The automotive industry is, and always has been, a key industry in the German economy. The wellbeing of Germany strongly depends on its success. Without competent automobile suppliers, vehicle manufacturers could not succeed. Therefore, it is of no surprise that the German supplier branch also exhibits significant companies. There is a partnership with the suppliers in the balancing act between tradition and innovation – a partnership, which is not always free of conflict. Here is a summary of the five biggest German automobile suppliers.
#5: Schaeffler Group, 13.3 Billion Euros (2016)
The Schaeffler Group is a family enterprise, behind which the business family Schaeffler stands. Today, the enterprise is organized under the roof of Schaeffler AG, which is quoted in the stock exchange market since 2015. Under this umbrella, there are several enterprise companies and enterprise brands, which also represent Schaeffler’s key business areas: needles and ball bearings for the automotive industry have always been manufactured under the INA brand. Around the millennial turn, they took over the competitor FAG Kugelfischer. They continued its activities under the brand of FAG. The brand LuK stands for Lamellen- und Kupplungsbau, which is German for the construction of multi-disk clutches. In 2016, the Schaeffler Group had about 88.000 employees worldwide.
#4: Mahle GmbH, 12.322 Billion Euros (2016)
At the Mahle GmbH, everything revolves around the engine. In 2016, the Stuttgart-based business, of which the beginning can be traced all the way back to 1920, had around 77.000 employees worldwide in 170 locations; every fifth workplace is in Germany. Mahle GmbH acts as a holding company. Under its roof, there are numerous subsidiaries for the individual production sectors. Key business areas include engine systems and components (such as pistons, cylinders, valve gear systems, turbocharger parts), filtration and engine peripherals (such as filtration systems, pumps), thermal management (such as engine cooling, automatic air conditioning) and after-market (engine-related spare parts).
#3: ZF Friedrichshafen AG, 35.166 Billion Euros (2016)
The history of the ZF Friedrichshafen AG has a strong link to the name Zeppelin. The Zeppelin foundation, which the city of Friedrichshafen stands behind, is the majority shareholder with its share of almost 94 percent. Since its beginning during the First World War, ZF Friedrichshafen focused on gear and chassis technology. Gearboxes, clutches, steering, shock absorbers etc. for all sorts of motorized vehicles make out the character of the production program. In 2016, ZF Friedrichshafen employed around 137.000 people worldwide. The company is present at around 230 locations in 40 countries around the globe.
#2: Continental AG, 40.549 Billion Euros in Sales (2016)
Without rubber, Continental would not have made it as a world brand. Since 1871, the material has been the base for tire production. As a tire manufacturer, Continental is a familiar name to probably everyone. However, the company has long since unlocked other areas for itself. Today, the enterprise divides itself into rubber products and automobile. These include the divisions Conti Tech AG, tires, chassis & safety, interior, as well as power train. In 2016, Continental had 220.000 employees at more than 200 locations in 53 countries. Based on that, the group counts as the number 2 in the automobile supply – in Germany and worldwide. The Schaeffler family is a major shareholder of Continental, and the Schaeffler enterprise itself is a sister company.
#1: Robert Bosch GmbH, 73.129 Billion Euros in Sales (2016)
The beginnings of Robert Bosch GmbH can be traced all the way back to the year 1886. Today, with its 440 subsidiaries in 60 countries, Bosch Global Player counts as the biggest automotive supplier within Germany and worldwide. In 2016, the Bosch group had around 390.000 employees, a third of which resides in Germany. Every fifth euro made from sales is accounted for by the home market. The company’s earnings in 2016 reached 3.3 billion Euros. Making around 60 percent of the share of sales, the automotive technology forms the ‘core business’ of Bosch. Second pillar consists of the consumer goods and building technology. A third pillar consists of the industrial technology.
Our list of the 200 biggest automotive suppliers
We offer a unique overview of the 200 biggest automotive suppliers in Germany. This overview consists of different data points, such as sales, annual surpluses, contact details and areas of activity. In addition, we promise free updates and extensions within one year of purchase.
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Picture Source: Annie Theby