Volkswagen AG known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, is a German multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Since the late 2000s, the company is publicly traded but controlled by Porsche SE, which in turn is half-owned and fully controlled by the Austrian-German Porsche and Piëch family. The company designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines and turbomachinery, as well as offering related services, including financing, leasing and fleet management. In 2016, it was the world’s largest automaker by sales, overtaking Toyota and keeping this title in 2017, 2018 and 2019, selling 10.9 million vehicles. It has maintained the largest market share in Europe for over two decades. It ranked seventh in the 2020 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies.

The Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under  the  Audi, Bentley, Cupra, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT,  Škoda and Volkswagen brands; motorcycles under the Ducati name; light commercial vehicles under the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand; and heavy commercial vehicles via the marques of listed subsidiary Traton (IC Bus, International, MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus). It is divided into two primary divisions—the Automotive Division and the Financial Services Division—and as of 2008, it had about 342 subsidiary companies. Volkswagen also has two major joint ventures in China, FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen. The company has operations in roughly 150 countries, and it has 100 production facilities across 27 countries.

Volkswagen was founded in Berlin in 1937 and incorporated in Wolfsburg to manufacture the car that would become known as the Beetle. The company’s production grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, it acquired Auto Union, which subsequently produced the first postwar Audi models. Volkswagen launched a new generation of front-wheel drive vehicles in the 1970s, including the Passat, Polo and Golf; the last became its bestseller. Volkswagen acquired a controlling stake in SEAT in 1986, making it the first non-German marque of the company, and acquired control of Škoda in 1994, of Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti in 1998, Scania in 2008 and of Ducati, MAN and Porsche in 2012. The company’s operations in China have grown rapidly in the past decade, with the country becoming its largest market.

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is a public company and has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index, and a secondary listings on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and SIX Swiss Exchange. It has been traded in the United States via American depositary receipts since 1988, currently on the OTC Marketplace. Volkswagen delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2013. The government of Lower Saxony holds 12.7% of the company’s shares, granting it, by law, 20% of the voting rights.

Click to see more
Volkswagen AG News