Automotive Family Tree

The Automotive Family Tree: What Car Goes Where?

Regardless of who now owns a given car brand, you’ll most likely find the head office, design centers and even the factories stay in their respective native countries. So just because Jaguar is now under Indian ownership, the brand is no less British in every other aspect. It’s like watching an episode of ‘Love Island’. Car brands have been bought and sold by huge corporations over the years – so just who owns what when it comes to our favorite cars?

General Motors (GM)

Iconic Car Brands - Chevrolet

This car giant is the largest in America and produces cars under different badges in 15 other countries around the world. There are no surprises then, that Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC all come under the umbrella of GM.

Volkswagen (VW)

Iconic Car Brands - Volkswagen

A car brand that already has a world-wide reputation, Volkswagen has also taken under its wing other big car brands such as Audi – who have controlling ownership of Lamborghini, and Porsche – who have co-ownership of Bugatti and Rimac. Bentley, Cupra, Seat, and Skoda also come under the VW umbrella.  

Bavarian Motor Works (BMW)

Iconic Car Brands - BMW

I bet you didn’t know what BMW stood for did you. Well, besides an extensive model range themselves, BMW also own Mini and Rolls Royce.

Daimler AG

Iconic Car Brands - Smart Car

Most known for their ownership of Mercedes Benz/AMG, they also have the Smart micro-car range under their wing.


Iconic Car Brands - Jeep

This is where it becomes interesting. Formed only in January of 2021, this is the newest kid on the block – although it’s really two former car conglomerates merging as one. In fact, it’s also the biggest making it a ‘Super Company’. Check out the impressive stable of car brands like Chrysler, Jeep, RAM, Dodge, Maserati, Fiat/Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Vauxhall, Citroen, Peugeot, Opel, and Lancia.


Iconic Car Brands - Hyundai

One of the worlds’ largest car makers, Hyundai also have their own luxury brand Genesis as well as the Kia brand name.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Iconic Car Brands - Mitsubishi

Three unlikely bed mates, it seems these companies have joined forces to survive the ever-changing landscape of car technology and buyer preference. Including the Infiniti car brand, this company has secured its place for years to come.


Iconic Car Brands - Jaguar

Indian-based Tata not only have their own brand of cars produced overseas, but also have ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover/Range Rover.


Iconic Car Brands - Lexus

Toyota have their own luxury brand Lexus, but also completely acquired Daihatsu in 2016.


Iconic Car Brands - Volvo

Chinese company Geely make their own vehicles as well as having controlling interest in low-volume sports car company Lotus and Volvo, and relatively new car brand Polestar (which is now dedicated to the production of EV cars). Geely bought Volvo from Ford back in 2010 in an effort to sell more cars to the Western world.

There are still some stand-alone car companies such as Tesla, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Ferrari, and Suzuki. Ford sold off their stable of brands including Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata in 2008, and Volvo to Geely in 2010. So what about the future? There are exciting times ahead with a stack of new car brands concentrating solely on electric cars to rival already established favorites, so it’s a race to see who will survive and who gets swallowed up by giant car makers. 

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