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Some of the world’s best luxury and sports cars are part of the Volkswagen Group. Even some of the priciest vehicles, including the Bugatti brand and the Lamborghini, are technically owned by Volkswagen. Other brands, both domestic and overseas, are also part of the Volkswagen family, including Audi, Bentley, and Porsche. Here’s a brief history of how Volkswagen’s umbrella grew over time and a current roster of offerings.
What brands are part of the Volkswagen family?
Volkswagen has been around since 1937. It was founded in Germany when it set out to produce a “people’s car.” Volkswagen Group has grown in scope and size, diversifying its overall brand lineup to include some of the best in luxury and performance. As previously mentioned, Volkswagen owns Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, Audi, and Bugatti. But its own Volkswagen branded lineup is equally impressive with what many consider a perfect combination of posh and sporty, too.
A history of how the automaker’s umbrella got so big
Volkswagen AG, as it’s sometimes called, V.A.G. back in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, or Volkswagen Group, is the brand umbrella that governs the production, leasing, and distribution. But how did it grow from making “the people’s car” to the powerhouse company it is today? According to Consumer Reports, Volkswagen started buying up other automakers, including Bentley, in 1998. In 2009, Volkswagen bought a 49.9% stake in Porsche AG.
Between 2002 and 2007, the Volkswagen Group restructured, differentiating two distinct brand profiles. The Audi Brand Group would focus more on the sports car aspect of production, overseeing Audi, Lamborghini, and SEAT. The more classic variations would remain under the Volkswagen Brand Group, which managed Volkswagen, Skoda, Bentley, and Bugatti. Performance would be the signature focus of both groups. But Audi would harness the sporty side of the brand, while Volkswagen would innovate in classic luxury.
What vehicles and latest offerings are available?
So, with all these brands under one house, what vehicles can you buy today and still technically be owning a Volkswagen? Bentley offers sedans, the Mulsanne, and the Flying Spur. It also has the Continental coup and the Bentayga SUV. Porsche continues to offer the 911, the Boxster roadster, and the Cayman coupe, and the lineup has been expanded to include two SUVs and posh, luxury four-door vehicles.
Bugatti and Lamborghini, often favorites of Hollywood and the wealthy elite, are also available on the showroom floor. If you’re looking for a Lambo, you can sample the 2022 Urus, the 2022 Aventador, or the 2022 Huracan. Bugatti has a full lineup, as listed by CarBuzz, featuring versions of the Veyron, the Divo, the Chiron, the Bolide, and the Centodieci, all with over $2 million price tags.
More familiar in the U.S. market are the Audi and Volkswagen lineups. Audi has a whole menu of vehicles including the Audi A3 through the A8. There’s also the Audi Allroad wagon, the E-Tron, the R8, the S4, and the TT. And that’s just the selection of cars. Audi also offers six Q-Series models of SUVs, as Consumer Reports lists.
On the Volkswagen side of the house, Americans can tap into the sporty and fun personalities of the Golf R and the GTI with its all-new design for 2022. The Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, the Tiguan, and the Taos SUVs are also popular among consumers. There is also the Volkswagen’s ID.4, its first-ever, long-range EV model in the U.S..
It’s somewhat common for mergers and acquisitions to occur in the automotive industry. Volkswagen Group has proven to be very selective in its brand’s growth plan, carefully including many of the best luxury and sports car monikers in the world.