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What does Volkswagen own?


What does Volkswagen own?

You may be surprised to hear that Volkswagen own some of the biggest motoring companies in the world — each with a long-standing history of acquisition. Together with Vindis, who offer Vw Servicing we take a look at what brands fall under the group and how much of the market share they occupy here in the UK.

1.    Bentley

The relationship between the Volkswagen Group and Bentley properly started in 1998; but the events leading up to the acquisition were much more complicated than anticipated.

Vickers, who owned Bentley at the time was also putting Rolls-Royce on the market. 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.

Fortunately, Vickers accepted Volkwagen’s offer of £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.

Following this, 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 altered again in January of 2000. 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.

Year of foundation:1919

Number of employees:4,332

Number of models (in the UK):18

2017 sales:1,753

Market share in 2017:0.07%

2.    Bugatti

The vision of Ettore Bugatti has lived on for over 100 years, with Bugatti now producing some of the most innovative vehicles to date. 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.

But, the official steps of introducing Bugatti to the Volkswagen family was taken in 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.

Year of foundation: 1909

Number of employees:302

Number of models (in the UK):1

2017 sales:N/A

Market share in 2017:N/A

3.    Audi

It was 1965 when Volkswagen adopted Audi. 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.

Now, the brand is recognised as one of the most premium. 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.

Year of foundation:1909

Number of employees:90,705

Number of models (in the UK):65

2017 sales:174,982

Market share in 2017:6.89%

4.    Porsche

Porsche is the most recent car brand to become a part of the Volkswagen Group, though it did take a few years for Volkswagen to become the parent company of the highly successful German sports car manufacturer.

In the closing weeks of 2009, the Volkswagen Group took its first step towards an ‘integrated automotive group’ approach with Porsche when they successful purchased a 49.9 per cent stake in Porsche AG. By 2011, a merger between the two companies was scheduled to occur. Unfortunately, unquantifiable legal risks meant that an announcement had to be made stating that the merger was not possible.

The very next year though, Volkswagen made an announcement that they were in the process of buying the remaining half of the shares in Porsche for a deal priced at €4.46 billion. This remaining stake in Porsche was officially made by the Volkswagen Group in August 2012.

Year of foundation:1931

Number of employees:27,352

Number of models (in the UK):37

2017 sales:14,051

Market share in 2017:0.55%

5.    Lamborghini

1998 was the year when Volkswagen Group were in their prime. 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. A world-renowned manufacturer of super sports cars which catch the eye with their unique designs and leave bystanders in awe with phenomenal levels of power, Lamborghini had gone into 1998 owned by holding company MegaTech — a firm who themselves were owned by Indonesian conglomerate SEDRCO pty.

Lamborghini had to look for new owners after a financial crisis occurring across Asia. The new chairman of Volkswagen at the time, Ferdinand Piëch, stepped up and bought Lamborghini for an estimated $110million.

Year of foundation:1963

Number of employees:1,606

Number of models (in the UK):8

2017 sales:N/A

Market share in 2017:N/A

6.    ŠKODA

The 90s was the decade where you could trace the origins of the partnership between the Volkswagen Group and ŠKODA. A joint venture partnership agreement was made between Volkswagen and ŠKODA in 1991, with part of this seeing the German manufacturer gaining a 30 per cent stake in the Czech car maker. The stake that Volkswagen had in ŠKODA increased in December 1994 to 60.3 per cent, before rising to 70 per cent in 1995.

Throughout this time, it was decided that ŠKODA would become an entirely owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. With the number of deliveries made by the Czech manufacturer increasing by more than sevenfold since the partnership between them and Volkswagen began in 1991, it would be hard to argue against the pairing being a highly successful one for ŠKODA.

Year of foundation:1895

Number of employees:32,985

Number of models (in the UK):27

2017 sales:79,758

Market share in 2017:3.14%

Figures used in this article were correct as of August 2nd2018.



I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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