The largest industrial company in Düsseldorf is Rheinmetall AG with sales of €6.3 billion (2019). Rheinmetall AG is also part of our list of Germany’s largest industrial companies. The Rheinmetall company has two faces: it is Germany’s leading defence contractor and at the same time a major automotive supplier. Accordingly, there are two divisions: Defence and Automotive. The Automotive activities (around 45 percent of sales) are pooled at Rheinmetall Automotive AG in Neckarsulm. The Defence sector is strongly export-driven and comprises the Weapon and Ammunition, Electronic Solutions and Vehicle Systems sectors. The Rheinmetall Group has a workforce of just under 26,000, some 11,000 of whom work in the Automotive sector. This article is based on the unique List of the 1000 largest industrial companies in Germany.
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Ammunition, armament and automotive supply as business model
Rheinmetall’s history begins in 1889 with the founding of Rheinische Metallwaaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft as a munitions manufacturer for the Imperial German Army. During both the First and Second World Wars, Rheinmetall was of strategic importance as an armaments manufacturer. During the Third Reich, the company was nationalized and in 1956 sold by the Federal Republic to what is now Saarstahl. In the course of rearmament, Rheinmetall became one of the Bundeswehr’s most important suppliers from the 1950s onwards. The Automotive sector was created by the takeover and merger of KS Kolbenschmidt GmbH in Neckarsulm and Pierburg GmbH Neuss. Today, the vast majority of Rheinmetall stock is in free float. The stock is listed in the MDAX.Source: Listenchampion Picture source: Unsplash