The automotive industry in NRW
  2. Branże w NRW
  3. Branża samochodowa

The automotive industry in NRW

North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the key centers of the German automotive industry. A broad spectrum of automotive enterprises operate in NRW – from internationally active corporations operating in conventional vehicle construction through a predominantly medium-sized supplier industry to innovative topics in the field of electromobility to automated and connected driving. These SMEs in particular are in a position to respond flexibly to changing market requirements and initiate new technical developments for cross-industry applications.

Did you know ...

...that the Ford car plant in Cologne is one of the most modern and productive of its kind in Europe?
...that the Bochum-built "Solar World GT" vehicle travelled around the world in 414 days powered solely by the sun
...that North Rhine-Westphalia is a central location for Germany’s automotive supply industry?
... that outstanding battery research facilities distinguish NRW as a location for electromobility?

Quick Facts


The automotive industry in NRW consists of 800 enterprises with a total workforce in excess of 200,000.


in NRW
One third of Germany’s automotive component suppliers are located in NRW.

65 %

export ratio
With an export ratio of around 65 percent, the automotive industry is the industry with the second highest export share in NRW.

2nd Place

in vehicle construction
In the core area of the automotive industry, vehicle construction, NRW occupies 2nd place with 237 companies behind Baden-Württemberg with 306 companies, but ahead of Bavaria with 212.

Promoting new technology

New technologies are developed in NRW

The innovative strength of the automotive sector in NRW benefits from the close collaboration between industry and applied research establishments. The South Westphalian Automotive Center, for example, provides a platform for R&D activities, engineering services and knowledge transfer between automotive manufacturers, suppliers and university institutes. NRW has significant potential in the area of electromobility – thanks also to the three centers of competence in Aachen, Dortmund and Münster. Together with 80 technology partners, scientists at RWTH Aachen University have developed the innovative electrically powered "Street Scooter" with a range of 130 kilometers and a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Deutsche Post DHL has assumed responsibility for this project and is deploying around 8,000 "Street Scooters" for its day-to-day parcel and mail delivery operations.

Automotive enterprises in NRW

The automotive industry in NRW consists of major international corporations as well as small and medium-sized component suppliers.

e.GO Mobile
Ford-Werke GmbH

Superlight-Car: One of the world's lightest car bodies


Category: Automotive

Region: Aachen

Is there a motorist who does not want a car that is eco-friendly, saves money and fuel, but still affords driving pleasure? To satisfy this desire "SuperLIGHT-CAR" (SLC) has come up with the lightest car body in the world. The Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (ika) of the RWTH Aachen University is working in a big way on the development of a new lightweight design within the framework of a joint European research project.

The pioneering multi-material concept is based on the optimal combination of specially chosen materials such as aluminium, steel, magnesium and fibre-reinforced plastics. ika has created a simulation model suited to run all the relevant tests for this. They have, in fact, surpassed the target of a 30 percent reduction in weight. The car is now 35 percent, i.e. 180 kg lighter than the reference vehicle, a VW Golf V. The SuperLIGHT-CAR concept is not only a trend setting one with regard to conventional drives but is also geared to supporting electric cars.

Germany’s No. 1 Economic Region

The excellent infrastructure, the central location and the high qualifications of the people make North Rhine-Westphalia an economic power of international standing. In terms of numerous economic statistics, NRW is world class.