“Is Mazda owned by Ford?” This is a question that many people don’t even know to ask. With players like Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Kia or whomever, you would think surely these aren’t just brand names owned by a handful of different parent companies. Well, that is kind of exactly what is going on with the majority of your favorite car brands.
Car brands are more confusing than you thought
There is a nearly constant mix of partnerships, deals, acquisitions, mergers, and nearly any other big business-type word you could muster happening in respect to various car brands. There is another, darker side to this thing, too. Over the years, we have seen major car brands like Mercury, Saturn, and Pontiac dissolve into mere relics of a simpler, heavier automotive past. As Consumer Reports notes, while some have disappeared, others are rebuilding the brand under new leadership, like Chrysler, Volvo, and Jaguar.
Car brands are confusing
Frankly, it can be nearly impossible to know which car brand is owned by whom on any given day. This is becoming doubly confusing as all these new EV brands like Tesla, Rivian, Polestar, and Lucid seem to be popping up left and right. Are these companies all stand alone? Are they subsidiaries of bigger car brands? It all gets a bit much to keep up with at some point.
Thankfully, Consumer Reports followed the trail of bread crumbs for most of the major car brands and compiled a list of which car brands own whom. I can guarantee there will be a few in here that will make you say, “Whoa! (blank) owns (blank) ?!?!?!”
Consumer Reports list of which manufacturers own each major car brand
Acura: Honda Motor Company
Alfa Romeo: Stellantis
Audi: Volkswagen Group
BMW: BMW Group
Bentley: Volkswagen Group
Buick: General Motors
Cadillac: General Motors
Chevrolet: General Motors
Ford: Ford Motor Co.
GMC: General Motors
Genesis: Hyundai Motor Group
Honda: Honda Motor Co.
Hyundai: Hyundai Motor Group
Infiniti: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Jaguar: Tata Motors
Kia: Hyundai Motor Group
Land Rover: Tata Motors
Lexus: Toyota Motor Corp.
Lincoln: Ford Motor Co.
Lotus: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Mazda: Mazda Motor Corp.
Mercedes-Benz: Daimler AG
Mercury*: Ford Motor Co.
Mini: BMW Group
Mitsubishi: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Nikola: Nikola Motor Company, with a supply relationship with General Motors.
Nissan: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Polestar: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Pontiac*: General Motors
Porsche: Volkswagen Group
Rivian: Rivian Automotive, with investments from Amazon and Ford, among others.
Rolls-Royce: BMW Group
Saab: a brand owned by Saab AB; assets owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden
Saturn*: General Motors
Scion*: Toyota Motor Corp.
Smart: Daimler AG
Subaru: Subaru Corp.
Suzuki*: Suzuki Motor Corp. Owns a small stake in Toyota.
Tesla: Tesla Inc.
Toyota: Toyota Motor Corp.
Volkswagen: Volkswagen AG.
Volvo: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
The automotive industry is a strange one
Although this list is complicated as it is, it is also incomplete. Many European manufactures that don’t sell in the U.S. aren’t included in this list.
Although this list is incomplete, it helps show the relationship between these different brands and how closely they can be related to each other. We feel so much brand loyalty and deep feelings about the car brands we like and don’t like without ever realizing how interconnected they can be. In fact, this list would have looked really different only a year ago, and chances are it will look much different than this a year from now.