German car brands are identified for manufacturing high-class vehicles that persistently exceed driver expectations as far as performance and look are involved. This popularity makes these manufacturers the leaders in automotive manufacturing worldwide, with a lot of their marques ranking larger than related American, Japanese, and Korean automotive manufacturers.

And German car manufacturers additionally function an extended history of progressive technologies and cutting-edge engineering — advances which have been subsequently adopted by different European car firms. Plus, many of those vehicles simply look stellar. From supercars to SUVs, these manufacturers have made a few of the models that serious gearheads covet.

A Brief History of German Car Brands
German automobile historical past started in 1870 when Nikolaus Otto and Karl Benz invented the 4-stroke inner combustion engine. These two mechanical engineers helped Germany launch into the automotive manufacturing enterprise. By 1901, about 900 vehicles have been being produced yearly in Germany.

Today, Germany has one of the largest automotive workforces on the earth. According to Worldometers, Germany is the third-largest auto manufacturing country after China and Japan. And these manufacturers aren’t nearly quantity, as additionally they routinely declare top-marks for high quality too.

In 2021, German car manufacturers claimed three World Car Awards, including the World Car of the Year (Volkswagen ID.4), the World Luxury Car (Mercedes-Benz S-Class), and the World Performance Car (Porsche 911 Turbo).

Top German Car Brands: The Titans, Sleepers, And Has-Beens
When most individuals think of German car manufacturers, firms similar to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz obviously come to mind. While these are a quantity of of the most well-known German automotive manufacturers, there are a number of other manufacturers that you may not have heard of. We’ve rounded up a few of the top German car manufacturers presently in operation and some which have, sadly, ceased production.


Audi began manufacturing in 1909. Currently headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, the company acquired its name, which implies “listen” in German, from its founder, August Horch. In 1932, Audi merged with Horch, Wanderer, and DKW to form Auto Union UG. The 4 linked rings in the Audi brand come from these 4 firms. Then, in 1966, Audi grew to become part of the German automobile large: the Volkswagen Group.

In the United States, Audi continues to become more in style annually. They offer all kinds of automobiles in the American market. Sedans and sportbacks include the A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, RS 3, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S6, and S7.

They also sell quite a few crossovers and SUVs including the Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8, and e-Tron. As far as their coupes and convertibles, they are known for creating sporty, efficiency automobiles together with the TT and R8 with special runs just like the Panther Edition R8 geared toward Audi lovers.


Mercedes-Benz has been in business since 1926. The car manufacturer operates out of Stuttgart, Germany and was based by Gottlieb Daimler who also labored with Karl Benz. Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz has had a status of being a manufacturer of luxury automobiles. The Mercedes-Benz brand has turn out to be synonymous with quality, emblazoning a number of the greatest automobiles within the trade.

Over the years they’ve produced numerous forms of vehicles together with trucks, limousines, vans, and buses. In reality, the Mercedes-Benz 600 was a luxurious automobile that grew to become a popular limousine model that was produced from 1964 by way of 1972.

Mercedes presents some unique automobile fashions. Their sedan lineup consists of the A, C, E, and S-Class in addition to the Maybach. Coupes additionally embody some from the C, E, and S-Class plus the AMG-GT. Their SUV lineup has additionally grown to incorporate the GLA, GLC, GLE, and GLS. Several of their vehicles are additionally produced as convertibles. These embrace the C-Class, E-Class, AGT-GT, plus the SL Roadster.

BMW has been around since 1916 and is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria. Founded by Franz Josef Popp, BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works) and is commonly recognized instantly by its iconic blue and white roundel emblem.

Their greatest successes through the years have come in the realm of handling, horsepower, and performance, solidifying their place quantity the best German car brands in the world.

Since its inception, BMW has released many luxurious passenger automobiles, sports activities vehicles, and SUVs. BMW USA offers all kinds of luxurious autos. They vary from the X1-X7, 2-Series to 8-Series, Z4, M Models, i3, i4, and i8.

From cozy every day drivers to modified track-day beasts, the various iterations of BMWs lineup have found a trustworthy following in both informal drivers and motorsport fanatics around the globe.

Volkswagen has been one of the well-liked German car brands since 1937 when Ferdinand Porsche began the company. This automotive big is presently headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Over the years, Volkswagen went on to acquire other iconic manufacturers corresponding to Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Skoda, and SEAT.

Though not as flashy or luxurious as some of the other German car brands, Volkswagen has created some well-known vehicles including the Beetle and the Vanagon. They don’t have as many models as a few of the different German car manufacturers, however patrons still have an honest choice of dependable autos to choose from.

Volkwagen’s sedans embody the Arteon, Passat, Jetta, and Jetta GLI. They also make the Tiguan, Taos, and Atlas SUV models; or if you’re in search of an EV, take a glance at the ID.four, winner of the 2021 Car of the Year. Hot hatch enthusiasts can go for the Golf or the souped-up Golf GTI.


Porsche is another well-known German automaker. Founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, its present headquarters are in Stuttgart, Germany.

Porsche mainly focuses on high-performance sports activities cars and has gained lots of its popularity from its factory-racing team. Many older Porsches are value a whole lot of money at present. The Porsche 911 has been a mainstay in the sports automobile world for years.

Current sports automobile fashions embrace the 718 Cayman, GTS, Boxster, and Spyder as properly as the 911 Carrera, Targa, Turbo, and GT3. Across the board, you have your pick of high-end trim packages and might even opt for a cabriolet (convertible). Porsche additionally produces a Panamera sedan plus the Macan and Cayenne SUVs as properly as its debut play in the EV market, the Taycan.


You won’t be familiar with this German automotive model as Opel at present does not promote any models in the united states However, the brand, also called Adam Opel AG, is well-liked in Germany with its headquarters in Rüsselsheim.

Founded in 1862 by Adam Opel, the corporate started by manufacturing bicycles however rapidly branched out to launch the primary vehicle in 1899. Opel grew in reputation from there. At present, the company and its parent model, Vauxhall, are currently owned by PSA Groupe.

Opel came to the States branded as Buicks. It’s attainable you’ve seen some Opel cars in old gangster motion pictures. And you’ve doubtless noticed the 1969 Opel GT in “Starsky and Hutch” to the 1970 Opel GT in “Criminal Minds.”

At current, the model makes a solid lineup of cars, SUVs, and even a van. The European market has a alternative of the Astra, Corsa, Crossland X, Grandland X, Insignia, and Zafira.


Alpina has been around since 1965 and is at present owned by BMW, with its headquarters in Buchloe, Germany. Though you won’t learn about this model, you’ve presumably seen the badging on a BMW. Alpina works intently with BMW to supply high-performance variations of BMW and Mini vehicles.

The brand is recognized as an automotive manufacturer as opposed to an aftermarket tuner as each Alpina car leaves the assembly line with a singular serial number that differentiates it from its Bimmer counterpart.

Self-branded as “cars for automotive gourmets,” Alpina isn’t one to churn out a huge quantity of fashions, but if you do spot one within the wild, it’s sure to show heads with its bespoke touches — particularly their 20-spoke alloy wheels, Alpina Blue metallic paint, the skinny, pinstripe styling, and, after all, the Alpina badging. Alpina at present crafts seven sedans (D3 S, B3, XD4, D5 S, B5, B7, and B8) and two SUVs (XB7 and XD3) all completed out with posh touches in and out.

Gumpert AIWAYS

Founded in 2004 by Roland Gumpert, Gumpert was originally primarily based in Denkendorf. This niche German car brand had a unique mission from the get-go — to usher in the new generation of sports automobiles.

Though seemingly formidable, Gumpert did simply that with the Apollo, a street-legal car that drew reward for its pace and driving really feel. Unfortunately, Gumpert by no means branched out into mass manufacturing of the Apollo.

The firm filed for bankruptcy in 2013, which ended the manufacturing of the Apollo. But 2020 saw the resurgence of the Roland Gumpert name with the Nathalie, which holds the excellence of being the first hydrogen tremendous sports automobile with a methanol power cell.

This eye-catching EV, popping out of Ingolstadt, has a similar innovative vision: “To develop the world’s first electrically-driven tremendous sports car with racing performance and intelligent power technology.”


This privately-owned German automobile model began in 1969 under the course of Eberhard Schulz. Based in Hildesheim, Germany, the company is also called “Ingenieurbüro für Styling, Design und Racin” which implies “engineering firm for styling, design, and racing.”

Their major focus is on manufacturing sports activities vehicles, but not in the identical method most automakers do. Instead, they make the most of a small team of automotive craftsmen to build every automotive. This has led to a fleet of a few of the most original (and rare) cars you’ll find on the street, together with the legendary Isdera Commendatore 112i inbuilt 1993.

At present, the company has shifted its focus to one hundred pc EV with the eye-cathing Commendatore GT as the newest example of their handiwork.

German Car Brands: Gone But Not Forgotten
In addition to the current German car brands, a couple of brands are longer in production however are nonetheless worth reminiscing about. Consider yourself fortunate should you spot one of these classics on the street.


Adler was a German automotive brand that also produced bikes and, before World War II, typewriters. The word Adler means “eagle” in German, and the brand produced automobiles from 1900 to 1957. In their automobiles, they utilized De Dion 2 and 4-cylinder engines ranging from 1032 to 9081 cc.

In reality, in 1930, Adler created a light-weight VW prototype that includes a tubular chassis, independent wheel suspension, and a mid-mounted engine. After WWII, they didn’t resume manufacturing of vehicles but went on to make bikes for eight extra years. The Adler motorbike designs have been finally given to Britain and became related to Triumph.

Auto Union AG

Auto Union AG autos have been in production from 1932 via 1966. The model later turned Audi. Prior to that, Volkswagen owned them for a short while. In the unique vehicles, the corporate focused heavily on two-stroke engines which grew to become less well-liked through the Nineteen Sixties. As customers began on the lookout for four-stroke engines, Auto Union AG began promoting off shares of the corporate with assist from the West German government.


You might recognize DKW as one of the German car brands that merged with Auto Union AG. Known because the “steam-powered car” or “the little surprise, these autos have been built from 1916 via 1966. Originally founded by a Danish engineer, DKW’s last car was the F102. Audi then constructed the four-stroke F103, its successor. The trademark for the corporate is still owned by Auto Union GmbH, which is a part of Audi AG.


The Borgward car firm was primarily based in Bremen and founded by Carl Borgward. The automaker produced autos from 1929 via 1961 and had 4 manufacturers: Borgward, Goliath, Lloyd, and Hansa. All had been offered to worldwide prospects.

The Borgward Isabella was a popular premium model in the course of the 1950s, usually pushed by the working-class. In 1961, some controversial insolvency proceedings brought the corporate to an end. The brand noticed a revival in the course of the twenty first century by way of the Borgward Group AG, with manufacturing and design in China as an alternative of Germany.

Eisenacher Motorenwerk (EMW)

Eisenacher Motorenwerk was a short-lived German automotive brand, only current from 1945 via 1956. Most individuals knew the company, which was primarily based in Eisenach, as EMW.

They produced sports activities automobiles plus some Formula One cars during the Fifties. EMW was one of many Formula One automotive builders in 1952, but they didn’t race in a couple of event. The car only made 12 laps before ending the race as a end result of exhaust bother.

Prior to WWII, the EMW plant was a BMW manufacturing facility. After the war ended, the Soviets took over the location. They attempted to continue beneath the BMW model however had been sued and forced to change the name to EMW. In the tip, they closed down due to bankruptcy.


Founded by Horst Keinath in 1983, Keinath was as quickly as headquartered in Reutlingen. With a particular focus on building race automobiles, they obtained some consideration while in manufacturing for making a variant of the Opel Monza. They additionally created a GTR that was trendy, highly effective, and sporty for which the boutique automaker was best and last recognized for.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Drivers Love German Engineering and Performance
If you check out current and up to date global car gross sales numbers, it’s clear that the German automotive brands aren’t going anywhere in Germany or in the United States. And for good reason, as these German car brands are known for producing high-performance automobiles loved by the general public. They also tend to rank high on reliability and often are main the sector in innovative features. So next time you’re out purchasing for a model new automobile, don’t forget to e-book a test drive with the Germans.

9 Outstanding German Car Brands Engineered To Perfection
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