Sub-brands are emerging as the latest trend, particularly among German automakers. BMW has rolled out its new i family of electric vehicles. Audi looks poised to spin the TT off into its own line with added bodystyles. Mercedes-Benz is expected to bring the Maybach name, once its own brand, back as a model designation at the top of the S-Class range. And now Volkswagen is rumored to be planning more retro models to follow in the footsteps of the Beetle.
Volkswagen is on a mission to dominate sales in almost ever category, with a goal of selling one million Audis and VWs yearly in the United States by 2018. Projected U.S. sales of both brands for 2012 is only 565,000. To bridge that gap, analysts say the two brands will need to compete in almost every sales category.