The Volkswagen Audi Group has been at the top of the European car sales charts for over 20 years and is in the top two globally. The rise of the car maker with an unrivalled reputation for quality, reliability, and performance - with a healthy dose of style - has been unstoppable.
The VW Story - Origins To The Present Day
With its first factory opening in Wolfsburg in 1938, the VAG auto group’s headquarters remain in the northern German city, but the company now has over fifty other production locations spread over five continents. The Volkswagen Audi Group’s story from the original ‘People’s Car’ (Volkswagen translated) to the present day as a car-making conglomerate comprising ten different brands is quite remarkable.
Volkswagen was originally founded by the Nazi party as a state-owned vehicle manufacturer. Many marvel at the marketing success that transformed Hitler’s car-making brainchild into a symbol of love and peace by the 1960s with the Beetle now nicknamed the ‘Love Bug’, and the Campervan, then a symbol of protest and freedom.
Over the decades the VW group has acquired the likes of Audi, Seat, Skoda, Cupra, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche. The company now operates under ten automotive brands, each with an independent ethos, operation, and identity. VAG also manufactures motorcycles under the Ducati name and HGVs as Scania.
The Three Core Ranges That Make Up The Volkswagen Audi Group
The Volkswagen Audi Group is today split into three ranges, each serving different sectors of the motoring industry. The multi-brand empire shares group-wide research and development resources and have a special portfolio that concentrates on China, the company’s largest market.
The Volume division contains the well-known Volkswagen, SEAT, Skoda, Cupra, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands. This arm of the VAG auto group produces conventional cars, vans, and other commercial vehicles that are built and sold in high quantities. Each brand retains its own badge identity and individual styling but with the shared underlying technology.
VAG’s Premium segment focuses on higher-end models and comprises the prestige brands of Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Ducati. Audi leads the Premium group and has overall management responsibility for it, but again, each individual line maintains the unique characteristics for which they are known.
The Sport branch of the VW Audi Group only contains Porsche. Its mission is to build sports cars that can compete on racing circuits with a resultant crossover bringing performance into everyday journeys. Porsche has long been a marque associated with Production Sports Car racing, GT racing, and famous motorsport events including Le Mans and Daytona. Porsche is also said to be in talks to return to Formula One in 2026.
So, VAG has quite the legacy and attention is increasingly turning to electric cars. Reports suggest that Volkswagen Audi brand electric cars will overtake Tesla as the world’s biggest EV manufacturer by 2024. The ‘People’s Car’ will become the ‘People’s Plug-In Car’ and the future for VW Audi looks a bright one.
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