From Lamborghini and Volkswagen to Rolls-Royce and BMW, ultra-luxury and performance carmakers are often owned by much bigger brands - here are some of the most notable

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin

Aston Martin is renowned for its luxurious and powerful sports cars and grand tourers, and the brand's DB series has been James Bond's preferred set of wheels since the early 1960s. Aston has changed hands multiple times since its founding in 1913, and, via the BBC, Ford took a 75% stake in 1987 before taking full control a few years later.

Ford sold Aston to a consortium in 2007, and in 2014, Daimler — Mercedes-Benz's parent company — took a 5% stake not long after the two companies announced a technical partnership.

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Bentley

Bentley

Bentley Motors, founded by W.O. Bentley in 1919, has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1998. Rolls-Royce, currently Bentley's biggest rival, owned Bentley for several decades, starting in 1931.

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Bugatti

Bugatti

Founded in 1909, Bugatti manufactured lots of successful race cars for decades, but stopped production in the 1950s. The Bugatti marque was revived as a maker of super-fast, limited-production sports cars with the introduction of the EB110 in 1991.

The Volkswagen Group bought the brand in 1998, and still owns it today.

Ferrari

Ferrari

The first car built with the Ferrari badge, the 125 S, arrived in 1947. Ferrari entertained merger talks with Ford in the early 1960s, as you might remember from the movie "Ford v. Ferrari," but those ultimately failed. In 1969, Fiat took a 50% stake in Ferrari, and in the 1980s, that stake increased to 90%.

In 2016, Fiat Chrysler separated from Ferrari. Like Aston Martin, it remains without a large automotive parent company.

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Lamborghini

Lamborghini

Automobili Lamborghini was founded in 1963, and has changed owners a few times in its 50-plus-year history. Ferruccio Lamborghini sold control of his company in 1972, and the company was later owned by Chrysler from 1987 through 1994.

Lamborghini became part of the Volkswagen Group in 1998, the same year as Bugatti did, and remains there today.

Maserati

Maserati

The Maserati brothers built their first car in 1926, and sold their company to an Italian entrepreneur just 11 years later. The French manufacturer Citroën took a controlling stake in Maserati in the late 1960s, and the brand eventually fell into the hands of Fiat, where it remains today.

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McLaren

McLaren

Formula One driver Bruce McLaren founded McLaren Automotive in 1963 to develop race cars. In 1992, McLaren released the F1, a three-seat supercar lauded for its performance and central seating position for the driver.

While the company has collaborated with Mercedes-Benz in the past — most notably to produce the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren — it isn't owned by any major parent companies.

Porsche

Porsche

Porsche, perhaps best known for its 911 sports car, got its start in 1948 as the brainchild of automotive designer Ferdinand Porsche.

Today, Porsche is owned by the Volkswagen Group, along with Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini.

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Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

Henry Royce built his first car in 1904, and linked up with Charles Rolls to found Rolls-Royce in 1906.

Rolls-Royce was bought in 1998 by the Volkswagen Group, which, embarrassingly, neglected to acquire the rights to the Rolls-Royce name. BMW bought those rights that same year, and took over production of Rolls-Royce cars in 2003.