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It’s no secret that a few German car brands have grown to the point that they can own a myriad of sub-brands and luxury car marques. However, the automotive titans of Deutschland didn’t stop at collecting smaller domestic brands; instead, giants like BMW Group and Volkswagen Group have purchased beloved British automakers for the next generation of His Majesty’s vehicular landscape. Check out some royal marques that report to German parent companies, most notably Rolls-Royce and Bentley and their luxury models.

Which luxury British car brands have German parent companies?

Two of the most illustrious names in the luxury vehicle industry, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, have German parent companies. Specifically, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW Group, owns Rolls-Royce. On the other hand, Volkswagen Group owns Bentley along with many other subsidiaries. 

A BMW Group vehicle from the German car brand flashes its new badge.
A BMW badge | Sean Gallup, Getty Images

That’s not an uncommon practice or even a bad thing. American marques like Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler fall under Stellantis, a multinational European parent company. Moreover, Tata Motor Corporation from India has controlling ownership over Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR). 

Is it true that Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW?

BMW Group acquired ownership of the storied British luxury marque Rolls-Royce in 1998. Since then, the German car brand and Rolls-Royce have collaborated to continue Rolls-Royce’s tradition of coach-built motorcars. 

Moreover, many of Rolls-Royce’s models borrow BMW architecture. For instance, the Rolls-Royce Dawn shares parts of its platform with the BMW 7 Series, while the Ghost and Cullinan borrow a retuned BMW N74 V12 engine, per Car and Driver

A white Rolls-Royce Ghost poses against a white backdrop.
Rolls-Royce Ghost | Volkswagen Group

Did Bentley get bought by Volkswagen?

Like BMW and its purchase of Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen Group acquired Bentley in 1998. Around that timeframe, Bentley was producing its iconic round-lamped models like the Azure and Continental. 

Today, Bentley is just one of the many subsidiaries that the major German car brand owns. However, Volkswagen’s tenure of sensible cars hasn’t impacted the opulence that enthusiasts have come to expect from Bentley. Instead, the automaker produces dramatic six-figure lounges like the Bentayga SUV and drop-top Continental. 

What car brands does the Volkswagen Group own?

In addition to Bentley, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft owns nine other car marques. Beyond Bentley, Volkswagen, and German car brand’s namesake commercial vehicles company, these automakers fall under the VW ownership umbrella. 

  • Porsche
  • Audi
  • Lamborghini
  • Ducati
  • SEAT
The German car brand, Volkswagen Group, runs a large factory in Wolfsburg.
Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory | Ronny Hartmann, AFP via Getty Images

However, the Wolfsburg car brand also owned Bugatti from 1998 to 2021. During that timeframe, Bugatti produced some of the world’s fastest and most over-the-top cars, like the Veyron and Chiron. In 2021, Croatian EV supercar builder Rimac secured a controlling interest in Bugatti. 

Are MINIs made by BMW?

In addition to Bentley, BMW Group owns modern-day MINI. Despite the German ownership, the historic British car brand manufacturing HQ is in Oxford, England. Additionally, MINI says some of its models come from plants in the Netherlands and Austria.