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Automotive Industry with great attraction and tradition.

Industry Profile Automotive Industry

Global players such as Daimler, Opel/PSA, Magna, Bosch, BMW or Borg Warner have set up production in Thuringia. Auto manufacturing has deep roots in the state, dating back to early 20th century, when BMW’s Dixi and the Ley brothers’ six-cylinder vehicles wrote automotive history.


Thuringia is a central location that is never far from Germany’s and Europe’s carmakers. Alongside large corporations, many nimble mid-sized firms drive growth in this sector. One of the strengths of the Thuringian industry is its wide range of technological competencies.

Facts & Figures

  • 660 companies
  • 68,000 employees
  • 9,4 billion Euros sales

Key areas

(companies with 20 and more employees)

Source: TLS, in-house calculations 08/2016


Thuringia has been making cars for over a hundred years. It still draws enormous expertise from this well of tradition. Local universities produce far more engineers than the national average.

The following degree programs specifically target the automotive industry:

Other specialized programs such as mechanical engineering, material flow and logistics or mobility management are offered by:

Research and Development

Automotive firms in Thuringia benefit heavily from the research landscape and the declared goal to make the state one of Europe’s premier technology centers. Thuringia provides in-centives and institutional structures to help car parts suppliers adapt quickly to changes in the automotive industry and benefit from the fast-growing global market for green mobility solutions.

The Thuringian Innovation Center for Mobility (ThIMo) is the centerpiece of the state gov-ernment’s green mobility initiative. At ThIMo, companies and scientists from the Ilmenau Uni-versity of Technology develop technologies to advance efficient, eco-friendly, low-impact and low-emissions mobility.

Selected research institutions, R&D service providers and technology agencies in Thuringia:

  • CiS - Research Institute for Microsensors, Erfurt
  • IMMS - Institute for Microelectronic and Mechatronic Systems, Ilmenau
  • IOF - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Jena
  • TITK - Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research, Rudolstadt
  • GFE - Society for Production Engineering and Development, Schmalkalden
  • IFW - Günter Köhler Institute for Joining Technology and Materials Testing, Jena
  • IMG Electronic & Power Systems, Nordhausen
  • adapt engineering, Nordhausen
  • ThEGA - Thuringian Energy and Greentech Agency, Erfurt

Selected Companies

The Chinese battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) – one of the globally leading companies for e-mobility batteries – will build its first factory outside of China in the Industrial Park “Erfurter Kreuz”, south of the capital city of Erfurt. By 2022, CATL is investing 240 million euros and creating 600 new jobs.

MDC Power GmbH
The Daimler AG subsidiary, MDC Power was established in 2003. From the start, the engine manufacturer has focused on delivering top quality and steadily expanded its product range. Today, the employees build a wide variety of engine models in Thuringia – ranging from 95 to 360 HP, all labelled with the quality seal “Made in Thuringia” and delivered to automotive plants on all five continents. These motors power vehicles of almost all Mercedes Benz car and van series – from A to S-Class, from AMG to Sprinter.

IHI Charging Systems International
The subsidiary of the Japanese IHI Group develops, produces and sells high-efficiency tur-bochargers. IHI is one of the largest makers of turbochargers and charging systems for cars and commercial vehicles. The production site at the premium industrial park “Erfurter Kreuz” has been erected in 2009, creating 500 Jobs.

Bell Equipment
Another Eisenach resident is Bell Equipment Ltd., a South African construction equipment manufacturer. The multinational built a dump truck factory in Thuringia in 2003. Bell Equip-ment is one of the two leading providers in the German dump truck market. Bell is known for its extraordinary dedication to employee training in Thuringia and beyond.

BorgWarner Transmission Systems
The skilled labor pool, excellent traffic links and ready support provided by Government con-vinced US car parts maker BorgWarner to expand to Thuringia. In Arnstadt, the company built two facilities for producing clutches for double clutch transmissions and four wheel drive Systems.

Opel Eisenach
Opel Eisenach GmbH was established in 1992. The factory – which is part of the PSA Group Group – utilizes cutting-edge production equipment and methods. It manufactures all 3-door Corsa models and is the only plant where the new Mokka SUV is going to be built. Opel Ei-senach is staffed by around 1,800 people, making it one of Thuringia’s largest employers.

Other selected companies:

    Successfull in Thuringia

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        Thuringia offers about 400 fully developed and immediately available industrial and commercial sites of all sizes. Our online database gives you an overview of potential properties. In combination with our Company Database, that lists more than 4,000 approved profiles of Thuringian companies, you can also check which companies are located at your chosen site. In addition, this search function is also available for research institutions.