North Rhine-Westphalia has always been an important location for car manufacturers and automotive suppliers. Ford in Cologne and Daimler in Düsseldorf produce here and, until a few years ago, Opel in Bochum as well. Around 800 companies with approximately 200,000 employees in the automotive sector are located on the Rhine and Ruhr rivers. Almost every third German automotive supplier has its headquarters in NRW. In this piece, we’ll provide an overview of the three largest automotive suppliers in NRW – many more can be found in our list of the 200 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.
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- Exclusive overview of the most important automotive suppliers in Germany
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1st place: thyssenkrupp AG, Essen, 42.0 billion euros sales (2019)
The company name thyssenkrupp combines two names that have written industrial history: Thyssen and Krupp. They are almost synonymous with the German steel industry. Today, thyssenkrupp is still Germany’s biggest steel producer and a broadly diversified group. The company is organized into seven business units. One of them is Automotive Technology, where thyssenkrupp is active as an automotive supplier. The product range includes camshafts, steering and damper systems, springs and stabilizers as well as axle module assembly. ThyssenKrupp is also a partner to the auto industry for all key body and powertrain production processes. Automotive Technology has sales of around 5.4 billion euros (2018/19) and 26,000 employees at over 60 locations worldwide.
2nd place: Hella GmbH & Co. KGaA, Lippstadt, 7.0 billion euros turnover (2019)
The history of Hella begins in 1899 as Westfälische Metall-Industrie Aktien-Gesellschaft with accessories for carriages. Hella – first used as a trademark in 1908 – has been coining the company name since 1986. The company employs around 39,000 people at 125 locations in more than 35 countries. Hella has three business divisions: Automotive, Aftermarket and Special Applications. In the Automotive sector, Hella produces headlamps, lamps and interior lighting for vehicles, as well as camera-based driver assistance systems. In the Aftermarket segment, Hella operates one of the largest aftermarket organizations in Europe for automotive parts, accessories, diagnostics and services.
3rd place: Rheinmetall AG, Düsseldorf, 6.3 billion euros turnover (2019)
The name Rheinmetall is mainly known in connection with military equipment, less well known is its activity as an automotive supplier. The Automotive sector is bundled under the umbrella of Rheinmetall Automotive AG – created in 1997 after the merger of Pierburg GmbH Neuss and KS Kolbenschmidt GmbH Neckarsulm. Rheinmetall Automotive employs 11,500 people at 36 locations worldwide and accounts for some 45 percent of Rheinmetall’s sales. The Group is organized into three divisions: Hardparts, Mechatronics and Aftermarket. Its main products are pistons for engines, plus coolant pumps, exhaust gas recirculation and secondary air systems.
Picture source: Watts Roofing Supplies
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