4 Popular Car Brands Under Chinese Ownership

Popular car brands from the United States and European countries inspire pride of ownership in the domestic drivers who buy their vehicles. However, a few of the beloved names from over the years have evolved to fit the modern market, including falling under the ownership of Chinese companies. Check out a few big names whose parent companies are based in China, like Volvo, Lotus, and Polestar. 

Many popular car and motorcycle companies are headquartered in China or owned by Chinese parent companies. Of the most popular European car brands to be owned by Chinese companies, these four are some of the most prolific. 

  • Volvo
  • Polestar
  • Lotus
  • MG
The Zhejiang Geely Group, the company that owns Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus, has its HQ in China.
Zhejiang Geely | Zhu Difeng via VCG via Getty Images

While ownership might not alter the overall quality or design of a subsidiary car brand’s products, it sometimes has an evident impact. For instance, after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) acquired Jeep, fans were torn by the modern aesthetic of the Renegade, calling it a “Jeep-badged Fiat.” Of course, it’s common practice for companies to share platforms across subsidiaries, like the Alfa Romeo Tonale and Dodge Hornet.  

Who is Volvo owned by?

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group currently owns Volvo. Zhejiang Geely also owns Geely Auto, an automaker from Hangzhou, China. However, while Geely-badged cars cater to the Asian and Eastern European markets, Volvo distributes vehicles to over 100 countries.  

Volvo flags wave at one of the lots belonging to the car brand.
Volvo flags | Karol Serewis via SOPA Images via LightRocket via Getty Images

Who currently owns Polestar?

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group owns Polestar, the Volvo-aligned electric vehicle (EV) maker, per Consumer Reports. Moreover, the electric car brand’s current production plant in Chengdu, China, is the only source of Polestar 1s and 2s. That means every one of the EV models is made in China. 

However, Polestar announced that a production plant would open in Ridgeville, South Carolina, in 2024 to produce the upcoming Polestar 3. 

The Polestar 2 parks under an overhang
Polestar 2 | Volvo

Does China own Lotus?

Colin Chapman’s racing brainchild, Lotus, is a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. That’s right; the British car brand and its bleeding-edge driver’s cars share a Chinese parent company with Volvo and Polestar. 

Still, some of Lotus’ latest releases under Zhejiang Geely’s ownership, like the Emira and all-electric Evija, are ground-breaking performance cars.  

A bright yellow Lotus Emira blasts down a country road.
2023 Lotus Emira | Lotus

Who owns the MG car brand now?

SAIC Motor Corporation owns MG, the famous British car marque. SAIC, or Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, is the largest of the state-owned car brands in China. However, MG isn’t the only SAIC interest; SAIC partnered with General Motors to sell cars in the Chinese domestic market. 

SAIC, a car brand and auto group in China, shows off its emblem on a wall.
SAIC | Ed Jones via AFP via Getty Images

Tesla Owners Protest Lower Prices in China; You Read That Right

Stellantis, one of the largest automotive parent companies in the world, is 3.09% owned by the Chinese state-owned company Dongfeng Motor Corporation. As a result, brands like Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo are connected to the Wuhan-based company. However, 3.09% isn’t exactly a controlling share.

Moreover, Benelli, the iconic Italian motorcycle maker, was resurrected for sale in China, India, Malaysia, and other regional markets by Qianjiang Group, per Asphalt & Rubber. Still, even with the backing of the Chinese parent company, Benelli was embroiled in bankruptcy hearings in Italy as recently as 2016.