Lamborghini for an estimated $110million.

  • Founded: 1963
  • Employees: 1,606
  • Models in the UK: 8
  • 2017 sales: N/A
  • Market share in 2017: N/A

Figures used in this article were correct as of August 2nd 2018.





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