The Automotive Industry
The Automotive Industry in Germany
optimized and new modes of driving
developed. Around ten new patents
are registered each day; making
Germany the most innovative auto
nation in the world.
Domestically, the automotive industry remains the country’s most important economic sector – and
Europe’s single largest auto market.
Germany also hosts the largest concentration of OEM plants in Europe. Annual EUR 19.6 billion commitment to automotive research and development (R&D) is reﬂected in
the creation of new environmentally
friendly technologies: conventional
drive technologies are being
A Century and More of
Last year marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of the automobile in Germany. On January 29, 1886,
Karl Benz registered his “vehicle
powered by a gas engine.” The resulting patent issued is generally considered to be the birth certiﬁcate
of the automobile as we know it.
Also the home of the world’s ﬁrst
four-stroke internal combustion engine, Germany continues to occupy a unique position in the international
automotive industry. German OEMs
account for 17 percent of global passenger car production.
p la n e
3 h by
1,5 h >
15 h >
30 h by train >
The Industry in
German passenger car and light
commercial vehicle manufacturers recorded foreign marketgenerated revenue of EUR 194 billion for the year 2011. For the
same period, domestic marketgenerated revenue of EUR 80
billion was created.
The automobile industry is one
of the largest employers in Germany, with a workforce of around 712,500 in 2011.
Germany is Europe’s number one
automotive market in terms of
production and sales; accounting
for over 30 percent of all passenger cars manufactured and over 20 percent of all new registrations.
Germany is the European car production leader: some 5.9 million passenger cars (and more than
439,000 trucks and buses) were
manufactured in German plants
R&D expenditure for 2011 was
EUR 19.6 billion – helping Germany
consolidate its globally leading
position in the world economy.
R&D personnel within the German
automobile industry reached a
level of just over 89,000 in 2011.
In marked contrast to other
European countries, Germany’s
unit labor costs continue to fall –
decreasing by a yearly average of
1.2 and 1.5 percent respectively for
the year 2010. In 2011, unit labor
costs rose a modest 1.2 percent.
Around 77 percent of cars produced in Germany in 2011 were
ultimately destined for foreign
Germany’s automotive sector is
the country’s most innovative industry sector, accounting for 33 percent of total German industry
R&D expenditure of EUR 59.2
European Passenger Car Production and Registration 2010
in million units
German automobile manufacturers...
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