Top 12 German Car Brands (With Photos)

German cars are remarkably strong and durable – most of the world’s most famous brands across categories – luxury, sports, supercar, hypercar – are from Germany. The Volkswagen Group currently stands as the largest automobile manufacturer in Germany, owning several notable brands, including Audi and Porsche.

Other noteworthy German car brands include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, and pretty many others. Actually, most of these brands sell their models globally. German car brands are somehow positioned above native American brands in terms of innovation and technologies.

This article discusses the top and popular car brands in Germany!

Top German Car Brands

1. Opel

  • Founding Date: 21 January 1862
  • Founder: Adam Opel
  • Chairperson: Florian Huettl (CEO)
  • Headquarters: Rüsselsheim am Main, Hesse

Opel Automobile GmbH, shortened as Opel, is one of the oldest auto brands in the world. The brand has, over the years, been owned by other notable automobile manufacturing companies, including General Motors (1929–2017). But the current parent organization of Opel is Stellantis (since 2020).

Opel vehicles are remarkably strong and reliable; they are sold in the UK as Vauxhall. The brand itself was originally founded in 2862 by Adam Opel – a one-time sewing machine manufacturer.

Initially, Opel was making bicycles until 1899, when the brand launched its first-ever automobile model. Opel’s sister brand is called Vauxhall; Opel operates in some countries as Vauxhall.

2. Apollo Automobil

Photo by Lutz Blohm via Wikimedia
  • Founding Date: 2004
  • Founder: Roland Gumpert
  • Chairperson: Roland Gumpert (Managing Director)
  • Headquarters: Denkendorf, Bavaria

Previously known as Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur, Apollo Automobil is a German sports car manufacturer based in Denkendorf. It was founded by Roland Gumpert, a one-time Audi Sport division director.

Roland Gumpert, during his tenure, helped Audi Sport win 25 World Rally Championship rallies and four titles.

Roland moved on with his experience to launch his own sports car company, Apollo Automobil. The privately held company officially started production of the Apollo-branded models in October 2005.

The flagship Apollo sports car is about 0.2 seconds faster than the Ascari A10 and also ran faster than the Bugatti Veyron and the Pagani Zonda on the Top Gear test track.

3. Mercedes-Benz

  • Founding Date: 1926
  • Founder: Carl Benz
  • Chairperson: Ola Källenius
  • Headquarters: Mercedesstraße, Stuttgart

The brand today known as Mercedes-Benz, or simply Mercedes has a long history of mergers and ownerships, dating back to 1926, when Carl Benz created the first internal combustion engine in a car, and 1901 when Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft introduced the name – Mercedes.

Today, Mercedes-Benz is a name remarkable for producing high-performance luxury cars.

Mercedes-Benz is currently a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. The brand also owns other auto brands and produces different types of cars ranging from sedans and coupes to crossovers, SUVs, trucks, vans, and buses. As of 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the world’s largest brand of premium vehicles.

4. Audi

  • Founding Date: 1909
  • Founder: August Horch
  • Chairperson: Markus Duesmann
  • Headquarters: Ingolstadt, Bavaria

Audi AG Aktiengesellschaft, simply called Audi, is one of the oldest German automotive manufacturers. Ever since its launch, the company has focused on producing luxury vehicles, including SUVs, sedans, coupes, and other small car variants.

The Audi brand is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and currently operates under the Volkswagen Group.

The actual origin of Audi is quite complex and dates back to the early 20th century; however, the brand was relaunched with the 1965 Audi F103 series; also, it was within this period that the brand got acquired by Volkswagen and has remained under the VW Group since then.

Audi’s four-ring logo represents the four automobile companies that merged to form its predecessor company, Auto Union.

5. Porsche

  • Founding Date: 1931
  • Founder: Ferdinand Porsche
  • Chairperson: Oliver Blume
  • Headquarters: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, simply referred to as Porsche, is a famous German automobile manufacturer with a focus on producing only high-performance, luxury sports cars, supercars/hypercars, SUVs, and sedans. The company headquarters is in Stuttgartcurrently owned by the Volkswagen Group.

Porsche’s founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was the person that designed the infamous Volkswagen Beetle. So, both Porsche and Volkswagen had always been cooperating together before the brand became fully part of the VW Group.

Porsche’s popular models are the 718 Boxster/Cayman, 911 (992), Macan, Panamera, Taycan, and Cayenne.

6. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)

  • Founding Date: 1916
  • Founders: Camillo Castiglioni, Franz Josef Popp, and Karl Rapp
  • Chairperson: Oliver Zipse
  • Headquarters: Munich, Bavaria

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, abbreviated as BMW, is a German multinational automobile manufacturer of high-performance luxury vehicles.

The company also produces performance motorcycles in its facilities – with its headquarters located in Munich, Bavaria. BMW was established in 1916 as an aircraft engine manufacturer before it started making automobiles in 1928.

BMW vehicles are marketed under the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce brands, while the motorcycles arm of the company is sold under BMW Motorrad.

As of 2017, the company ranked number 14 on the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturers list. Also, the company makes sports cars; all BMW vehicles are simply exotic.

7. Volkswagen

  • Founding Date: 1937
  • Founder: German Labour Front
  • Chairperson: Ralf Brandstaetter
  • Headquarters: Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony

Volkswagen is one of the leading German auto brands and the chief brand of the Volkswagen Group – Germany’s biggest and largest automobile manufacturing company. The Volkswagen brand was founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony.

Volkswagen is popular for its iconic Beetle model. Its parent organization, the VW Group, is the largest automotive manufacturer by worldwide sales.

The brand name was derived from Volk and Wagen, which translates into “people’s car” when combined. VW produces passenger cars, SUVs, and a wide range of different automobile types.

8. 9ff

Photo by Georg Sander via Flickr
  • Founding Date: 2001
  • Founder: Jan Fatthauer
  • Chairperson: Jan Fatthauer
  • Headquarters: Dortmund

9ff comes in as a German car tuning company headquartered in Dortmund. The company was established in 2001 by Jan Fatthauer.

It specializes in re-tuning stock Porsche vehicles so they can become street-legal racing vehicles. 9ff became more popular with its GT9 model, which could exceed 400 km/h (249 mph).

For a few years, 9FF’s GT9 held the record for the fastest car in the world. The company produces a wide variety of automobile products – mostly based on Porsches’ concept.

Asides from the GT9 model, 9FF also designed and built Speed9 – a classic roadster based on Porsche’s Speedster. 9FF vehicles are capable of going at incredible speeds.

9. Ford Germany

  • Founding Date: 1925
  • Founder: Henry Ford
  • Chairperson: Wolfgang Kopplin (CEO)
  • Headquarters: Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia

This Ford Germany brand is associated with the American Ford company; however, it operates as a GmbH headquartered in Niehl, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Of course, it is a subsidiary of the American multinational automobile manufacturer, Ford Motor Company. Ford Germany operates two facilities in Germany: Cologne and Saarlouis.

The Ford Germany brand produces a wide variety of Ford-Branded vehicles in its German facilities. Current models include the Ka+, Fiesta, Ecosport, Mustang, Focus, Kuga, Galaxy, Puma, and many others.

Ford vehicles are remarkably strong and packed with sophisticated features to make driving memorable.

10. Lotec

Photo by Lamboshane via Wikimedia
  • Founding Date: 1962
  • Founder: Kurt Lotterschmid
  • Chairperson:
  • Headquarters: Kolbermoor, Germany

Lotec is a sports car manufacturer founded in 1962 by Kurt Lotterschmid. The company is based in Kolbermoor and began its race car production in 1969.

However, in 1975, Lotec re-focused on modifying Porsches and, in 1983, started building aftermarket automobile parts for Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. Lotec Sirius was the company’s first badged model.

11. Brabus

  • Founding Date: 1977
  • Founder: Bodo Buschmann and Klaus Brackmann
  • Chairperson: Constantin Buschmann
  • Headquarters: Bottrop, Germany

Brabus GmbH is a German automotive company focused on tuning high-end models from Mercedes-Ben. The company operates as a high-performance automotive aftermarket tuning firm – established in 1977 in Bottrop. The Brabus brand specializes in customizing Mercedes-Benz and Maybach vehicles.

Brabus also tunes Porsches and Rolls-Royce vehicles – but just a few of them compared with Mercedes and Maybach. Currently, Brabus is the second-largest Mercedes-Benz tuner, falling behind Mercedes-AMG.

12. Artega Automobile

Photo by Georg Sander via Flickr
  • Founding Date: 2006
  • Founder: Klaus Dieter Frers
  • Chairperson: Peter Müller
  • Headquarters: Delbrück, Germany

Artega Automobil GmbH & Co. KG, shortened as Artega, is a German sports car manufacturer founded in 2006 by Klaus Dieter Frers in Delbrück, Germany.

Artega vehicles are sold globally; the company now focuses on producing electric vehicles after it was reacquired in 2012 – after filing for bankruptcy in July of the same year

Klaus Dieter Frers, the founder of Artega Automobile, is a mechanical engineer and had other private companies.

The brand name Artega Automobil was suggested by a German brand-development expert, Manfred Gotta. Artega GT was the company’s first sports car – premiered at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Car Brand In German?

The best has to be BMW; however, Germany has some of the world’s best auto brands, including top names like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche. Audi remarkably produces luxury vehicles with far-paced technologies.

What Car Brand Is Manufactured In Germany?

There are about 12 active German car brands that produce different models in their German-based facilities. Most BMW, Audi, VW, Porsche, Mercedes, Opel, and Ford Germany vehicles are made in Germany; these brands equally have their headquarters located in different German states and cities.

What is Germany’s Famous Car?

Volkswagen models, the VW Group’s flagship brand, remain the best-selling cars in the whole of Germany – with the iconic VW Golf series topping the charts. Notwithstanding, German car brands produce some of the most famous cars in the world.

German Luxury Car Brands

Almost all German car brands produce performance luxury vehicles across various categories. However, the German brands recognized as luxury car manufacturers include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Brabus.

German Sports Car Brands

German automobile manufacturers use advanced technologies to build their performance sports cars. The top German sports car brands include Porsche, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. BMW has a few sporty-like models.

Conclusion: Car Brands in Germany

Listed in this article are the active automobile brands based in Germany. These brands still produce various vehicle models in Germany for the global automotive market.

Germany is home to the world’s most popular and most respected auto brands. German cars are equally tough, packed with advanced technologies, and look sleek!

Related Posts:

Scroll to Top