Volkswagen Group has Europe's biggest company-owned dealership network even as the automaker and its rivals attempt to reduce the number of their wholly owned retail outlets.
VW owns 564 dealerships across Europe, 214 more than Emil Frey, which has the largest number of franchise points among independent dealer groups, according to data (see chart in linked article) from UK-based auto retail analyst ICDP.
Volkswagen gained the bulk of its dealerships when it bought Austria-based Porsche Holding Salzburg in 2011 for 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) as part of its acquisition of the Porsche car brand. Porsche Holding Salzburg, previously owned by the Porsche and Piech families, has 391 dealers. Most of the stores are in France and central and eastern Europe.
Volkswagen is selling some of its German dealerships to private investors. VW sales and marketing chief Christian Klingler has said the automaker has a long-term strategy to sell off its dealerships in Germany.