Press Releases

German manufacturers quadruple US production since 2009

Berlin, 26 May 2017

Half of all German cars from US production are exported – production in US exceeds imports from Germany

For the German manufacturers, the US is not solely an important market, but more than ever also a significant production location. We regard investments in the US and international exchange of goods as inseparable.

German OEMs and suppliers have greatly expanded their activities in the US. In the period from 2009 to 2016 the German manufacturers quadrupled their US production from 214,000 units to 854,000, while overall US light vehicle production doubled (from 5.6 million light vehicles to 11.9 million). For German manufacturers, the US is the second largest foreign production location after China.

During the last 20 years, the German suppliers have trebled the number of their facilities in the US to 265 – which is a clear commitment to the US as an industrial location!

Cooperation and accessible markets, free trade and direct investment are two sides of the same coin. They bring prosperity and jobs to people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Where do our US-produced cars go?

  • Only 38 percent of the 854,000 cars built in the US are sold in the United States.
  • The export quota of German manufacturers in the US comes to 62 percent –which is very high.
  • The German manufacturers export more than 500,000 cars from the US.
  • They therefore sell more than half of their US production to other countries (chiefly to Asia and Europe, with the other NAFTA countries (Mexico and Canada) accounting for 6 percent).

This means that just over half of the jobs created by German OEMs in US plants depend on exports.

The German automotive industry employs more than 110,000 people in the US. There are 33,000 employees at the US plants of German manufacturers, and a whole 77,000 at the German suppliers, whose customers in the US include both American and international OEMs.

German manufacturers produce more vehicles in the US than they import from Germany. Whereas our US production is climbing continually (+140,000 in the period from 2014 to 2016), exports from Germany have fallen in recent years (-65,000 in the same period). Passenger car exports from Germany to the US totaled around 550,000 cars in 2016 (-11 percent compared with 2015). Another 457,000 cars are exported from other locations to the US. In all, exports by German auto makers to the US (from Germany and other countries) in 2016 amounted to around 1 million vehicles.

The US corporations’ share of the European market in 2016 was 13.5 percent, i.e. roughly double that taken by the German manufacturers in the US (7.6 percent).

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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