How much of the motoring world does Volkswagen own?

Business Insights

Your nearest Volkswagen dealership have many eye-catching vehicles from the German brand available, such as the Golf, Passat and Polo. Did you know that the Volkswagen Group is made up of these seven iconic car brands too?

1. Audi

Audi joined the Volkswagen Group family way back in 1965. Audi is one of the world’s leading premium brands and is capturing 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.

Year of foundation: 1909

Number of models (in the UK): 65

2017 sales: 174,982

Market share in 2017: 6.89%


In the 1990s, the Volkswagen Group and ŠKODA partnership began. The stake that Volkswagen had in ŠKODA increased until Volkswagen decided to turn ŠKODA into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group in 2000. The number of deliveries made by the Czech manufacturer increased more than sevenfold since the partnership began in 1991, so the pairing was highly successful for ŠKODA.

Year of foundation: 1895

Number of models (in the UK): 27

2017 sales: 79,758

Market share in 2017: 3.14%


The co-operation agreement between Volkswagen Group and SEAT marked the first time that Volkswagen chose to expand outside of Germany. In June 1986, for Volkswagen acquired a 51 per cent controlling stake in SEAT — becoming Volkswagen Group’s first non-German subsidiary. In 1990, Volkswagen Group decided to purchase the complete equity of SEAT, meaning it became a whole subsidiary of Volkswagen.

Year of foundation: 1950

Number of models (in the UK): 24

2017 sales: 56,130

Market share in 2017: 2.21%

4. Porsche

The most recent car brand to join the Volkswagen Group is Porsche. Towards the end of 2009, the Volkswagen Group purchased 49.9 per cent stake in Porsche AG. By 2011, a merger between the two companies was scheduled to occur. But legal risks meant the merger was not possible at that time. However, an announcement was made by Volkswagen the next year that they sought to purchasing the remaining shares in Porsche in a €4.46 billion deal that was sealed in August 2012.

Year of foundation: 1931

Number of models (in the UK): 37

2017 sales: 14,051

Market share in 2017: 0.55%

5. Bentley

While the Volkswagen Group has been associated with Bentley since 1998, the full story is a bit more complicated. Back in 1997, then-Bentley owner Vickers put Rolls-Royce Motors up for sale. Volkswagen outbid BMW for ownership with a £430 million offer. They had the production and administrative facilities, the nameplates, vehicle designs and the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks — but they didn’t have the name or logo, which stayed with Rolls-Royce Holdings. BMW paid £40 million to licence the Rolls-Royce name and logo. A deal finally settled in 2003, with Volkswagen becoming the sole provider of Bentley marque cars. BMW were presented with Rolls-Royce.

Year of foundation: 1919

Number of models (in the UK): 18

2017 sales: 1,753

Market share in 2017: 0.07%

6. Bugatti

In 1998, the Volkswagen Group and Bugatti’s partnership started. Volkswagen bought the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque. Then, in 2000, Volkswagen took steps to incorporate Bugatti Automobiles into its Group. The Group also bought the former guest house of Ettore Bugatti and transformed it into its headquarters.

Year of foundation: 1909

Number of models (in the UK): 1

7. Lamborghini

In 1998, Lamborghini was owned by MegaTech, a firm who were owned by SEDRCO pty. A financial crisis struck Asia though, and Lamborghini needed new ownership. The new chairman of Volkswagen at the time, Ferdinand Piëch, bought Lamborghini for an estimated $110million. Lamborghini began a restructuring phase, becoming the holding company Lamborghini Holding S.p.A for stability.

Year of foundation: 1963

Number of models (in the UK): 8

Volkswagen Group facts

Volkswagen were founded in 1937. They have 200,266 employees on their books and 33 models available across the UK, not to mention achieving 208,462 sales in 2017 to record an 8.21 per cent share of the market. As such, the following is the scale of the Volkswagen Group’s car brands combined:

Collective years of experience: 731 years

Number of models (in the UK): 213

2017 sales: 535,136

Market share in 2017: 21.07%

The figures in this article were correct as of August 2nd 2018.