Almost every vehicle is assembled with modular design principles. The bodywork forms the skeleton, in which a large number of vehicle parts are installed. It is estimated that a car contains on average around 10,000 individual parts – from the boot lid to the door handle or individual valves, screws, and plugs. A large proportion of such parts are made of metal from specialized suppliers.

Here are the 3 largest parts suppliers with a focus on metal, directly from our list of the 250 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.

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1st place: Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach: 14.4 billion euros in revenue (2019)

The Schaeffler Group is a family-owned automotive supplier headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Franconia, operating in the market under the brands INA, FAG (formerly FAG Kugelfischer) and LuK. The company is closely linked to the tire manufacturer Continental through a significant shareholding. Schaeffler AG and Continental AG are sister companies. Schaeffler manufactures clutch systems, transmission parts, camshaft phasing units, wheel bearings, and drive components made of metal for the automotive industry. The Schaeffler Group operates worldwide. It is represented in more than 170 locations in over 50 countries and employs approximately 92,000 people.

2nd place: Rheinmetall AG, Düsseldorf: €6.3 billion group sales; €2.7 billion automotive in revenue (2019)

Rheinmetall manufactures military equipment and operates as an automotive supplier under the umbrella of Rheinmetall Automotive AG. Rheinmetall Automotive AG was created in 1997 from the merger of KS Kolbenschmidt GmbH Neckarsulm and Pierburg GmbH Neuss. Metallic pistons and plain bearings for gasoline and diesel engines form a focal point of the production program. In addition, Rheinmetall Automotive manufactures valves, pumps, actuators and other engine parts. The company has some 40 production sites in Europe, America and Asia and employs a workforce of around 11,000.

3rd place: Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG, Nuremberg: sales of 3.7 billion euros (2018)

The Diehl Corporate Group in Nuremberg was founded in 1902 and is family-owned. It achieves the major part of its sales as an equipment supplier for the aerospace industry and as a defence company. The Diehl Metall business area also produces parts for the automotive industry. Diehl Metall mainly handles metal engines and aggregate components, transmission parts, and parts for thermal systems. This division generates about one quarter of Diehl’s sales. The Diehl Corporate Group has about 17,000 employees. Besides Germany, Diehl Metall also produces in France, Brazil and China.

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Originally posted on May 11, 2020 @ 1:07 pm


No car can go without seats. Car seats must meet special requirements. They should be ergonomic and contribute to driving comfort – through heating, height, and lateral adjustability. Mechanics have been part of car seats for a long time and electronics are increasingly being added. Some automotive suppliers have a special focus on seats. We present the 3 largest “seat suppliers” here. These are also part of our

list of the 200 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.

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1st place: AUNDE Group SE, Mönchengladbach: 2.7 billion Euro turnover (2018)

AUNDE was already founded in 1899 as a textile company. Since 1920 upholstery fabrics for the automotive industry have been produced. Today the company is present on the market under the three brands AUNDE, Isringhausen, and Fehrer. AUNDE represents polyester yarns, textile surfaces, textile door panels and seat covers, while Isringhausen – ISRI for short – covers innovative seating systems and Fehrer handles seat upholstery. Over time, the product range has been consistently expanded to vehicle interiors. The opening of a plant in Barcelona in 1980 marked the first step abroad, the starting signal for internationalization. Today AUNDE has almost 25,000 employees and produces at almost 120 locations in 29 countries.

2nd place: Lear Corporation GmbH, Ginsheim-Gustavsburg: 2.3 billion Euro turnover (2019)

Lear Corporation GmbH in Ginsheim-Gustavsburg, located between Mainz and Rüsselsheim, is the German subsidiary of the Lear Group – an international automotive supplier based in Detroit, Michigan. Lear’s production programme includes components for cars and aviation. There are two main areas of focus in the automotive sector: Seating systems and automotive electronics. For car seats Lear manufactures seat structures, foams, covers, headrests, mechanical systems, adjustment devices and seat accessories. Lear Corporation is represented in about 35 countries worldwide and has over 130,000 employees. The German subsidiary has almost 5,000 employees and manufactures in 13 production facilities in Germany, the largest of which are located in Bremen, Kronach and Quakenbrück.

3rd place: Faurecia Automotive GmbH, Stadthagen: 17.8 billion euros (group) turnover (2019)

Faurecia is a major French automotive supplier based in Nanterre near Paris. The German subsidiary, Faurecia Automotive GmbH, is still located in Stadthagen, but from 2021 will be based in Marienwerder near Hanover. It is responsible for the DACH region. Faurecia has four divisions: Seating, Clean Mobility, Interior and Clarion Electronics. The “seating business” is part of the Seating division. Faurecia manufactures everything that belongs to car seats: seat frames, adjustment mechanisms, rails, foams and covers. Faurecia Germany has approximately 6,900 employees and about 30 locations. German manufacturers are particularly important to Faurecia. Almost one third of the total turnover worldwide is achieved with the VW Group, Daimler and BMW.

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Originally posted on May 8, 2020 @ 1:24 pm


Baden-Württemberg is home to around 500 chemical and pharmaceutical companies. In terms of sales, they account for 10 percent of the state’s manufacturing industry. This means that the chemical industry is of major importance alongside the traditionally strong automotive and mechanical engineering industries. These are the three largest chemical companies in Baden-Württemberg.

They are part of our list of the 600 largest chemical companies in Germany.

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1st place: Freudenberg SE, Weinheim: 9.5 billion euros in revenue (2019)

The history of Freudenberg begins in 1849 with the purchase of a tannery. In the following hundred years, the company underwent various metamorphoses. Today, it concentrates on technical textiles made from chemical raw materials and is a supplier to various industries, including the automotive, mechanical engineering, and textile industries. The Freudenberg business comprises four business areas: seals and vibration control technology, technical textiles and filtration, cleaning technologies and products, and speciality chemical products. The cleaning products of the Vileda brand are generally known and the company is family owned. The Freudenberg Group has almost 49,000 employees worldwide and is represented in some 60 countries.

2nd place: Roche Deutschland Holding GmbH, Grenzach-Whylen: 6.6 billion euros in revenue (2019)

The Swiss company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Basel is one of the largest chemical companies in the world with sales of almost 61.5 billion euros (2019); it also employs more than 94,000 people. Roche Deutschland Holding AG in Grenzach-Whylen just outside Basel bundles the German subsidiaries of the group with over 16,700 employees. The largest sales on the German market are achieved with pharmaceuticals (1.88 billion euros turnover in 2019). Here, Roche mainly supplies drugs for cancer therapy (72 percent share of sales). Other areas are Diagnostics (tools for disease detection: 0.592 billion euros sales in 2019) and Diabetes Care (blood glucose monitoring: 0.234 billion euros sales in 2019). The largest share of sales in 2019 was accounted for by intercompany services (‘3.9 billion).

3rd place: Fuchs Petrolub SE, Mannheim: Euro 2.6 billion sales (2019)

Fuchs was founded in Mannheim in 1931 by Rudolf Fuchs and has developed into the largest independent manufacturer of lubricants in the world. The Fuchs Group of Companies has over 5,600 employees and is divided into a large number of production and trading companies. The majority of shares are held by Fuchs’ descendants (approx. 54.5 percent). Fuchs produces several thousand different lubricants. The product range is broad and includes automotive lubricants, industrial lubricants, greases, metalworking lubricants and speciality lubricants. Fuchs engine oils are mainly found in the trade. The main sales markets for Fuchs lubricants are Western Europe, Asia, and North America.

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Originally posted on May 11, 2020 @ 1:29 pm


Air-conditioning systems are now almost taken for granted as part of the car’s equipment and are no longer limited to premium vehicles. An air conditioning system in a car works with sophisticated technology and very often has a self-regulating automatic climate control system. Almost all manufacturers rely on suppliers who have specialized in this area for car air conditioning. Here is an overview of the 3 largest German automotive suppliers for air conditioning systems. These are also part of our 

list of the 200 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.

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1st place: Mahle GmbH, Stuttgart: 12.6 billion euros turnover (2018)

Mahle in Stuttgart will be exactly 100 years old this year and is an important automotive supplier of pistons, cylinders, and valve control systems. The company has around 13,000 employees in Germany and almost 80,000 employees worldwide at around 160 locations. Mahle supplies a wide variety of vehicle components, including systems for air conditioning and heating. Thermal Management with solutions for vehicle air conditioning and engine cooling is one of five business units. Here Mahle manufactures air conditioning units, evaporators, heaters, condensers, blowers and filters, among other things. The production program also includes control and operating units for vehicle air conditioning, climate sensors, controllers for electrical auxiliary heating systems, and blower controllers. Mahle air conditioning solutions are not only found in passenger cars, but also in buses and commercial vehicles.

2nd place: ebm-papst Mulfingen GmbH & Co. KG, Mulfingen: 2.2 billion EUR turnover (2018/19)

ebm-papst was formed in 2003 from the merger of three companies with production focuses in the areas of electric motors and fans. The company employs more than 15,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Mulfingen in the northeast of Baden-Württemberg. ebm-papst is not a pure automotive supplier, but supplies its products to a wide variety of industries in which fans are in demand – including computer manufacturers, IT companies, household appliance manufacturers, and suppliers of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration technology. The automotive industry is an important customer. For this industry, ebm-papst manufactures fans and blowers for vehicle interiors, engine cooling and other applications.

3rd place: Eberspächer Climate Control Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Esslingen: 4.6 billion EUR turnover (2018)

The Eberspächer Group in Esslingen am Neckar, Baden-Württemberg, is a leading automotive supplier for exhaust technology, vehicle heaters, and air conditioning systems. Eberspächer Climate Control Systems GmbH & Co. KG forms the core of the group of companies, which has around 10,000 employees and is represented at 80 locations in 29 countries. Eberspächer supplies the complete thermal management for all types of vehicles, specifically parking and auxiliary heaters as well as air-conditioning systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, special vehicles, and buses. The company has been dealing with heating systems for vehicles since the 1930s. With the takeover of the Suetrak company in 2010, Eberspaecher also became a full-range supplier of heating and air-conditioning systems for buses.

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Originally posted on May 8, 2020 @ 1:45 pm


Lower Saxony is VW state. With its main plant in Wolfsburg and further plants in Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Hanover, Volkswagen is a formative part of Lower Saxony’s industry. In addition, there are around 700 automotive suppliers who don’t only supply VW. 250,000 jobs in Lower Saxony depend directly or indirectly on car manufacturing. Here we present the three largest automotive suppliers in Lower Saxony – many more can be found in our list of the 200 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.

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1st place: Continental AG, Hanover, 44.5 billion euros in sales (2019)

Continental AG in Hanover is vying with Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart for the position of the world’s largest automotive supplier. Since the company was founded in 1869, Continental’s business has been based on rubber – first from natural rubber, and later from artificial production. Tire manufacturing and tire technologies still form the core business. The Automotive Technologies unit was established as a further pillar with solutions for autonomous driving and driving safety as well as for driver assistance. Schaeffler Holding holds a substantial 46 percent share in Continental. Together with Schaeffler AG as a sister company, Continental forms the Schaeffler Group. Continental AG has 241,000 employees worldwide at more than 540 locations in 60 countries.

2nd place: Faurecia Automotive GmbH, Stadthagen, €17.8 billion (consolidated) sales (2019)

Faurecia Automotive GmbH in Stadthagen near Hanover is the German subsidiary of Faurecia S.A., an internationally active French automotive supplier based in Nanterre near Paris. Fauercia employs around 122,000 people at 300 locations in 37 countries and is one of the ten largest automotive suppliers in the world, alongside Bosch, Continental and ZF Friedrichshafen. Faurecia produces seat components, dashboards and door panels for cars, as well as exhaust systems (including catalytic converters), cockpit electronics and driver assistance systems. Faurecia Automotive is responsible for the DACH region and has almost 7,000 employees. In 2021, the German subsidiary is set to relocate its headquarters to the Marienwerder Science and Technology Park near Hanover.

3rd place: Georgsmarienhütte GmbH, Georgsmarienhütte, 2.1 billion euros turnover (2018)

A steel mill gave its name to a city. Georgsmarienhütte was founded as early as 1856 and became the nucleus of the town of the same name near Osnabrück in southwest Lower Saxony. Today the Georgsmarienhütte Group of Companies (GMH Group) forms a group of 26 companies under the umbrella of Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH, whose core business is still steel production. A large 80 percent of the turnover is generated with steel supplies for the automotive industry. Car manufacturers use it to produce, among other things, driveshafts, crankshafts, camshafts, connecting rods, transmission components and chassis parts. The GMH group has almost 7,000 employees, and the steelworks – operated as Georgsmarienhütte GmbH – has 1,300 employees. The GMH Group is represented in Germany, Austria, Turkey, Australia and the USA.

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Originally posted on May 7, 2020 @ 12:42 pm


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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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.

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Originally posted on May 7, 2020 @ 12:29 pm


Today, electronics play an important a role in car mechanics. It is indispensable for modern vehicles. Efficient driving, driving safety, driving comfort without electronics (semiconductors, control units, sensors, etc.) is not possible. Only a part of the vehicle electronics is actively operated by the driver, as much of it is hidden under the bonnet and functions virtually “unnoticed” and automatically. Automotive electronics is a typical business area for automotive suppliers. These are the 5 biggest players in this field. They are also part of our

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1st place: Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart: 77.9 billion euros sales (2019)

Robert Bosch in Stuttgart is the number 1 automotive supplier in Germany and worldwide, and it is only one of four corporate divisions. The supply business takes place in the Mobility Solutions division, which in turn comprises several divisions – including Automotive Electronics. Bosch manufactures electronic control units, semiconductor components and sensors here. A central production site has existed in Reutlingen since 1971, and a second central manufacturing facility in Dresden is nearing completion. With costs of around one billion euros, it represents the largest single investment in Bosch’s history. Dresden’s semiconductor production is scheduled to start at the end of 2021.

2nd place: Infineon SE, Munich: 8 billion euros (2019)

The Bavarian company Infineon emerged in 1999 from a spin-off from Siemens. The focus is on arresters and electrical system solutions. Semiconductor products are particularly relevant to the automotive supplier; they are used in motor control, but also for steering or damping and in airbags. As an automotive supplier, Infineon supplies companies worldwide with controllers, power semiconductors and sensor components. In total, the division generates sales of over Euro 3 billion.

3rd place: HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA, Lippstadt: 7.0 billion euros turnover (2018/19)

In the automotive supply industry, the name HELLA stands primarily for lights and lighting. Building on this and expanding its core business, HELLA also offers a broad product portfolio for automotive electronics. This involves systems for more driving safety and comfort. Examples from the product range include electronic control units, electronic driver assistance systems, sensors, e-gas pedals, actuators, headlamp cleaning systems, modules for energy management in-vehicle electrical systems, etc. HELLA has around 39,000 employees and operates worldwide at over 125 locations in more than 35 countries.

4th place: Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG, Vilsbiburg, 4.9 billion turnover (2019)

The Dräxlmaier Group in Vilsbiburg, Lower Bavaria, is an automotive supplier that focuses entirely on carmakers of premium vehicles. That’s why Dräxlmaier supplies luxury brands such as Bugatti, Cadillac and Jaguar. The company has a global presence with over 60 locations in more than 20 countries and employs nearly 70,000 people. Electronics is one of four Dräxlmaier business units. The product range is divided into three areas: Battery management systems (battery control units, current and voltage sensors, cell controllers), intelligent power distributors, and interior and body electronics (central control units for lighting control).

5th place: LEONI AG, Nuremberg: 4.8 billion euros in sales (2019)

Lyonese goods are products made of wire and wire constructions. LEONI AG in Nuremberg can trace its origins back to the 16th century with this business model. Today the business as an automotive supplier consists of two areas: Wire & Cable Solutions and Wiring Systems. LEONI supplies primarily cable solutions for vehicle on-board electronics, in addition to configuring wiring systems and manufacturing components for on-board electrical and electronic systems. LEONI employs more than 90,000 people worldwide.

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Originally posted on May 7, 2020 @ 6:20 pm


The automotive sector is very important in Bavaria. Some 500,000 people are employed in the State by the automobile manufacturing or supply industry. BMW and Audi are two car brands associated with Bavaria. But, there are also well-known automotive suppliers between the Main, Danube and Isar rivers. In this article, we present the five largest automotive suppliers in Bavaria here; many more can be found in our list of the 200 largest automotive suppliers in Germany.

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1st place: Schaeffler AG, Herzogenaurach, EUR 14.4 billion in sales (2019)

The Schaeffler Group in Herzogenaurach is Bavaria’s largest automotive supplier and is predominantly owned by the Schaeffler family. Schaeffler is also the largest shareholder of the tire manufacturer Continental. Schaeffler AG and Continental AG have been sister companies in a joint group of companies since 2015. Under the brands INA, FAG and LuK, Schaeffler produces various components for automobile manufacturers, machine builders and the aerospace industry. INA stands for Industrie-Nadellager (industrial needle roller bearings), FAG stands for the formerly independent company FAG Kugelfischer (one of the world’s largest ball bearing manufacturers), and LuK stands for Lamellen- und Kupplungsbau (plate and clutch manufacturing). The Schaeffler Group employs approximately 92,000 people worldwide and has approximately 170 locations in more than 50 countries.

2nd place: Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, EUR 8.0 billion turnover (Sept. 2019)

Infineon Technologies was created in 1999 by spinning off Siemens’ semiconductor business. The company, which is based in Neubiberg in the Landkreis München, is not a pure automotive supplier. However, semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive industry form an important part of its business. There are four divisions: Automotive, Digital Security Solutions, Industrial Power Control and Power Management & Multimarket. In the Automotive division, Infineon Technologies manufactures semiconductor products for engine and transmission control, steering, damping and air conditioning as well as for safety systems in vehicles (ABS, airbags). The Automotive segment accounts for about 45 percent of Infineon’s revenues. In 2019, the company had over 41,000 employees.

3rd place: Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. KG, Coburg, EUR 6.3 billion turnover (2019)

Brose is one of the automotive suppliers that is still exclusively family-owned and describes itself as the fourth largest “family-owned” automotive supplier worldwide. The company was originally founded in Berlin in 1908 as a trading company for automotive accessories. Brose Fahrzeugteile produces components for vehicle bodies, doors and seats and supplies approximately 80 car manufacturers and 40 other automotive suppliers worldwide. Long focused on Coburg, a consistent internationalization strategy has only been pursued since the 1980s. After the turn of the millennium, Brose began its worldwide expansion. Today, the company develops and produces with approx. 26,000 employees at 63 locations in 23 countries.

4th place: Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG, Vilsbiburg, EUR 4.9 billion turnover (2019)

A success story that began in the years of the economic miracle – that’s Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG in Vilsbiburg in the Lower Bavarian district of Landshut. Founded in 1958, the company has developed into a global automotive supplier with more than 60 locations in over 20 countries (as of 2019) and some 70,000 employees. The family-owned company focuses on supplying premium vehicles and produces wiring systems, electronics and electronic parts, vehicle interiors (instrument panels, centre consoles and door trim), as well as storage systems. Dräxlmaier products can be found in premium brands such as Cadillac, Jaguar, Lamborghini and Maserati, and Tesla.

5th place: Leoni AG, Nuremberg, EUR 4.8 billion turnover (2019)

Lyonese goods are an old name for products made of wire mesh. In Germany, Nuremberg has been a centre of Leonese production since the 16th century. The companies located here merged in 1917 to form Leonische Werke Roth-Nürnberg AG. This later became the present Leoni AG. Leoni is a leading German producer of wires, cables and wiring systems – primarily for the automotive industry. The company operates worldwide and employs around 92,000 people at more than 100 locations in 32 countries. Its business activities are organised in two divisions: the Wire & Cable Solutions division (wire and cable solutions) and the Wiring Systems division (wiring systems).

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Originally posted on May 6, 2020 @ 1:52 pm