German Car Brands

German Car Brands

Germany is the birthplace of the automotive industry. It was here that the first type of heat engine was invented, and the prototype of the modern machine appeared. In terms of car production, this country is second only to the United States, Japan, and China, ranking fourth globally. And its brands such as Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, and Opel are renowned for their consistently high quality.

What is German Car Brands?

As German manufacturers adhere to strict international standards, many German car brands are the benchmark for quality. All market niches are filled here: from ultra-luxury cars to buses. The most prominent representatives of the industry are recognized as Maybach, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Opel, Alpina, Daimler.

Ultra-luxury, Luxury Car Brands

German manufacturers have made great contributions to the automotive industry. Some of them boast a large selection of exclusive luxury models, including high-end and luxury cars, convertibles, and supercars. Each brand has its character and uses patented technologies to meet stringent international standards.


Maybach Logo

Maybach cars are a symbol of high social status. This company was founded in 1909 by the entrepreneur Wilhelm Maybach and his son. They went from developing engines to producing luxury cars. Maybach, as an independent brand, ceased to exist in 2002. It was reanimated 11 years later, turning into a division called Mercedes-Maybach.


Porsche Logo

Porsche is known as a manufacturer of luxury roadsters, convertibles, supercars, crossovers. It appeared in 1931 and is named after its founder, Czech designer Ferdinand Porsche. At first, it was a family business, but then part of the shares went to Volkswagen. Porsche is currently headquartered in Stuttgart.


Mercedes-Benz Logo

Mercedes-Benz is a division of the automotive concern Daimler AG. Its creation was preceded by the merger of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. in 1926, the brand itself is named after Benz Patent-Motorwagen and Mercedes. As of 2019, it was the most expensive car brand in the world.


BMW Logo

BMW was officially registered in 1917. In the pre-war period, it was engaged in engines’ production, then switched to motorcycles, rocketry, guided weapons. The first post-war car Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, was released in 1951. Now the brand is known for its sports cars and electric vehicles.


Audi Logo

Audi is the heir to the Auto Union concern and a successor of the Audi Automobil-Werke company, founded in 1909. The brand was named after August Horch, who translated his name into Latin. The manufacturer is represented by crossovers, sports cars, convertibles, roadsters, supercars, and other prestigious cars on the global market.


Smart Logo

Smart is one of the subsidiaries of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Group. This brand entered the market in 1998 with the introduction of the Smart City-Coupe. It produces compact passenger cars of an, especially small class.

Mass Market Brands

The German car market’s mass market is represented by brands that strive to make quality cars, regardless of their price category. Many manufacturers have deployed successful lines of low-cost machines by copying and replicating world-famous models.


Volkswagen Logo

One of the initiators of creating the Volkswagen brand was Adolf Hitler, who demanded the start of the production of inexpensive and reliable cars. Ferdinand Porsche made several prototypes for him. Volkswagen was founded a little later – in 1937. It is based in Wolfsburg and continues to lead in the mass market segment, and its sales are growing every year.


Opel Logo

The official date of Opel’s creation is considered to be 1862, but the first car of this brand appeared only in 1899. The fact is that the company’s founder started with the production of sewing machines and bicycles and at first did not even plan to associate his business with cars. Opel is currently owned by the Peugeot and Citroen merger.


Borgward Logo

The founder of Borgward is a German engineer and designer, Carl F. W. Borgward. He started with the production of automotive components and then moved on to three-wheeled trucks and cars. The first version of the company existed from 1919 to 1962 and was closed due to bankruptcy. In 2016, BAIC revived the brand, returning it to the car market.

Sports Car Brands

Many sports car brands appeared on the German car market in the last century and the 2000s. Their super-powerful cars drive the race tracks and win prestigious competitions. It is a light, maneuverable, cross-country vehicle.


Apollo Logo

Apollo Automobil was formerly known as Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur. It got its name in 2004 in honor of the engineer Roland Gumpert, who wanted to create a sports car suitable for street racing. The firm was liquidated in 2013 but returned three years later as a subsidiary of Ideal Team Venture.


Artega Logo

Artega was in the car market for only six years (from 2006 to 2012) but left behind many innovative technologies that Volkswagen now uses. For all the time of its existence, it has made only one car in two modifications.


Melkus Logo

Melkus is a German sports car brand that dates back to the GDR. Its founder is race car driver and designer Heinz Melkus. He made formula cars and even won the championships three times. Then he had a line of road sports cars. The company was disbanded in 1986, but Heinz’s sons brought it back to life 30 years later.


Bitter Logo

Bitter is a premium sports car brand that specializes in car tuning. Ex-race car driver Erich Bitter founded it in 1971 when he stopped working with Intermeccanica.


Isdera Logo

Isdera is a privately owned company that manufactures bespoke sports cars. The only way to buy a sports car of this brand is to contact Eberhard Schulz’s head. He participated in the development of prototypes for Mercedes-Benz, and after the cancellation of the project, he founded Isdera GmbH.

High Performance

Some German brands are highly efficient. Most often, subsidiaries of well-known concerns are represented in this market segment – for example, the brands BMW M and Alpina, which BMW AG owns.


BMW M Logo

BMW M is the racing division of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. It was opened in 1972 to work with high-speed cars and bolide engines. The BMW M plant is located near Munich.


Mercedes AMG Logo

The Mercedes-AMG division represents Mercedes-Benz in the competition in production, sports, and racing cars. Until 1999 it was a tuning studio working under a contract with Daimler-Benz, and until 1990 it was an independent company.

Audi Sport

Audi Sport Logo

Audi Sport is a dark horse in the automotive market. It has existed since 1983 and produces exclusive models that are not available for free sale. Until 2016, the company was called Quattro GmbH.


Alpina Logo

Alpina is engaged in tuning BMW cars and produces them under its brand. Burkard Bovensiepen, the founder of the company, tried to connect his life with typewriters, but in the 1960s decided to make carburetors, crankshafts, and other parts.


Brabus Logo

The private tuning studio Brabus modifies the bodies and engines of cars, mainly Mercedes-Benz. Its crossovers and sedans have broken several world speed records because Brabus’s tuning projects suggest increased performance.

Car Tuning, Car Modification

Many companies in Germany, such as TechArt, Carlsson, RUF, and 9ff, are engaged in modifying cars from other manufacturers. They do this to personalize vehicles, improve their appearance and technical filling. As a rule, tuning studios produce cars under their brands.


9ff Logo

Automotive Corporation 9ff aims to achieve high speed. She takes some of the slowest Porsche models for tuning and turns them into street racing cars. The company existed from 2001 to 2013, after which it filed for bankruptcy and was relaunched under the name 9ff Engineering GmbH.


RUF Logo

Ruf Automobile was born out of a car workshop that began operating in 1939. It moved from servicing to tuning Porsche and modified cars for racing competition for a long time. And in 1981, Ruf got the right to manufacture its road transport.


Carlsson Logo

The Carlsson company specializes in the modification of cars under the Mercedes-Benz brand. She performs chip tuning, mods engines, and improves the appearance of vehicles. Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd. is the majority shareholder of the company.


TechArt Logo

The private tuning studio TechArt, founded in 1987, deals with Porsche cars’ external and internal improvement. The modified models managed to get into the Auto Bild sports car rating and win the Tuner Grand Prix races.


ABT Logo

ABT Sportsline is a family business with a long history. It was created in 1896 by a blacksmith who made spare parts for carts and horseshoes for horses. Then his sons reoriented the business to tuning racing cars. Since 1996 the company has been cooperating with Audi.


Mansory Logo

Mansory has existed since 1989. It is based in Germany but operates in other countries. Her main specialization is the styling of luxury cars and the modification of SUVs and supercars. Mansory focuses on the most popular brands.

Manufacturer, Truck, Bus, Other

The automotive industry in Germany is not limited to luxury cars, sports cars, and mass-market cars. There are popular and little-known brands that produce other transport types, for example, concept cars, convertibles, buses, and trucks.


Daimler Logo

Daimler AG traces its history back to 1886, when the world’s first heat engine appeared in Germany. It is directly related to this discovery and bears the inventor’s name who stood at the origins of motor vehicles: Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler. Daimler owns shares in trucks, electric vehicles, trucks, and buses. Also, the concern owns industrial enterprises in 17 countries.


MAN Logo

MAN is a highly developed group with headquarters in Munich. He had many predecessors, the oldest of which is Eisenhütte St. Antony, a steel company founded in 1758. Since 2013 the company has been under the management of Volkswagen AG, and since 2015 it has been part of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH. After the restructuring, the independent MAN brand was retained.


Setra Logo

The engineering company Setra is part of the Daimler Group. Its predecessor was the Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer company, established in 1983. However, the official founding date of Setra is considered to be April 1951, when the first bus of this brand appeared on the car market. The vehicle’s supporting body became the basis for the name: “SElbsTRAgende” is translated as “self-supporting.”


Wiesmann Logo

The luxury car company Wiesmann is named after its creators – brothers who in 1988 began making roofs for convertibles. Business went uphill, and they started making cars: mostly roadsters and coupes with BMW engines.



EDAG is an international group headquartered in Switzerland. Germany is its homeland because it was there in 1969 that the holding company that owned it appeared. The first two letters of the EDAG name stand for Eckard Design, and the third and fourth are an abbreviation for the German word “Aktiengesellschaft,” which denotes a special type of corporation. The company is famous for its concept cars.

Defunct Car Brands

The German car industry was developing rapidly. Almost simultaneously, several companies appeared in a relatively short period, whose names are still being heard today. They still form the TOP of the best car manufacturers in the world. German brands have a reputation for being reliable, high quality, and comfortable cars. This is the case when the image that has been earned for decades now works for German manufacturers.


Gumpert Logo

Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur was named after its creator, who decided to revolutionize the sports car market. He developed a model designed for both racing and city roads. The supercar was produced under the Apollo brand. In 2013, the company went bankrupt. Its old logo featured a flying griffin, a mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. Inside a bulging red shield, it was surrounded by an orange outline with the words “GUMPERT” at the top. The 3D effect was created using a gradient.


Wartburg Logo

Wartburg cars were produced in the eastern part of Germany at the Automobilwerk Eisenach plant. Production stopped after the liquidation of the enterprise in 1991. At first, the model was an exact copy of the IFA F9 with an updated body, but it received its design and improved technical characteristics as it was modernized. Despite all the efforts, in the 1980s, machines were already considered obsolete. Their logo depicted the factory, and its name was written. These elements were contained within an elongated geometric shape with sharp edges.


DKW Logo

DKW is the abbreviation for the full name of the Dampf Kraft Wagen company. The company was founded in 1916. At first, it was a small start-up, which involved developing a machine with a steam engine. The military government of Germany supported him. By 1921, the project was closed – only the patented trademark remained from it. It was used to manufacture motorcycles. Then cars were produced under it. The company’s emblem was an inverted black triangle with the words “DKW” written on it. They were on the background of a white heraldic shield.


Lloyd Logo

Lloyd, known for its triangular logo with black lettering and seven red vertical stripes, entered the automotive market in 1908. At first, its range included electric vehicles produced under various brands: Kriéger, Hansa, Hansa-Lloyd. The independent Lloyd brand was introduced in 1950. It was used to refer to trucks in fabric and wood. Then the assortment expanded, and the materials changed. The company fell into disrepair in 1961 but continued to produce cars for another two years.


Wanderer Logo

The automobile manufacturer Wanderer, headquartered in Augsburg, produced vans, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and other vehicles. It was abolished in 1945, 13 years after it became part of the Auto Union AG concern. His cars’ bumpers were decorated with a figure in the form of a large letter “W” with jagged wings. The official emblem looked the same.


Horch Logo

Horch is a project by design engineer August Horch, who developed premium vehicles. The creator left the company to found Audi, and the Horch brand became part of the Auto Union. Before the merger and abolition, the automaker used a logo with a large striped “H.” She supported a kind of pedestal with the inscription “HORCH” at the top.


Keinath Logo

The founder and owner of this automotive brand are entrepreneur Horst Keinath. The company specializes in the production of convertibles: its debut model was the Opel Monza, and the most recent GT / C was released in 2003 in two versions. The Keinath logo features a horizontal trapezoid against a small circle. They are combined and supplemented by the name of the manufacturer.


AWZ Logo

The company was founded in 1955 based on VEB Kraftfahrzeugwerk Audi Zwickau. It was then reformed in 1958 and merged with the VEB Sachsenring Kraftfahrzeug und Motorenwerke Zwickau. The AWZ logo consists of the lettering “VEB Automobilwerk Zwickau Sachsen,” which surrounds the “AWZ” monogram. It is made in outline and is located vertically in a curly element, which is drawn with smooth lines.


Barkas Logo

This car brand was founded in 1958 in the German city of Karl Marx-Stadt. It was engaged in manufacturing B 1000 minibusses, vans, and special vehicles and was closed in 1990 due to bankruptcy. The early Barkas logo features a horizontal element consisting of two narrow stripes that radiate in opposite directions from a stylized “G.” Below is the company’s name, typed in chopped black letters.


Bussing Logo

It is a former manufacturer of buses and trucks from Germany. It appeared in 1903 and was abolished in 1971 due to a takeover by a competitor – MAN AG. The Bussing logo featured a blue lion with its mouth open. It was in front of a yellow square and was complemented by the name of the car brand in bold upper case.


Goliath Logo

The company was founded in 1928 by two German businessmen – Carl Borgward and Wilhelm Tecklenborg. It was part of the Borgward group and was engaged in producing trucks and three-wheeled cars with a center in the city of Bremen. The Goliath logo remained the same as when the brand was liquidated in 1961. It features two parallel lines that extend to the right of the capital “G.”


Gemballa Logo

Tuning car company from the city of Leonberg was founded in 1981. The Gemballa logo is in the form of a shield, with a light gray globe on a black background with a two-level inscription. The brand name is located at the top in the form of a solid semi-arch.


Hansa Logo

The old name of this German brand is Hansa-Automobil Gesellschaft mbH. It was formed in 1905 and then merged with NAM AG and restructured into Hansa-Lloyd-Werke AG. The Hansa logo is a winged sign in a horizontal arrangement. In the center is a red and white shield with a stylized “H” and the full title to the right and left of it.


Heinkel Logo

The Heinkel Kabine company was founded in 1956 and was engaged in the manufacture of a microcar of one series. In 1960, she switched to the production of the Trojan 200 line, which lasted until 1966. The Heinkel logo features a “winged” letter, the first of the car manufacturer’s name. It was an italic block “H” in upper case.


Multicar Logo

This is the name of an automobile manufacturer and brand of a multifunctional mini-truck, which was produced in the city of Waltershausen. They appeared in 1956 and were liquidated in 2005. The Multicar logo contained the name in bold capital letters with rounded corners. Under the inscription was a red stripe, at the end bent up diagonally.


NAG Logo

The abbreviation of this German automobile company remained the same even after the rebranding, as its original name Neue Automobil-Gesellschaft was changed to Nationale Automobil-Gesellschaft. The year of its foundation is 1901, and the time of liquidation is 1934. The NAG logo featured three letters arranged in pentahedrons. Because of this, the emblem looked like a fragment of a honeycomb.


Neoplan Logo

Gottlob Auwärter founded this automobile company in 1935. Now it is a subsidiary of MAN Truck & Bus SE and manufactures buses and trolleybuses. Neoplan text logo. It consists of the name, which is typed in capital letters. The letters are wide, bold, and chopped, with underscores going in different directions from the legs of “A.”


Robur Logo

The main specialization of the automaker from East Germany is trucks, vans, and buses, which he produced in the city of Zittau. The time of its existence is from 1888 to 1991. The Robur logo uses three corner squares and the name in a coherent upper case font. The letters are arranged in the form of an alternating ladder: one at the top, the other at the bottom – and so on until the end.


Simson Logo

This German company was associated with the production of mopeds, motorcycles, bicycles, and cars. She entered the market in 1856 and left it in 2003 after bankruptcy. Simson’s logo was graphic-text. It had a “winged” circle with the letter “S” in the center and the full form of the name, which was at the top.


Trabant Logo

Cars under this brand were produced by VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau: the series included four models of the same name. The year of their appearance is 1957, and the time of leaving the market is 1991. The Trabant logo was formed from the common mark of the parent company and the individual brand name. The inscription was connected, imitating calligraphic handwriting with a solid connection at the top of the capital “T” and lowercase “t.”


Apal Logo

This company is originally from Belgium, producing its cars from 1961 to 1998. Then she moved to Germany and is still engaged in the main activity. The Apal logo features a circle with several rows of rings. In the center are a stele and the name of the brand, emphasizing the elongated letter “A.”


Hartge Logo

The German car tuning firm dealt with four brands of passenger cars: Range Rover, Juno, MINI, and BMW. It was located in the city of Merzig and existed from 1974 to 2019. The name in the Hartge logo was in italic white with a black border. The background was two wide diagonal stripes – blue and turquoise.


Lotec Logo

This company is located in Kolbermoor and deals with sports cars – racing and custom-designed unique cars. It was founded in 1962 by Kurt Lotterschmid. The Lotec logo has a very complex structure because one letter is part of another – like “T” and “E,” for example. In general, the inscription is similar to sections of the track on which high-speed car competitions are usually held.

Which car brand comes from Germany?

Many companies in Germany produce cars, but car enthusiasts only know the most popular ones – such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, or Opel. At the same time, there are also lesser-known German car brands: Gumpert, Isdera, Keinath, Eisenacher Motorenwerk, Borgward, DKW, Auto Union AG. All of them, except the first two, were closed.

How many car brands are German?

Since Germany is recognized as the birthplace of the global automotive industry, there are a lot of car brands in it. Several hundred of them: the German Association of the Automotive Industry alone has more than 600 manufacturers.

What two cars are from Germany?

Much more than two cars are produced in Germany. However, most people only associate the German car industry with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz.

Is Audi’s car a German car?

Yes, Audi is registered in Germany and owned by the German multinational Volkswagen AG. It is headquartered in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt and has factories in ten different countries.