Lower Saxony is in large parts still an agricultural state. However, with the metropolitan region of Hanover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg, it also has a large urban agglomeration. The city states of Hamburg and Bremen also radiate far into Lower Saxony’s hinterland. The economy of Lower Saxony has a strong focus on the automotive industry. This is also reflected in our market leader list for the northern German state. The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Lower Saxony.
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1. Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg: €222.9 billion in sales
Volkswagen is not only Germany’s largest carmaker, but for years it has been competing with Toyota for first place in the world. The group is inextricably linked with the city of Wolfsburg, which owes its very existence to car manufacturing. But Volkswagen has long since become a global player. The VW Group has production sites on almost every continent and is represented in almost every country on the globe. Almost 663,000 people work for the group. VW produces passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Well-known group brands for passenger cars are Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche and Volkswagen, for commercial vehicles Scania and MAN. The majority owner is Porsche Automobil Holding, the state of Lower Saxony holds 20 percent, Qatar 17 percent.
2. Continental AG, Hanover: 37.7 billion euros in sales
When it comes to car tires, Continental is the undisputed German market leader. The company, which emerged from a Hanover rubber factory in 1871, has grown up making tires. With 236,000 employees, Continental is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. In addition to tire technology (Rubber Technologies), it now also focuses on other auto-related technology fields as a second pillar. Focus areas: Solutions for autonomous driving and driving safety, digital networking and system solutions for powertrains. 46 percent of Continental shares are controlled by the Schaeffler family of entrepreneurs. Continental and the Schaeffler Corporation form sister companies through this bracket. The rest of the shares are free float.
3. Talanx AG, Hanover: 39.5 billion euros gross premiums
Talanx is one of the largest insurance groups in Germany and Europe. The company’s origins lie in the “Haftpflichtverband der deutschen Eisen- und Stahlindustrie” (HDI), founded in 1903. Talanx was created in 1996 as part of the restructuring and renaming of HDI Beteiligung AG. The operating companies of the former Gerling Group were integrated in 2006. The Talanx Group operates as a universal insurer, offering private and corporate clients the full range of insurance business. The Group includes Hannover Re, Targo Versicherungen and HDI Haftpflichtverband der Deutschen Industrie. The principal owner, with a 79 percent stake, is HDI-Versicherungsverein auf Gegenseitigkeit. Talanx employs around 22,000 people.
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