Car companies and their brands: Who owns each brand?

Posted by: Jane Osuagwu

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There are many car brands out there but which car companies own them? This article will answer the question. Check it out!

The automotive industry across the globe has been said to have a confusing family tree. This is because there have been some partnerships and separations among automakers over the past decade. In most cases, subsidiaries have sprung up while an entire car division retired. All these have made it difficult for car owners and enthusiasts to keep up with brands and the parent companies that own them.

Here in the country, a number of folks are oblivious of car companies that produce the various brands seen on Nigerian roads as well. To help you clear the confusion and be clear about these car brands and their parent companies, has compiled a list of car companies and their brands.

Let's see them.

1. Toyota Motor Corporation - Founded 1937

Japanese automaker Toyota is a world-famous auto brand. It happens to be the second-largest car manufacturer in the world and the largest in Japan. In 2012, the car company had already produced its 200-millionth vehicle and has kept on manufacturing 10 million cars each year. Toyota owns five sub-brands. They include:

1.1. Hino

This Tokyo-based car brand is one of Toyota's subsidiaries. It has already become popular since its introduction in 1942 before joining Toyota Motors Corporation.

1.2. Lexus

Established in 1989, Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. The brand has experienced tremendous growth. It now boasts of 10 model lineups.

1.3. Daihatsu

Formerly called Hatsudoki Seizo, this car brand was founded in 1907. It took up the name "Daihatsu" in 1951 while Toyota acquired the car brand in 2016.


Toyota is the second-largest automaker in the world!

2. General Motors (GM) - Founded 1908

Commonly known as GM, the auto company is the largest car manufacturer in the US and owns many popular car brands. General Motors was founded more than 110 years ago. It went into bankruptcy in 2009 which brought about the shutting down of known car brands like the Pontiac and Hummer. GM at present owns:

2.1. Chevrolet

American car division Chevrolet was established in 1911 and was merged with General Motors in 1917. It became the company's flagship brand in 1919.

2.2. Cadillac

Cadillac is said to be GM's luxury car division. Established in 1902, its ownership was taken over by General Motors in 1909.

2.3. Buick

The car brand Buick became part of GM in 1908. Buick focuses on manufacturing premium automobiles and appeals mostly to older folks.


GM is the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the US!

3. Volkswagen Group (VW)

Just like General Motors, German auto giant Volkswagen also owns many well-known car brands. Looking at their subsidiaries, you will agree the car company did a great job when choosing its brands. Some of their brands are categorized as luxurious and among the best in the automotive industry.

Volkswagen was established by the German Labor Front with the aim of manufacturing cars for German folks. Volkswagen controls the following brands:

3.1. Lamborghini

Founded in 1963, Lamborghini presently manufactures some of the best supercars in the world like the Urus and Aventador which was recently acquired by Dino Melaye.

3.2. Audi

Founded in 1910, Audi was formerly owned by Daimler Benz but its ownership was transferred to VW in the 1960s.

3.3. Bentley

Bentley was established in 1919 and operated as a standalone brand for 12 years before it was acquired by Rolls-Royce. In 1980, Rolls-Royce went bankrupt and Volkswagen finally bought it in 1998.

3.4. Porsche

Porsche happens to be one of the most profitable automotive company in the world. Since its establishment in 1931, the brand has produced cars independently before VW acquired it in 2012.

3.5. Bugatti

Bugatti came into existence in 1909 and fell apart after its owner, Ettore Bugatti, died. It was revived in 1987 and then bought by Volkswagen in 1998.

3.6. Skoda

Volkswagen acquired Skoda in 2000 to be used as their entry-level brand for the production of cheap vehicles.


Volkswagen owns many popular luxurious car brands!

4. Daimler AG - Founded 1926

German automaker Daimler is one of the most successful automotive companies in the world. The company supplies premium cars under the popular Mercedes-Benz brand. Daimler AG came into existence after it was merged with Benz. In 1998, Daimler acquired Chrysler but sold it off in 2007. Presently, Daimler owns these brands:

4.1. Mercedes-Benz

Established in the year 1883, Mercedes-Benz is known as the oldest car manufacturer in the world. The car brand has gone to become producers of high-performance luxury vehicles.

4.2. Maybach

Daimler acquired Maybach in 1960. The brand has been in competition with Rolls-Royce under the luxury vehicle lineup. However, poor sales brought Maybach into a halt in 2012. Daimler took the brand over in 2015 and revived it as Mercedes-Maybach.


Daimler AG produces high-end-cars like the Mercedes-Benz and Maybach!

>>> Check out the 5 most Google-searched car brands in the first half of 2020

5. Hyundai Motors - Founded 1967

South Korean multinational company Hyundai was established 52 years ago. It started out as a construction company but the car brand and has joined other automakers to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of automobiles. The car company focuses on producing inexpensive cars but has branched into building high-performance vehicles through its car division called Genesis.

Hyundai controls these brands:

5.1. Kia

Established in 1944, Kia is the second-rate estate car manufacturer in South Korea. Hyundai owns a 33.88% minority stake in Kia.

5.2. Genesis

Genesis is the luxury car division of Hyundai. The brand was founded in 2015 and has evolved to become a standalone marque to enable Hyundai to separate Genesis luxury models from Hyundai affordable models that are aimed at individuals and families.


Hyundai is making waves as a large producer of inexpensive cars!

6. Groupe PSA - Founded 1976

PSA is a French manufacturer of vehicles and motorcycles that are formed from merging Citroen, Peugeot, Opel, and Vauxhall. The company is one of Europe's largest automakers, with its headquarters in Paris. PSA Group acquired the brands from GM in 2017. Here are the brands owned by the car company:

6.1. Peugeot

Peugeot was originally into coffee before switching to bicycles in 1830. The company has later focused on automobiles in 1882 and become a successful manufacturer of mainstream vehicles.

6.2. Citroen

Citroen was acquired by Peugeot in 1976. The brand is a producer of small and mid-size cars.

6.3. Vauxhall

Vauxhall started operations as a manufacturer of pumps and marine engines in 1857 before concentrating on cars in 1903. GM bought the brand in 1925 and in 2017, PSA acquired the brand.

6.4. Opel

Opel was a producer of sewing machines when it was founded in 1863. The company switched to bicycles in 1886 and then cars in 1899. GM had control of the brand in 1931 and PSA came on board as the controller in 2017. In the same year, they acquired Vauxhall.


PSA was formed after a merger took place between Peugeot, Opel, Citroen, and Vauxhall!


7. BMW - Founded 1916

BMW is a German multinational company that focuses on manufacturing luxury vehicles and motorcycles. BMW was initially selling aircraft engines when it started out in 1916 before focusing on car and motorcycle production. Aside from BMW cars, the company also owns:

7.1. Mini

Mini was introduced in 1959 by British Motor Corporation as a model car. It became a marque in 1969 and since then has changed hands multiple times before its acquisition by BMW in 1994.

7.2. Rolls-Royce

Luxury car brand Rolls-Royce is regarded as the most highly sought after high-premium car across the globe. Wealthy personalities seek to be identified with the brand. It’s no surprise that we have over 40 celebrities who drive Rolls-Royce in Nigeria. The car brand was acquired by VW in 1998 before being taken over by BMW in 2003.


BMW owns Mini and the Rolls-Royce car brands!

8. Groupe Renault - Founded 1899

The French car company Renault was introduced in 1899. The car company went into alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi in 2016 and this move has made them become the biggest sellers of light vehicles in the world.

8.1. Nissan

Renault has owned Nissan since 1999 while Nissan in turn, owns Mitsubishi. The Japanese brand is the world's largest producer of electric vehicles in 2018.

8.2. Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi was introduced in 1917 as a shipbuilding company but diversification carried them into several sectors like aircraft, real estate, etc.


Group Renault is the world's biggest seller of light vehicles!

Besides the merger and acquisition going on in the automotive industry, some brands are still operating independently.

Here are the car brands.








Car companies and their brands will continue to evolve and there will always be mergers and acquisitions among brands. We believe this article has helped you know car companies and their brands more clearly. If you know any other car companies and brands like these, do not hesitate to write to us to share your ideas.

>>>Stay up to date with our latest car news and knowledge!

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Jane Osuagwu

Jane Osuagwu

Car prices

Jane Osuagwu is an automotive writer at She's a car enthusiast who loves creating educative and informative topics on cars, ranging from maintenance tips to updates on the latest trend in the auto industry in concise and friendly writing. 

Jane is also a blogger and loves reading, inspiring people and getting involved in personal development projects.

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