Volkswagen's consumer brands

With the purchase of Porsche in August 2012, Volkswagen AG added a 12th brand to its broad portfolio, which stretches from Ducati motorcycles to 40-ton trucks. Here is a breakdown of the group's consumer marques:

  • VW brand: The flagship marque is a dominant player in Western Europe, China and Brazil, but struggles in the U.S., Russian and Indian markets. The introduction of the MQB architecture to underpin cars from Polo-sized subcompacts to the mid-sized Passat is a key part of its effort to improve profit margins.
  • Audi: The Volkswagen group's cash cow aims to sell 2 million cars by 2020. While it benefits tremendously from the scale effects of its parent, Audi effectively cross-subsidizes other operations within the company.
  • Bentley: Volkswagen AG Chairman Ferdinand Piech initially acquired the automaker to get his hands on its more famous U.K rival, Rolls-Royce. What he failed to recognize was that BMW had already secured the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand.
  • Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ducati: The exotic brands, acquired in succession by Piech, are consolidated into larger units, so few financial details are provided. Lamborghini boosted 2013 revenue 9% to 458 million euros ($660 million). Ducati's revenue more than tripled to $612 million last year.
  • Porsche: The brand became part of the Volkswagen empire after its parent, Porsche Holding Automobil, failed to gain full control over VW in a debt-financed bid. Porsche made $3.5 billion in operating profit in 2013, its first full year of consolidation into the group.
  • Skoda: A genuine success story since it was acquired in 1993. Some car critics call Skoda the "better Volkswagen" because of the unpretentious simplicity of its design and VW technology under the hood, all matched with an affordable price.
  • Seat: The Spanish subsidiary is one of the group's few weak links. Largely dependent on its home market, the brand has often been seen as one failure away from being shut down. Seat had an operating loss of about $204 million last year.

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