Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Think your MG's British? Who really makes your car?

MG is a very British brand but did you know it's owned by Chinese company SAIC?

Mini’s updated fully electric Cooper SE has arrived looking every bit the modern retro take on the very British 1963 Cooper S. Not only does the new electric Mini look like an old one, it wants you to think it hasn’t lost its Britishness - it has tail-lights that glow in the shape of the Union Jack, and it’s even made in England! 

But the thing is Mini has been owned by the very German BMW for more than two decades. 

Mini isn’t the only one. You probably drive a car made by Volkswagen without even knowing it. Yes, many of the car brands out there are owned by a handful of mega-automotive brands. 

So, who owns who in the automotive zoo? And who owns the brand you drive? Read on to find out.

MG

MGs are made in China, Thailand and India. MGs are made in China, Thailand and India.

Tweed, flat caps and very British sports cars - that’s what you’ll find at MG classic car shows. But the brand has been reincarnated into something entirely different, while still trying to trade on its British origins. 

MG started out in the 1920s when auto engineer William Morris started making sporty versions of his Morris Oxford at his Morris Garages business in Birmingham. His modified Oxfords were given an MG Supersports badge and the MG brand was born.

MG became the quintessential British sports car brand throughout the 1950s with the TF and the MG A, and then MG B of the 1960s and ’70s.

The company transformed over the years with mergers and different owners until 2007 when current owners SAIC acquired MG. 

SAIC which stands for Shanghai Automotive Industry Company is a Chinese state-owned business and the largest carmaker in China. In July, 2022, alone SAIC sold more than 500,000 cars.

It wasn’t until 2013 that SAIC brought MG back to Australia with the MG6, but it was short lived thanks to ADR issues among other teething problems for the brand’s attempt to win over Aussies.

MG would return in 2016 with the MG3 light hatch which became popular for its good looks and affordable price, before launching other successful sellers such as the HS and ZS SUVs.

Where are MGs made now? Well, MG’s headquarters are in London but the cars are made in China, Thailand and India.

Volvo

Production of the XC40 and C40 takes place in China. Production of the XC40 and C40 takes place in China.

Volvo is as Swedish as ABBA and flat-packed furniture, but the brand that produced its first car in 1927 in Gothenburg and pioneered everything from the seat belt to AEB is currently owned by Chinese auto giant Geely.

Geely Holding bought Volvo off Ford in 2010 and remains the owner to this day. While Geely’s headquarters are in Shanghai, China, Volvo’s head office is in Torslanda, an area of Gothenburg in Sweden. 

Torslanda has been the home of Volvo production since the 1950s and the XC90 and XC60 SUVs are still made here. Production of the XC40 and C40 takes place in China, while the S60 is made in the United States and the V60 is made in Belgium.

Land Rover

JLR's Changshu plant produces Discovery and Evoque. JLR's Changshu plant produces Discovery and Evoque.

Land Rover is a brand as English as rain but now it’s owned by India’s Tata and the vehicles produced have never been better. 

The British Royal family’s love affair with Land Rovers started in 1948 with King Geroge VI and was carried on by the late Queen Elizabeth II who piloted a Range Rover herself.

Land Rover was originally just an off-road model made by the Rover company in the 1940s, but it became its own company in 1978. 

BMW bought Land Rover in 1994 before selling it to Ford in 2001 who then sold it to Tata in 2008.

Where are Land Rovers made? Let’s break it down model by model. 

The Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar are made at the Solihull Plant in the UK. 

The Range Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque are built at the Halewood Plant also in the UK. 

The Nitra plant in Slovakia makes the Discovery and Defender, while the Changshu plant also produces Discovery and Evoque, and the Pune plant in India makes the Discovery Sport and Evoque.

Jaguar

Jag's main assembly plant is Castle Bromwich in Birmingham in the UK. Jag's main assembly plant is Castle Bromwich in Birmingham in the UK.

Jaguar, like Land Rover, is as British as people joining a queue and like its off-road SUV sibling it’s also owned by India’s Tata.

Jaguar started out in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company but changed its name to Jaguar in 1945 going on to produce iconic cars such as the E-Type in the 1960s.

After being part of British Leyland, Jaguar was sold to Ford in 1990 where it was joined by Land Rover in 2001. 

In 2008, Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata who merged them in 2013.

Where are Jaguars made? The main assembly plant is Castle Bromwich in Birmingham in the UK. The XE. XF, XJ and F-Type are produced here. 

Jaguar’s Pune plant in India makes the XF and XJ, while the XE and XF are also manufactured in China at the Changshu plant.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf and Tiguan are made in VW’s home factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. The Volkswagen Golf and Tiguan are made in VW’s home factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Volkswagen Group is so large it’s almost easier to say which brands this gargantuan car manufacturer doesn’t own.

Well, that’s an exaggeration, but the Volkswagen empire includes Skoda, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and of course Volkswagen. 

You can also add Cupra to this list, too - it’s a Spanish brand recently introduced to Australia by Volkswagen. Cupra is a high-performance spin-off brand of Seat, which is also owned by Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Group builds cars in more than 100 factories in 27 countries including Germany, Brazil, China, India, the United States, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, South Africa and Russia. 

The Volkswagen Golf and Tiguan are made in VW’s home factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Audi’s Ingolstadt plant in Germany makes the Q2, A3, A4 and A5, while the San Jose Chiapa factory in Mexico makes the Q5 and SQ5 SUVs.

Lamborghinis are still made in Italy. Lamborghinis are still made in Italy.

Lamborghini may have been acquired by Volkswagen in 1998, but the supercars are still made in Italy at the Sant’Agata Bolognese plant where it all began in 1963. 

Skoda is a Czech brand and many of the models are still made in the Czech Republic. Skodas are also built in China, Russia, Slovakia and India.

The Skoda Karoq, Kodiaq, Superb, Octavia, Fabia, Kamiq, Scala and Enyaq are made in two facilities in the Czech Republic. 

Four facilities in China also make these same models except for the Fabia and the Enyaq.  

Rolls-Royce

BMW has been careful to keep Rolls-Royce as British as can be. BMW has been careful to keep Rolls-Royce as British as can be.

When it comes to ownership Rolls-Royce is a weird one. Here’s a brand associated with extreme wealth and Britishness. A brand so high-end that any product which is the top of its class is often called the “Rolls-Royce of …dishwashers” for example. So, who owns the Rolls-Royce brand? 

The answer is BMW and that’s because it made a deal with Volkswagen in 1998 to split Rolls-Royce away from Bentley (both had just been bought together as a pair by VW). 

The nature of the deal was that BMW would acquire the Rolls-Royce name and sell cars under it along with the rights to the Rolls-Royce grille and Spirit of Ecstacy emblem.

BMW has been careful to keep Rolls-Royce as British as can be with headquarters and a modern factory in Goodwood, England. 

Jeep   

Jeeps are still mainly made in the United States. Jeeps are still mainly made in the United States.

The off-road brand that was born out of the need for a little four-wheel drive vehicle to serve in the US army during World War II became part of Chrysler in 1987. 

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in 2009 before being bought out by Italian automaker Fiat in 2014.

In 2021, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA (Peugeot and Citroen) merged to form Stellantis.

So, if Jeep’s parent company is now American, Italian and French, and headquartered in the Netherlands, where are they made?

Well, Jeeps are still mainly made in the United States, but they are also made at 10 plants in six different countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Italy, China and India.

The Jeep Renegade is made in Melfi, Italy, while the Cherokee, Wrangler, Compass and Gladiator are built in the US.