Who Owns Volkswagen? An Ownership History and Analysis

Who is the owner of volkswagen – Volkswagen, a global automotive giant, has a rich and complex ownership history. From its humble beginnings to its current multinational structure, the company has undergone significant ownership changes. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of who owns Volkswagen, exploring its historical ownership structure, current stakeholders, and potential future trends.

Founded in 1937 by the German government, Volkswagen’s ownership structure has evolved over the decades. During World War II, the company played a crucial role in the German war effort, and its ownership was heavily influenced by the Nazi regime.

Historical Ownership of Volkswagen

Who is the owner of volkswagen

The history of Volkswagen’s ownership is intertwined with the company’s founding and the political landscape of Germany.

Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the German government as part of the Nazi regime’s effort to provide affordable transportation to the German people. The company’s initial ownership structure was complex, with the German government holding a majority stake and a consortium of German banks and industrialists holding the remaining shares.

Impact of World War II

World War II had a significant impact on Volkswagen’s ownership. The company’s production facilities were heavily damaged during the war, and the German government’s control over the company was dissolved.

Post-War Ownership

After the war, Volkswagen was placed under the control of the British military government. In 1949, the company was transferred to the newly formed German federal government.

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It owns several brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Lamborghini.

In 1960, Volkswagen was privatized, with the German government selling its remaining shares to the public. The company’s shares were initially listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the company has since become one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.

Volkswagen, owned by the Volkswagen Group, made headlines in 2015 for the infamous Volkswagen diesel scandal . This scandal involved the installation of software in diesel vehicles that allowed them to pass emissions tests while emitting higher levels of pollutants in real-world driving conditions.

The fallout from the scandal led to significant fines, lawsuits, and a loss of trust in the Volkswagen brand.

Current Ownership Structure: Who Is The Owner Of Volkswagen

Who is the owner of volkswagen

Volkswagen’s ownership structure has undergone significant changes over the years, reflecting the company’s complex history and evolving business landscape.

Today, Volkswagen Group, the parent company of Volkswagen, has a diverse ownership structure with multiple stakeholders holding varying degrees of influence.

Majority Shareholder

The majority shareholder of Volkswagen Group is Porsche Automobil Holding SE, which owns approximately 53.3% of the company’s ordinary shares and 31.4% of its voting shares.

Ownership Structure of Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group is a publicly traded company with its shares listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company’s ordinary shares are freely tradable, while its voting shares are held by a small group of major shareholders, including Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the German state of Lower Saxony, and the Qatar Investment Authority.

The automotive giant Volkswagen, known for its iconic vehicles like the Beetle and the Golf, is owned by the Volkswagen Group. The Volkswagen Group is a German multinational automotive manufacturing conglomerate headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Founded in 1937, Volkswagen has grown to become one of the world’s largest automakers, producing a wide range of vehicles under various brands, including Audi, Porsche, and SEAT.

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Role of Other Stakeholders, Who is the owner of volkswagen

Other significant stakeholders in Volkswagen Group include:

  • Porsche family:The Porsche family, through Porsche Automobil Holding SE, holds a controlling stake in Volkswagen Group. The family has a long history with Volkswagen, dating back to the company’s founding in 1937.
  • German government:The German state of Lower Saxony holds approximately 20% of Volkswagen Group’s voting shares, giving it a significant voice in the company’s decision-making process.
  • Qatar Investment Authority:The Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, owns approximately 17% of Volkswagen Group’s ordinary shares.

International Ownership and Subsidiaries

Volkswagen has a significant global presence, with major subsidiaries and operations in various countries. These subsidiaries play a crucial role in the company’s overall ownership structure and its ability to operate in different markets.

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Major International Subsidiaries

Volkswagen’s major international subsidiaries include:

  • Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.(USA): Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, this subsidiary is responsible for Volkswagen’s operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda.(Brazil): Located in São Paulo, this subsidiary manages Volkswagen’s operations in Brazil, South America’s largest automotive market.
  • Volkswagen AG China(China): Based in Beijing, this subsidiary oversees Volkswagen’s operations in China, the world’s largest automotive market.
  • Volkswagen India Private Limited(India): Located in Pune, this subsidiary handles Volkswagen’s operations in India, a rapidly growing automotive market.
  • Volkswagen Group South Africa (Pty) Ltd.(South Africa): Headquartered in Uitenhage, this subsidiary is responsible for Volkswagen’s operations in South Africa and other African countries.

Ownership Structure of Subsidiaries

Volkswagen AG holds majority ownership in most of its international subsidiaries. This ownership structure allows Volkswagen to maintain control over its operations in different markets and ensure alignment with the company’s overall strategies and goals.

Impact of Global Presence on Ownership Structure

Volkswagen’s global presence has had a significant impact on its ownership structure. The company’s international subsidiaries contribute to its overall revenue and profitability, diversifying Volkswagen’s income streams and reducing its reliance on any single market.

Moreover, Volkswagen’s global presence has led to the formation of joint ventures and partnerships with local companies in different countries. These collaborations have further strengthened Volkswagen’s ownership structure and allowed it to adapt to the specific needs and regulations of different markets.

Ownership Controversies and Legal Disputes

Volkswagen has faced several significant ownership controversies and legal disputes throughout its history, including the Volkswagen emissions scandal and the Porsche-Volkswagen merger dispute.

Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

In 2015, Volkswagen was involved in a major scandal involving the installation of software in its diesel vehicles that allowed them to cheat on emissions tests. This led to numerous lawsuits and investigations, as well as a significant decline in the company’s stock price and reputation.

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Porsche-Volkswagen Merger Dispute

In 2008, Porsche attempted to take over Volkswagen. However, the deal fell through due to financial difficulties at Porsche. This led to a legal dispute between the two companies, which was eventually settled in 2012 with Volkswagen acquiring Porsche.

These controversies have had a significant impact on Volkswagen’s ownership structure. The emissions scandal led to the resignation of several top executives and a change in the company’s leadership. The Porsche-Volkswagen merger dispute also resulted in a change in ownership, with Volkswagen becoming the majority shareholder of Porsche.

Future Ownership Trends

The future of Volkswagen’s ownership structure is uncertain, but several trends could shape its evolution.

Industry consolidation is a major factor that could impact Volkswagen’s ownership. As the automotive industry becomes increasingly globalized, automakers are forming alliances and partnerships to share costs and resources. Volkswagen is already part of the Volkswagen Group, which includes other major brands such as Audi, Porsche, and Skoda.

It is possible that the Volkswagen Group could merge with another large automaker in the future, which would result in a change in Volkswagen’s ownership structure.

Technological Advancements

Technological advancements are another factor that could impact Volkswagen’s ownership structure. The development of self-driving cars and other new technologies could lead to new business models and ownership arrangements. For example, Volkswagen could partner with a technology company to develop and market self-driving cars.

This could lead to a new type of ownership structure, in which Volkswagen owns the cars but the technology company provides the software and services.

Global Economic Factors

Global economic factors could also impact Volkswagen’s ownership structure. Economic downturns could lead to Volkswagen being acquired by a larger company or even going bankrupt. Conversely, economic growth could lead to Volkswagen expanding its operations and acquiring other companies. The global economy is constantly changing, so it is difficult to predict how it will impact Volkswagen’s ownership structure in the future.

Changes in Majority Ownership

It is possible that Volkswagen’s majority ownership could change in the future. The Volkswagen Group is currently owned by the Porsche and Piech families. However, these families could sell their shares in the future, which would lead to a change in Volkswagen’s ownership structure.

It is also possible that Volkswagen could issue new shares to raise capital, which would dilute the ownership of the Porsche and Piech families.

Emergence of New Stakeholders

New stakeholders could also emerge in Volkswagen’s ownership structure in the future. For example, Volkswagen could partner with a government or sovereign wealth fund to develop new technologies or enter new markets. This could lead to a new type of ownership structure, in which Volkswagen is owned by a consortium of different stakeholders.


Volkswagen’s ownership structure is a fascinating case study in corporate governance and the interplay between government, industry, and private interests. As the automotive landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Volkswagen’s ownership structure will adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

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