After World War II, Bavaria underwent a rapid development from an agricultural state to an industrial state. Today, Bavaria is the state with the highest per capita income in Germany. The conurbations of Munich and Nuremberg are important business locations, as are Augsburg, Ingolstadt and the Bavarian chemical triangle. The Bavarian economy is broadly diversified, as is also evident in these German market leaders based in the Free State. The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Bavaria.
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1. Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW AG), Munich: 99 billion euros in sales
BMW stands for premium vehicles and motorcycles. The group is one of the 15 largest car manufacturers in the world. BMW history started in 1916 with the construction of aircraft engines. Car manufacturing has a non-Bavarian history and began in Eisenach in 1922. In 2020, BMW produced nearly 2.3 million vehicles with over 120,000 employees. The BMW main plant in Munich and the BMW four-cylinder – the group headquarters – dominate the Munich cityscape. In the marketplace, the company operates as the BMW Group. In addition to BMW, the British brands Mini and Rolls Royce also belong to it. The largest BMW owners are Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt – both from the Quandt family of industrialists – with a 46.8 per cent share!
2. Siemens AG, Munich/Berlin: 57.1 billion euros in sales
Siemens is a long-established German technology company active in various fields: Industrial Automation and Digitization, Medical Technology, Building Infrastructure, Mobility Solutions, and Rail and Road Transportation Technology. The company was founded in Berlin in 1847. After World War II, the decision was made to relocate parts of the company to the west, making Munich/Berlin the dual headquarters. Today, Siemens employs 293,000 people worldwide. In 2020, the energy division was spun off into Siemens Energy AG. It forms an affiliated company (35 percent Siemens stake). The medical technology division is bundled in the subsidiary Siemens Healthineers AG. The founding family of Siemens still holds 6 percent of Siemens shares.
3. Allianz SE, Munich: 140.5 billion euros in sales
Allianz is not only the undisputed leader in the German insurance industry, but also one of the world’s largest insurance groups. Originally founded in Berlin, the company’s headquarters were moved to Munich and Stuttgart in 1949. Today the group has more than 150,000 employees. The Allianz Group is a universal insurer – that is, it covers the entire range of insurance products for private, commercial and corporate customers. The Group also includes Allianz Global Investors, one of the leading investment fund companies in Germany. Another Allianz subsidiary is the US investment company PIMCO. Allianz shares are largely in free float. The former close ties with Munich Reinsurance no longer exist.
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