List of the 5 largest companies in Bavaria
In 2020, Bavaria had the second-highest gross domestic product (GDP) of all German states, at around 610 billion euros, and is at the top of all territorial states in terms of GDP per capita. This is thanks in part to the corporate heavyweights headquartered in the Free State. Here are the TOP 5:
1. BMW AG, Munich
BMW, the Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, already bears the Free State in its name. The globally active group is controlled from the company headquarters in the famous BMW four-cylinder in Munich. The BMW parent plant is right next door. The BWM story began in 1916 with aircraft engines. Today, the focus is on premium vehicles and motorcycles. The company owns the British car brands Mini and Rolls-Royce. Externally, the group operates as the BMW Group. With more than 120,000 employees, BMW is Germany’s third-largest automaker and among the top 15 worldwide.
2. Allianz SE, Munich
Allianz originally began in 1890 as a “Berlin plant”. It was not until after World War 2 that the company’s headquarters were moved to Munich. The Munich reinsurance company played a decisive role in the founding of the company and for a long time thereafter, but the company has since gone its separate ways. Today, the Allianz Group is one of the world’s largest universal insurers, market leader in Germany and provider of the entire insurance spectrum. Another important business segment is asset management. With its two subsidiaries PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors, Allianz has two investment heavyweights. The Group has over 150,000 employees.
3. Siemens AG, Munich/Berlin
Siemens was founded in 1847 in Berlin as the “Telegraphen Bau-Anstalt von Siemens & Halske”. After World War II, the company’s focus shifted to West Germany, and Munich became the company’s second headquarters alongside Berlin. Today, Siemens forms a conglomerate with the main business areas of industrial automation and digitalization, building infrastructure, decentralized energy systems, medical technology (Siemens Healthineers subgroup) and mobility solutions for rail and road transport (Siemens Mobility subgroup). The tradition-rich Energy Division was spun off in 2020 and has since formed the independent company Siemens Energy AG. The Siemens Group has around 293,000 employees worldwide.
Update 2023: In February 2023, the German industrial group showed what the future of corporate financing could look like. For example, it issued a EUR 60 million debt security via blockchain technology. The three investors (DekaBank, DZ Bank and Union Investment) receive the shares in the debenture as tokens.
4. Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG, Munich
Munich Re (current brand name) is one of the world’s leading reinsurers and, together with the ERGO Group, also operates as a universal insurer. Through MEAG Munich Ergo Assetmanagement, it also engages in joint investment management. Reinsurance business was at the origin of the company, which was founded in 1880, and remains its mainstay. More than two-thirds of gross premiums are generated here. In 2020, the Group had just under 40,000 employees, including 12,600 in reinsurance business, 27,000 at ERGO and 850 at MEAG.
5. AUDI AG, Ingolstadt
The history of the AUDI car brand began in 1909 in Zwickau, Saxony. After various mergers, a new start was made in Ingolstadt after World War 2. Since the 1960s, AUDI has been part of the VW Group and forms its own subgroup. Within the Volkswagen Group, AUDI stands for premium vehicles. Most production takes place at the main plant in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, as well as at some foreign locations and VW plants. The group employs over 90,000 people. AUDI also owns the Lamborghini sports car brand and the Ducati motorcycle brand.
Picture source: hoch3media via Unsplash (12.07.2023)
This information is contained in the list
- Company name
- General contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number, URL)
- Serial letter suitable for addressing the management (e.g. “Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Müller”)
- Name of the management
- Sales figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 as well as employee figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 (taken from the annual and consolidated financial statements)
- Field of activity
Note: If the sales and employee figures are not included in a company’s own financial statements but in the parent company’s consolidated financial statements, the data from the respective consolidated financial statements are provided.
The bavarian economy: Statistics and facts
Until the 1950s, Bavaria was still considered by many to be an agricultural state – an image that even then stood for only one side of the Free State. Over the past decades, this image has changed radically. Bavaria is one of Germany’s strongest economic states with a diverse and dynamically developing economy.
In 2019, Bavaria’s gross domestic product amounted to 633 billion euros, and since the turn of the millennium, the State’s economy has grown by a good 39 percent – more than in any other federal state. Bavaria also had the strongest growth in the number of employees subject to social insurance contributions and here even just surpassed North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous federal state. This corresponds to the lowest unemployment rate of all German states.
Bavaria has several economic centers. Firstly, there is the state capital of Munich with nearby Augsburg. Important economic sectors are located here: The electrical industry (Siemens headquarters), the automotive industry (including BMW, automotive suppliers), the IT sector, media and publishing houses and the service sector. The Nuremberg area is characterized by industry – with companies from the automotive, Leonische Waren, defense technology and armaments sectors, among others. Other strong business locations can be considered as well: Northern Bavaria with Aschaffenburg, Würzburg and Schweinfurt (traditional location of the ball bearing industry), Ingolstadt (Audi headquarters and main plant), the Bavarian chemical triangle and Regensburg.
Tourism is of disproportionately great importance in Bavaria compared with many other countries. Classic vacation regions are the Bavarian Alps, the Allgäu, the Alpine foothills and the Bavarian Forest. The Bavarian economy also benefits from its favorable location. Seen from the north, Bavaria is regarded as a logistical springboard to southern and south-eastern Europe, and from the opposite perspective as an access opener to northern and eastern Germany and neighboring markets.
Picture source: Robin G via Unsplash (12.07.2023)
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