Automotive Industry in Cologne
The Cologne/Bonn region is one of the leading centres for the European automotive industry and its components suppliers.
The automotive industry has a long tradition in Cologne. Car manufacturers had their companies or subsidiaries here from the very outset. The automotive industry started in Cologne in 1864 with the foundation of N.A. Otto Cie, the city's first engine works, from which Klöckner-Humboltd-Deutz AG (KHD) emerged in 1938. KHD later became the present-day Deutz AG. Horch, which subsequently grew into AUDI, was likewise founded in Cologne.
Today numerous motor vehicle manufacturers have their German headquarters in the Cologne region. These include Volvo, Mazda, Citroen, DAF Trucks Deutschland GmbH, Renault Deutschland AG and Nissan Center Europe GmbH. Toyota Deutschland GmbH has been located in Cologne since 9 October 1970 - the Formula 1 racing team is also based near to its headquarters.
Ford Werke GmbH, one of the world's largest motor vehicle manufacturers, moved to Cologne in 1931. With a workforce of 18,500, Ford is one of Cologne's biggest employers. The Ford engine plant is Europe's biggest engine exporter, with an annual capacity of around 680,000 units.
Research and development for Formula 1
A further milestone in Cologne's motor history was laid in 2002, when Toyota entered Formula 1. The only Formula 1 cars produced in Germany are designed in Cologne-Marsdorf. They are not alone in helping the region to stay on track when it comes to the automotive industry.
Alongside the manufacturers and distributors of motor vehicles, components suppliers in particular also have a huge share in the success of the sector. From the ABS system to the gearwheel, car manufacturers can rely on 130 national and international components suppliers who are based in the region. They supply the automotive sector locally, in Germany and worldwide.
In order to strengthen the competitive ability and innovative strength of local companies and of the region, leading players in the sector have joined forces in the networks of expertise "Automotive Rheinland" and "Rhein-Berg-Automotive".