Do you know who made the vehicle in your garage? The answer may not be as straightforward as you think. The who’s who of the car brands sold in America is complicated, with mergers, spin-offs, sub-brands, partnerships, and joint ventures making it even more complex.
The past decade or so has seen the emergence of new brands, such as electric car maker Tesla, and the sunset for others, such as Pontiac, Mercury, Scion and Plymouth.
In this guide, we’ll look at all of the major car brands sold in the United States, who owns them, what they sell and where they produce their cars. The list includes a few that no longer sell new cars but produced models that are easy to find in the used car marketplace.
Acura is the luxury arm of Japan’s Honda Motor Company. Popular models include the Acura RDX compact luxury crossover, the Acura MDX three-row crossover and the Acura TLX sedan. They build cars for the U.S. market in Japan, Canada and the United States. They’ve been selling vehicles in the U.S. since 1986.
Italian automaker Alfa Romeo is part of Stellantis, which was known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prior to its recent merger with the French PSA Group. Alfa Romeo sells the Giulia sedan and Stelvio high-performance crossover in the United States. After a long hiatus, the company returned to America in 2015 with the now-canceled Alfa Romeo 4C sports car.
British supercar builder Aston Martin is a small car company based in England. They currently produce a series of high-end sports cars, including the Aston Martin Vantage, DB11 and DBS, as well as their first SUV, the Aston Martin DBX. The publicly-traded company, at one time owned by the Ford Motor Company, has gone bankrupt seven times in its more than a century of existence.
German automaker Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group. In the U.S. they market a variety of cars and SUVs ranging from the Audi A4 sedan to the Audi Q8 SUV and Audi R8 sports car. In recent years the company has begun a rollout of the e-tron family of battery-electric vehicles. Audi builds its cars at plants around the globe.
Munich, Germany-based BMW sells a vast array of cars and SUVs in the United States. Part of the BMW Group, its models include the iconic BMW 3 Series and a variety of sport utility vehicles, including the BMW X3, X5, and X7. While many of its cars are built exclusively in Germany, most of its SUV lineup is produced in South Carolina. BMW has two sub-brands, including the BMW M high-performance division and BMW i electric car sub-brand.
Bentley is an iconic British ultra-luxury car maker that is now part of Germany’s Volkswagen Group. Today, the company builds three lines of vehicles including the Continental sports coupe and convertible series, the Flying Spur line of sedans and the Bentayga range of crossovers. Bentley Motors passed its 100-year anniversary in 2019.
Bollinger Motors began life in 2015. Now relocated from New York to Michigan, the electric truck maker plans to produce the bare-bones, yet pricy B2 electric pickup truck and B1 electric SUV. Both are expected in the marketplace by 2022.
Bugatti is a French manufacturer of supercars including today’s lightning-fast Bugatti Chiron. Following two decades as part of the Volkswagen Group, Buggati is now majority-owned by electric sports car builder Rimac, with a minority stake held by Porsche (which is part of the Volkswagen Group).
Buick is one of four General Motors car brands that is currently sold in the U.S. market. Once a sedan and station wagon powerhouse, Buick now only sells a family of crossovers that includes the Buick Encore, Buick Encore GX, Buick Envision and Buick Enclave. Most Buicks, with the exception of the Chinese-built Envision, are built in North America.
One of America’s premier luxury car brands, Cadillac, sells a pair of sporty sedans and an array of luxury crossovers and SUVs, including the powerful Cadillac Escalade, in the United States. The high-end General Motors brand will launch its first electric vehicle, the Cadillac Lyriq, in 2022. Cadillac was founded in 1902.
Los Angeles-based Canoo is an electric vehicle startup with unique van, pickup and commercial vehicles on the drawing board. The Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle (van) is expected to arrive in the marketplace in 2022 with pricing starting at $34,750. The pickup will follow by 2024.
The Chevrolet Division of General Motors markets an array of cars and trucks, ranging from the all-American Chevy Corvette and Chevy Camaro to the Chevrolet Silverado family of pickups and the Chevrolet Suburban SUV. While the company has largely abandoned the sedan market, they’ve moved strongly into the electric vehicle space with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Chevy is one of America’s largest vehicle brands.
Chrysler is one of the car brands of Stellantis, which is a product of a merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Europe’s PSA Group. Chrysler currently only markets three models, the Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Voyager minivans, and the aging Chrysler 300 sedan. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the only plug-in hybrid minivan you can currently buy.
Dodge is the performance brand of the Stellantis conglomerate’s U.S. operation. Once a full-line brand that included the now spun-off Ram pickup lineup, the Dodge brand now sells the Dodge Challenger sports coupe, the Dodge Charger sedan and the Dodge Durango SUV. The company, founded by brothers John and Horace Dodge, started building cars in 1914.
Ferrari is one of the world’s signature sports car makers. Originated in 1929, the Italian maker of supercars is now a public company. That follows decades of ownership by Fiat and its successor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Enzo Ferrari’s son, Piero, still owns a 10% stake in the company known for its prancing horse logo and Rosso Red race cars.
Fiat is a strong brand in Europe for its parent company Stellantis. In the U.S. it has been less successful as buyers’ tastes have shifted from cars to SUVs. Fiat currently markets just two cars, the Italian-made Fiat 500X crossover, and the Fiat 124 Spider, which is built by Mazda on the same platform as the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
California-based Fisker is an electric vehicle company that’s set to deliver its first vehicle, the $37,499 Fisker Ocean in 2022. The company claims that the car will be the most sustainable vehicle on the road. They envision three additional vehicles will follow in the coming years.
The Ford Motor Company is one of the largest automobile companies in the U.S. and is the builder of the most popular vehicle sold in the country, the Ford F-150 full-size pickup. Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford builds and sells cars around the world. One of the longest-running American car brands, the Ford Motor Co. claimed early success selling the high-volume, low-cost Ford Model T.
GMC is a division of General Motors that focuses on SUVs and pickups, most of which are mechanical clones of Chevrolet products. GMC sells an upscale sub-brand of products under the Denali name. It will be the automobile company that brings the Hummer name back to America next year, with the arrival of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV.
Genesis is the luxury arm of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group. Originally just one model in the Hyundai lineup, Genesis has grown to include three affordable luxury sedans, including the flagship Genesis G90, and a pair of stylish SUVs. The brand will debut an all-electric SUV next year called the GV60.
Honda is a Japan-based automaker that sells a full line of vehicles in the United States, including the popular Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Honda CR-V. With several plants located in the U.S., many of the vehicles it sells in America are manufactured in America. The company also manufactures an array of motorcycles and outdoor power equipment.
Hummer was a brand formed by military vehicle maker AM General to sell a civilian version of the HMMWV (Humvee). It was purchased by General Motors in 1999 and used to market hulking SUVs and pickups including the demilitarized Hummer H1. GM shuttered the brand in 2010, but in 2022 the Hummer name will return on GMC electric vehicles.
The Hyundai Motor Group is part of Korea’s massive Hyundai conglomerate, which makes everything from cars to ships. In America, Hyundai USA sells a wide array of cars and SUVs, plus the new-for-2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup. They’re rapidly developing the Ioniq sub-brand of electric vehicles, starting with the Ioniq 5 crossover. Many of the cars Hyundai sells are built in the United States.
Nissan North America, Inc.
Infiniti is a luxury division of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The Yokohama, Japan-based company sells an array of sedans, crossovers and SUVs in the American market. Their flagship model is the Infiniti QX80 SUV.
British automaker Jaguar is part of the Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, which is, in turn, owned by India’s Tata Group. At times in its history, the company has been owned by British Leyland and the Ford Motor Co. Originally renowned for its sports cars and luxury sedans, Jaguar’s success is now buoyed by its Jaguar F-Pace SUV. The company currently had one electric vehicle in its lineup, the Jaguar I-Pace.
The Jeep brand is a part of Stellantis. Jeep was forged from the Willys-Overland Company following World War II as the military General Purpose vehicle moved into civilian life. Today, the original Jeep’s heritage lives on as the iconic Jeep Wranger. Jeep currently markets an array of SUVs and the Jeep Gladiator pickup with outstanding off-road capability. For 2022, the automaker has resurrected the long-dormant Jeep Wagoneer name for a new range of large, luxury SUVs.
Southern California-based Karma Automotive is a builder of luxury electric and extended-range hybrid vehicles. The Karma GS-6 and Karma GS-e6 are low-slung high-performance four-door sports sedans. Karma is owned by China’s Wanxiang.
Kia is one of the car brands of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group. They sell a variety of cars and SUVs in the United States, ranging from the subcompact Kia Rio to the wildly successful Kia Telluride three-row SUV. Many of the company’s best-selling vehicles are built in West Point, Georgia.
Italian automaker Lamborghini is a part of the Volkswagen Group. The company currently builds a number of supercars, including the Lamborghini Huracan, and its first high-performance crossover, the Lamborghini Urus. The company recently announced the return of the Countach name, this time attached to a limited-edition model.
Land Rover is a component of Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata. They sell a lineup composed exclusively of sport utility vehicles, including the opulent Range Rover and capable Land Rover Defender.
Lexus is the luxury arm of Toyota. They sell an array of luxury vehicles ranging from the Lexus IS sedan to the comfortable and capable Lexus LX SUV. Their best-seller is the Lexus RX crossover. Lexus is a frequent winner of our Best Certified Pre-Owned Programs award.
One of America’s classic luxury car brands, Lincoln, is a division of the Ford Motor Company. Lincoln no longer sells the sedans they are famous for. Instead, Lincoln now markets a family of SUVs, including the Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln Nautilus and Lincoln Navigator.
Lordstown Motors is an electric vehicle startup with plans to produce a commercially oriented electric pickup truck out of a former General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio. The Lordstown Endurance pickup uses an uncommon design, with electric motors fitted to each wheel hub.
Lotus is an English automaker historically known for its race cars and lightweight sports cars. In 2017, the company was purchased by the Chinese conglomerate Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The Lotus Elise, which is now out of production, was used as the platform for the first Tesla production vehicle, the original Tesla Roadster.
Lucid Motors is a publicly-traded automobile manufacturer based in California. They are on the cusp of building their first car, the Lucid Air sedan. Targeting extreme performance and range, the Lucid Air is expected to be able to travel more than 500 miles on a single charge. The car will be produced at a new plant in Arizona.
Italian sports and luxury car maker Maserati is part of Stellantis, the same company that owns Chrysler, Jeep, Ram and several other car brands. T
he company currently produces the Maserati Levante SUV, Ghibli sedan, Quattroporte sedan and MC20 sports car.
Maybach is an ultra-luxury sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz, which is part of Daimler AG. While Maybach had models of its own for a time, it now represents the top trim models of the Mercedes S-Class and Mercedes GLS.
Mazda is a Hiroshima, Japan-based automaker partly owned by Toyota. It’s known for its lithe-handling family of cars and SUVs, including the iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata. Mazda has embarked on joint ventures with other automakers, including an agreement to produce the Fiat 124 Spider.
McLaren Automotive is a part of the Woking, England McLaren Group. The company produces high-end sports cars including the McLaren 720S and McLaren Artura high-performance hybrid.
Mercedes-AMG is a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz responsible for the company’s top-performing cars. Mercedes-AMG engineering and tuning have been applied to a broad array of Mercedes cars and SUVs, ranging from the Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC sedan to the Mercedes-AMG G 63.
Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is part of Germany’s Daimler AG. The company produces and sell cars throughout the world, building many of their SUVs in Alabama. In the U.S., Mercedes markets cars ranging from the entry-level Mercedes A-Class sedan to the opulent Mercedes S-Class, Mercedes GLS SUV and classic Mercedes SL Roadster.
Mercury was one of the latest brands to be axed by its parent company. With a lineup of cars that largely mirrored offerings from its Ford corporate sibling, the Ford Motor Company decided to end the Mercury brand in 2010.
While it might seem British, the Mini brand is actually a part of Germany’s BMW. Started with tiny models in 1957, today’s Mini lineup now includes a family of subcompact and compact cars and convertibles, plus the Mini Countryman subcompact SUV and Mini Electric Hardtop. Mini vehicles are built in England, Austria and the Netherlands.
Mitsubishi Motors is a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The results of the 2016 union are already paying dividends, with the Nissan Rogue-based 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander performing much better in our new car rankings and reviews than other Mitsubishi products, such as the feeble Mitsubishi Mirage.
Electric vehicle startup Nikola had grand plans to bring the Nikola Badger, a battery-electric pickup truck to the market. Those plans are looking more and more like a pipe dream, as the company’s founder is facing federal securities fraud charges stemming from statements he made about the company’s products.
Nissan is part of the vast Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Based in Japan with American operations in Franklin, Tennessee, Nissan markets a variety of cars, SUVs, and trucks in the U.S. market. Models range from the low-cost Nissan Versa to the powerful Nissan Titan pickup. Returning for 2022 is a new generation of the company’s Z car.
Lansing, Michigan’s Oldsmobile was one of the earliest car brands in America, having been founded in 1897. General Motors shut the Oldsmobile brand down in 2004 as customers’ tastes changed and the division’s sales declined.
Polestar is a new high-performance electrified car maker owned by the Chinese conglomerate Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Polestar, which was once part of Volvo and shares much of its technology with the Swedish company, currently markets the Polestar 2, a battery-electric four-door fastback.
Until General Motors shuttered the brand in 2009, Pontiac was the company’s performance brand. Its lineup consisted of models with a sportier edge than those offered by sister divisions Oldsmobile (by then also eliminated) and Chevrolet. Pontiac produced such renowned models as the GTO, Firebird and Trans Am.
Germany’s performance car manufacturer Porsche is a part of Volkswagen. The company currently sells a family of sports cars, including the classic Porsche 911, and exhilarating crossovers. One of the recent additions to the company’s lineup is the Porsche Taycan electric vehicle.
Plymouth was part of the Chrysler Corporation’s lineup until it was axed in 2001.
It was responsible for several memorable cars, including the Plymouth Road Runner and one of the earliest minivans in America, the Plymouth Voyager.
The Ram truck brand is a component of Stellantis. Until 2012, when Ram became its own brand, the Dodge Ram pickup was simply a model in the Dodge lineup. Today, Ram is one of Stellantis’s top-performing brands. The Ram 1500 pickup claims a spot atop our ranking of full size pickups.
Rivian is a promising up-and-coming electric vehicle manufacturer, with the Rivian R1T pickup and Rivian R1S SUV set to arrive in 2022. Both feature impressive performance and unique features, such as the gear tunnel behind the cab of the R1T pickup. The vehicles will be manufactured in Normal, Illinois.
When you think of the ultimate in luxury cars, your mind goes straight to British automaker Rolls-Royce. The company is now a part of BMW AG. It produces a range of coupes, sedans, convertibles and now, an SUV. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV is a massive, yet necessary, departure from the company’s core models.
Swedish automaker Saab was once a part of General Motors before being sold to European boutique automaker Spyker in 2010. Saab ceased operations in 2011. Now it’s back, well kind of. A new company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, purchased the assets with the hope of building electric cars based on the Saab 9-3. That effort has foundered, and Saab’s automotive history may have come to an end.
General Motor’s Spring Hill, Tennessee-based Saturn division was cast as a savior for the company, building cars that younger buyers would want and introducing a no-haggle sales process. Despite some early successes, the brand was eventually sucked into the vortex of GM’s bureaucracy, and many of its cars became reskinned clones of other GM models. By the end of 2010, the Saturn brand was gone.
Scion was a sub-brand of Toyota, and its parent company hoped would bring younger buyers to the brand. Featuring a lineup of edgy small cars and a no-haggle buying process, Scion lasted from 2004 until its models were folded into the mainstream Toyota lineup in 2016.
Smart is a brand of Germany’s Daimler. The company sold several versions of the two-seat Smart ForTwo mini car in the United States from 2008 to 2019. Often the butt of jokes, the tiny Smart car was available in coupe, convertible and battery-electric models.
Japan’s Subaru builds a variety of cars and SUVs including the outdoorsy Subaru Outback and sporty Subaru WRX. Nearly every vehicle they market, with the exception of the Subaru BRZ sports car, comes standard with all-wheel drive. The company is 20% owned by Toyota. Subaru operates plants in Japan and Lafayette, Indiana.
Suzuki, a Japanese manufacturer better known for its motorcycles than its automobiles, sold a variety of cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. until it announced it was pulling out of the U.S. market in 2012. The company’s last two U.S. vehicles were the Suzuki Kizashi and Suzuki SX4. It sold a number of vehicles, such as the Suzuki Equator, that were simply rebadged models from other automakers.
California-based Tesla builds a range of high-performance battery-electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model S fastback, Tesla Model 3 sedan, Tesla Model X SUV and Tesla Model Y crossover. The polarizing Tesla Cybertruck is set to enter production in 2022.
Toyota is one of the world’s largest automakers with sales and manufacturing facilities around the globe. The company has been building cars for its Toyota and Lexus brands in the U.S. for 35 years. It currently operates 10 U.S. plants. It’s the company behind vehicles such as the Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4, and Toyota 4Runner. Toyota is a leader in the sales of gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
The Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen Group is one of the largest conglomerates in the auto industry. The company builds and sells cars globally under a vast array of brands. In the U.S., the company is best known for its iconic Volkswagen Beetle. They currently sell a variety of cars and SUVs, including the Volkswagen GTI and Volkswagen Atlas. They recently began selling the battery-electric