Car brand families

The automotive industry isn’t as big as one might think it is. While on the surface, customers are bombarded with multiple car brand options and vehicle lineups to choose from, some of these automakers are actually more closely related to one another than one might think. Digging a little deeper and we see that some cars are playing a game of copy and paste, or ctrl+c ctrl+v as the kids say. In a previous article, we detailed the ins and outs of rebadging in the automotive industry. We did mention that it is done for a reason, but we didn’t go into detail as to why it can be done in the first place.

While the automotive industry was once big, several brands are now being owned by one big company instead. Several brands also know and recognize each other as friends or partners. Other brands are outright owned by a parent company, and play the aforementioned game of copy and paste from time to time. While other brands form partnerships to bring a product to market. 

Think of your favorite pair of sunglasses. They’re probably a pair of Ray-bans or some designer brand. If you didn’t know, Luxottica designs and manufactures eyewear for multiple brands. The Italian company has a lot of brands under its belt, and just like car manufacturers, a certain formula is used to push out products for the consumer to buy.

Car brand infographic

Over the years the automotive industry has encountered a big shift in who owns what at least for the Stellantis group as it now has several brands under its belt with its recent formation a few years back. The automotive group now has control of Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Mopar, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and Vauxhall. It is important to note that some brands are also owned by different entities but we are only counting those who have the biggest share in the brand as their defacto owner. 

Looking at the image, several brands that we thought were independent, are actually part of a family of brands, with one big parent company overseeing the development and success of each brand. Take the infographic as an indicator whenever you see a new model. You notice that Kia and Hyundai are under the same family of brands. The models that are pushed out by both brands are more or less the same chassis with different parts bolted onto them. So the Kia versus Hyundai debate can be put to rest, because no matter where you go, it’s all a matter of personal taste when it comes to the design.

The Nissan Mitsubishi and Renault alliances are also on display here. Look no further than the Xpander with its Nissan counterpart in Thailand to confirm just how powerful or leverageable these alliances and partnerships are. While these brands do have their own proprietary technology, we could soon see this being applied to their partnered brand in one form or another. 

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