1937: ‘Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des deutschen Volkswagens mbH’, Company for the Development of the German People's Car was registered [Hop71].
1965: VW took over Audi.
1996: A book explored the origins of the Volkswagen "people's car": H. Mommsen, Volkswagen and Its Workers During the Third Reich, Econ Verlag, 1996.
1998 June: VW bought Bentley and the Rolls Royce car factory from Vickers, possibly thinking it also had the Rolls Royce name, but that went to BMW (from 2003). (BMW was supplying engines to RR.) VW had been developing an interesting line of W8, W10 and W12 engines (that's right W12 etc. not V12) based on their narrow angle petrol and diesel V4, V5 and V6 units. The W12 petrol motor had been in some show-car exotica but was more usefully employed in up-market BMW-eaters. VW and Porsche also cooperated on a new offroad four wheel drive which came out in about 2002.
July: Cosworth was sold to Ford. Also, BMW had its revenge, buying the right to use the Rolls Royce name and the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine from their owner - Rolls Royce aero-engines, not Rolls Royce cars - from 2003 onwards!
1998: September: VW bought the Bugatti name.
2000, January: Advanced Activity Vehicle (4x4 SUV) (later the ‘Touareg’) was shown at the Detroit Motor Show with a 5-litre V10 engine.
2007: The sport car maker Porsche seemed to gain effective control of VW by buying 31% of the latter's shares and successfully challenging a German law limiting VW shareholders to voting at most 20%. But by 2009 the boot was on the other foot.
2009, May: VW and Porsche decided to merge. After a long struggle, the VW and Porsche boards agreed to form an "integrated automotive group" (23/7/'09), and at the end of 2009 VW would take 42% of Porsche AG (13/8/'09). ... 49.9% of Porsche AG (7/12/'09).
2012, August 1: The IAG was completed, VW then holding 100% of Porsche AG through a holding company.
2015, September: It was revealed that VW had been using illegal "defeat device" software in its VW and Audi diesel cars literally to cheat on NOx emission tests in the USA.
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