The Volkswagen Group is one of the largest companies in the world, responsible for some of the most recognizable vehicle brands on the road today.
autobahn-performance.com gathered information about the Volkswagen Group, its brands, and subsidiaries.
Volkswagen in History
Founded by the Nazi lead German Labour Front in Wolfsburg, Germany, 1937, Volkswagen was owned by the German government and originally carried the name “Volkswagenwerk” which translates to “The People’s Car Company.”
You may be surprised to learn that the Beetle (the company’s first vehicle), known as the Type 1, was commissioned by none other than Adolf Hitler. The Type 1 rolled off the assembly line in 1938 and was designed by the Austrian automotive engineer, Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the founder of the Porsche car company).
Already widely popular in Europe, it was in 1949 that Volkswagen entered the U.S. market. In that first year, the automaker sold a whopping 2 (two) units. Initially marketed as “Victory Wagon,” it wasn’t until April 1955 that Volkswagen of America was formed to standardize sales, and services in the United States.
For the entire 20th century, the Volkswagen Beetle was one of the best-selling cars, selling more than 21.5 million vehicles.
1998 saw Volkswagen navigate a significant turning point in its history when it acquired control of Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti setting off a phase of luxury and sports car production.
Today, the Volkswagen Group is ranked as one of the top 10 companies in the world by revenue, controls 12 brands, consists of over 50 subsidiaries and is majority-owned by the Porsche-Piech family (yes, that Porsche).
Volkswagen Group Brands
Volkswagen has cemented itself as an automotive powerhouse, consistently outselling its competition. And its no mystery as to why. Some of the most recognizable vehicle brand names in the world find themselves “driven” by the Volkswagen Group.
Those brands include:
• Volkswagen Passenger Cars
• Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
• Audi – Acquired in 1965
• SEAT – Acquired in 1986
• ŠKODA – Acquired in1994
• Bentley – Acquired in 1998
• Bugatti – Acquired in 1998
• Lamborghini – Acquired in 1998
• Scania – Acquired in 2008
• Porsche – Acquired in 2012
• Ducati – Acquired in 2012
• MAN – Acquired in 2012
As Volkswagen begins an aggressive move from combustion to electric vehicles, be on the lookout, as your favorite car brand may soon come with a plug instead of a gas tank.
Volkswagen Group Subsidiaries
The Volkswagen Group is comprised of 51 subsidiaries, with 122 production plants, employing more than 660,000 employees in 153 countries.
With its collection of brands and subsidiaries, Volkswagen has placed itself as the top-selling automaker and one of the largest employers in the world.
The Volkswagen Group
It is awe-inspiring how many world-famous brands like Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, and Ducati are connected to Volkswagen, one of the largest companies in the world.
In this article, you discovered historical information about the Volkswagen Group, the company’s brands, and its many subsidiaries.
Next time you are traveling by car, take note of the brand names that are sharing the road with you. You’ll be surprised at how many vehicles are under the Volkswagen Group umbrella.