Not to burst your bubble, but most luxury badges on vehicles trace their roots back to parent automakers with plenty of hoi polloi cars. It’s not a bad thing: Larger automakers provide the economies of scale to develop the technology and performance you expect from luxury car brands; the high profit margins from luxury sales, in turn, justify that research.
But when the relationship runs too too transparent, it can harm a luxury car brand’s cachet. Independent ownership, by contrast, can drive lasting (Tesla) or short-lived (Saab) luxury results. Ultimately, execution matters regardless of the parent situation.
Related: More Luxury-Car News
That brings us to those parents: Which automaker owns your luxury brand? Here’s the answer.
Which Automaker Owns Acura?
Acura is Honda’s luxury car division. The Japanese automaker launched Acura in 1986 with two models: the Integra and Legend, the latter of which employed Honda’s first V-6. The brand would grow to include everything from the MDX and RDX SUVs to the NSX exotic sports car, though a few products — the short-lived ZDX coupe SUV, for one — never caught on.
Which Automaker Owns Alfa Romeo?
Alfa Romeo is one of the many brands under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but it took a nearly 20-year hiatus from the U.S. until a large-scale return in mid-2014 with the 4C, a low-volume sports car. Alfa’s first mainstream sedan, the Giulia, followed a few years later. Today, the luxury brand has an SUV right around the corner.
Which Automaker Owns Aston Martin?
Aston Martin isn’t owned by a larger automaker. Ford sold the British exotic-car manufacturer in 2007 for a reported $925 million to a collection of investors. That doesn’t mean it’s completely divorced from other automakers, however: Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler owns 5 percent.
Which Automaker Owns Audi?
Audi manufactures luxury cars under the Volkswagen Group. In 1965, VW took over Audi, itself a merger of four brands from the German state of Saxony. The Audi 100, a landmark car for the brand, debuted in late 1968. The rest is history: With cars that range from the A3 subcompact to the R8 supercar, Audi has a full-fledged lineup today.
Which Automaker Owns Bentley?
The Volkswagen Group has owned Bentley since 1998, when it purchased the British ultra-luxury brand. Bentley is a fully owned subsidiary of the automaker, whose divisions include its namesake brand plus Audi and many others. That explains the shared underpinnings between the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga — but lest you worry, the Bentayga’s cabin is pure Bentley.
Which Automaker Owns Bugatti?
The Volkswagen Group knows luxury: It has also owned Bugatti since 1998, when it acquired rights to the French supercar maker. Most people know Bugatti for its 1,001-horsepower, $1 million-plus Veyron — later bumped to 1,200 hp in the Veyron Super Sport, because why not? Oh, and Bugatti now makes the 1,500-hp Chiron, a luxury car that’s reportedly around $3 million at current exchange rates.
Which Automaker Owns BMW?
BMW is the namesake brand of the BMW Group, a German automaker also behind the Mini and Rolls-Royce. BMW Group relaunched Mini in 2001 and began Rolls-Royce production in early 2003.
Which Automaker Owns Cadillac?
Cadillac is a division of General Motors. It’s one of four GM brands in the U.S. — the other three are Buick, Chevrolet and GMC — and the relationship has brought some stinkers over the years. Today, however, most of Cadillac’s sedans ride performance-oriented platforms shared with few other GM vehicles.
Which Automaker Owns Ferrari?
Ferrari is independent. Once under the wings of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Italian exotic-car maker was spun off in early 2016 to become its own company. That said, you’ll still see plenty of FCA fingerprints in Ferrari vehicles, as the automakers share the same CEO.
Which Automaker Owns Genesis?
Genesis is Hyundai’s new luxury division. It began as a single model that Hyundai unveiled in early 2008 to widespread accolades. Fast-forward to late 2015, when the Korean automaker launched Genesis as a separate luxury brand, turning the second-generation Genesis and pricier Equus sedans into the Genesis G80 and G90, respectively. Hyundai still sells the G80 and G90 out of its dealerships, however; Genesis has yet to have its own retailers.
Which Automaker Owns Infiniti?
Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury division. The Japanese automaker launched Infiniti in 1989 with two cars, the Q45 sedan and M30 coupe, and a few dozen dealerships. Today, Infiniti has a collection of cars and SUVs under Q (sedan or coupe) and QX (SUV) designations.
Which Automaker Owns Jaguar?
Indian automaker Tata Motors owns Jaguar. Tata purchased Jaguar and sister brand Land Rover in 2008 from Ford, which previously owned both brands. Since then, Jaguar has built a dedicated roadster in the F-Type and even an SUV in the F-Pace. Despite the Land Rover connection, the F-Pace isn’t based on any current Rover.
Which Automaker Owns Lamborghini?
Lamborghini is one of the Volkswagen Group’s many brands. VW bought the Italian supercar maker in 1998, and its lineup has remained small ever since. Today, Lamborghini builds just two cars — the Huracan and Aventador — plus a few one-off models that find a handful of lucky (and uber-wealthy) owners.
Which Automaker Owns Land Rover?
Indian automaker Tata Motors owns Land Rover. Tata purchased the British SUV marque along with sister brand Jaguar in 2008 from Ford, which previously owned both brands. Jaguar has added an SUV since then, but don’t expect Land Rover to start building sports cars anytime soon.
Which Automaker Owns Lincoln?
Lincoln is Ford’s luxury brand. Ford has owned Lincoln for nearly 100 years — it bought the automaker in 1922 — but as luxury divisions at major automakers go, Lincoln remains a bit player on the sales front. A steady stream of new SUVs could change that, however.
Which Automaker Owns Lexus?
Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand. The Japanese automaker launched Lexus in 1989 with two sedans, the flagship LS and mid-size ES. With a lineup of SUVs, sedans and coupes today, Lexus rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz for top U.S. sales popularity among luxury brands.
Which Automaker Owns Maserati?
Maserati is one of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ many brands. Fiat acquired Maserati in its pre-FCA days, taking full ownership of the Italian automaker from Ferrari — in which Fiat also held a majority stake — in 2005.
Which Automaker Owns Mercedes-Benz?
Mercedes-Benz is a division of Daimler, the automaker behind Smart and a few commercial vehicle divisions. Mercedes’ affiliates once extended overseas: From 1998 to 2007, it was yoked with Chrysler under then-merged DaimlerChrysler.
Which Automaker Owns Porsche?
Porsche is one of the Volkswagen Group’s brands. VW bought Porsche in 2012 after Porsche failed in a takeover bid for its larger German rival. Porsche remains a high-performance sports-car maker at its core, but two SUVs — the Macan and Cayenne — have expanded its portfolio, and sales, in recent years.
Which Automaker Owns Range Rover?
Range Rover is the brand name used for the higher-end line of SUVs from Land Rover, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors. The flagship big SUV is simply the Range Rover, but additional models include the Range Rover Sport and the compact Range Rover Evoque.
Which Automaker Owns Rolls-Royce?
The BMW Group has owned Rolls-Royce for more than a decade. BMW acquired rights to the name in 1998 and completed a full acquisition of the British ultra-luxury brand at the end of 2002. You can see some BMW influences in models like the Ghost sedan, but don’t worry: The car is still chock-full of Rolls hallmarks.
Which Automaker Owns Tesla?
Tesla is independent. The California electric-car maker isn’t owned by a larger automaker; it’s a public company. Buy some stock and you could be part-owner.
Which Automaker Owns Volvo?
Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding owns Volvo. Geely bought the Swedish luxury-car maker from Ford in 2010. Volvo makes a range of cars and SUVs, but one of them — the S60 Inscription — now comes from a Geely plant in Chengdu, China.
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Fred Meier contributed to this report.
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