German Car Brands

German Car Brands

Germany is the birthplace of the automobile industry. It was here that the first type of heat engine was invented, and the prototype of the modern car appeared. In terms of car production, this country is second only to the USA, Japan, and China, ranking fourth in the world. Its brands, such as Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, and Opel, are famous for their consistently high quality.

What are German automobile brands?

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

Ultra-luxury, Luxury Car Brands

German manufacturers have made a great contribution to the development of 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 own character and utilizes patented technologies that meet strict international standards.


Maybach Logo

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


Porsche Logo

Porsche is known as a manufacturer of luxury roadsters, convertibles, supercars, and crossovers. It came into existence 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 the Volkswagen concern. Porsche is currently headquartered in Stuttgart.


Mercedes-Benz Logo

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


BMW Logo

BMW was officially incorporated in 1917. In the pre-war period, it produced engines, then switched to motorcycles, rockets, and guided weapons. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG produced its first post-war automobile in 1951. Now, the brand is known for its sports cars and electric vehicles.


Audi Logo

Audi is the successor of the Auto Union concern and the legal successor of Audi Automobil-Werke, founded in 1909. The brand was named in honor of August Horch, who translated its name into Latin. On the world market, the manufacturer is represented by crossovers, sports cars, convertibles, roadsters, supercars, and other prestigious cars.


Smart Logo

Smart is one of the subsidiaries of Mercedes-Benz Cars Group. This brand appeared on the market in 1998 with the launch of the Smart City-Coupe model. It produces compact passenger cars of a particularly small class.

Mass Market Brands

The mass market in Germany is represented by brands that strive to produce quality cars, regardless of their price category. Many manufacturers have rolled out successful lines of inexpensive cars, copying and repeating world-famous models.


Volkswagen Logo

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


Opel Logo

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


Borgward Logo

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

Sports Car Brands

In the last century and in the 2000s, many sports car brands have emerged in the German automobile market. Their heavy-duty cars race on race tracks and win prestigious competitions. It is a lightweight, maneuverable vehicle of high cross-country ability.


Apollo Logo

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


Artega Logo

Artega existed in the automotive market for only six years (from 2006 to 2012) but left behind many innovative technologies that Volkswagen uses today. During its entire existence, it has produced only one car in two modifications.


Melkus Logo

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


Bitter Logo

Bitter is a premium sports car brand specializing in car tuning. Former racing driver Erich Bitter founded it in 1971 when he stopped working for Intermeccanica.


Isdera Logo

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

High Performance

Some German brands are characterized by high performance. Most often, subsidiaries of well-known concerns are represented in this market segment – for example, the BMW M and Alpina brands, which are owned by BMW AG.


BMW M Logo

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


Mercedes AMG Logo

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

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 do not go on free sale. Until 2016, the company was called Quattro GmbH.


Alpina Logo

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


Brabus Logo

The private tuning studio Brabus is engaged in the modification of car bodies and engines, mainly Mercedes-Benz. This brand’s crossovers and sedans have broken several world speed records, as Brabus tuning projects involve increasing power.

Car Tuning, Car Modification

Many German companies, such as TechArt, Carlsson, RUF, and 9ff, are engaged in modifying other manufacturers’ cars. They do this in order to individualize cars and improve their appearance and technical stuffing. As a rule, tuning studios produce cars under their own brands.


9ff Logo

The 9ff Automotive Corporation aims to achieve high speeds. It 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 relaunched as 9ff Engineering GmbH.


RUF Logo

Ruf Automobile was born from an automobile workshop that started in 1939. For a long time, it moved from servicing to tuning Porsche and modifying cars for racing competitions. In 1981, Ruf was granted the right to manufacture its own automobile transportation.


Carlsson Logo

The Carlsson company specializes in the refinement of Mercedes-Benz cars. It conducts chip tuning, modifies engines, and improves the appearance of cars. The company’s main shareholder is Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd.


TechArt Logo

Private tuning studio TechArt, founded in 1987, is engaged in the external and internal improvement of Porsche cars. Modified models managed to get into the Auto Bild sports car ranking and win in the Tuner Grand Prix races.


ABT Logo

ABT Sportsline is a family business with a long history. It was established in 1896 by a blacksmith who made parts for carts and horseshoes for horses. His sons then refocused the business on tuning race cars. Since 1996, the company has been cooperating with Audi.


Mansory Logo

The Mansory company has been in existence since 1989. It is based in Germany but also works in other countries. Its main specialization is styling of luxury cars and modification of SUVs and supercars. Mansory focuses on the most popular brands.

Manufacturer, Truck, Bus, Other

The German automotive industry is not limited to luxury cars, sports cars, and mass-market vehicles. There are popular and lesser-known brands that produce other types of vehicles, such as concept cars, convertibles, buses, and trucks.


Daimler Logo

Daimler AG traces its history back to 1886 when the world’s first heat engine was created in Germany. It is directly linked to this discovery and is named after the inventor who pioneered the automobile industry: Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler. Daimler owns shares in trucks, electric cars, trucks, and buses. The concern also owns industrial enterprises in 17 countries of the world.


MAN Logo

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


Setra Logo

The Setra engineering company is part of the Daimler Group. Its predecessor was Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer, founded in 1983. However, the official date of the Setra Foundation is considered to be April 1951, when the first bus of this brand appeared on the automobile market. The load-bearing body of the vehicle was the basis of the name: “SElbsTRAgende,” which translates as “self-supporting.”


Wiesmann Logo

The luxury car company Wiesmann is named after its founders – brothers who, in 1988, started making roofs for convertibles. Things took off, and they started making cars, mostly roadsters and coupes with BMW engines.



EDAG is an international group headquartered in Switzerland. Its homeland is Germany, as that is where the holding company to which it belongs originated in 1969. The first two letters of the name EDAG stand for Eckard Design, and the third and fourth letters are an abbreviation of the German word “Aktiengesellschaft,” which stands for a special type of corporation. The company is known for its concept cars.

Defunct Car Brands

The German automobile industry developed rapidly. Almost simultaneously, in a relatively short period, several companies appeared, the names of which sound even today. Even today, they make up the top of the best automakers in the world. German brands have a reputation for reliable, high-quality, and comfortable cars. This is the case when the image, built up over 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 depicted a flying griffin, a mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. Inside a convex red shield, it was surrounded by an orange outline with the word “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 ceased after the company was liquidated in 1991. At first, the model was an exact copy of the IFA F9 with an updated body, but as it was modernized, it received its own design and improved specifications. Despite all efforts, in the 1980s, the cars were already considered obsolete. Their logo depicted the factory and spelled out its name. These elements were enclosed in an elongated geometric shape with sharp edges.


DKW Logo

DKW is an abbreviation of the full name of the company Dampf Kraft Wagen. The company was founded in 1916. At first, it was a small startup that envisioned the development of a car with a steam engine. The German military government supported it. By 1921, the project was closed – only the patented trademark remained from it. It was used for the production of motorcycles. Then, under it began to produce cars. The emblem of the company was an inverted black triangle on which the words “DKW” were written. They were located 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 automobile market in 1908. At first, its range included electric cars produced under different brands: Kriéger, Hansa, Hansa-Lloyd. The independent brand Lloyd was introduced in 1950. It was used to designate trucks made of fabric and wood. Then, the range was expanded, and the materials changed. In 1961, the company went into decline but continued to produce cars for two more years.


Wanderer Logo

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


Horch Logo

Horch was a project of design engineer August Horch, who developed premium cars. The creator left the company to found Audi, and the Horch brand became part of Auto Union. Before the merger and abolition, the automaker used a logo with a large striped “H.” It supported a pedestal of sorts with the word “HORCH” at the top.


Keinath Logo

The founder and owner of this automobile brand is entrepreneur Horst Keinath (Horst Keinath). The company specializes in convertibles: its debut model was the Opel Monza, and the latest GT/C was launched in 2003 in two variants. The Keinath logo is a horizontal trapezoid on a background of a small circle. These are combined and complemented by the manufacturer’s name.


AWZ Logo

The company was founded in 1955 on the basis of VEB Kraftfahrzeugwerk Audi Zwickau. In 1958, it was reformed and merged with VEB Sachsenring Kraftfahrzeug und Motorenwerke Zwickau. The AWZ logo consists of the inscription “VEB Automobilwerk Zwickau Sachsen,” which surrounds the monogram “AWZ.” It is outlined and arranged vertically in a shaped element that is drawn in flowing lines.


Barkas Logo

This automobile brand was founded in 1958 in the German city of Karl Marx-Stadt. It produced B 1000 vans, vans, and specialty cars and was closed in 1990 due to bankruptcy. The early Barkas logo is a horizontal element consisting of two narrow stripes diverging in different directions from a stylized letter “G.” Below is the company name, typed in chopped black letters.


Bussing Logo

This is a former manufacturer of buses and trucks from Germany. It appeared in 1903 and was discontinued in 1971 due to the takeover by its competitor, MAN AG. The Bussing logo featured a blue lion with an open mouth. It was positioned in front of a yellow square and was complemented by the name of the vehicle brand in bold upper type.


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 the production of trucks and three-wheeled vehicles with the center in Bremen. The Goliath logo remained the same as when the brand was liquidated in 1961. It shows two parallel lines running to the right of the capital letter “G.”


Gemballa Logo

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


Hansa Logo

The old name of this German brand is Hansa-Automobil Gesellschaft mbH. It was formed in 1905, then merged with NAM AG, and was reorganized 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 letter “H” and the full company name to the right and left of it.


Heinkel Logo

Heinkel Kabine was founded in 1956 and produced a single series of microcars. In 1960, it switched to producing the Trojan 200 line, which lasted until 1966. The Heinkel logo featured a “winged” letter, the first in the automaker’s name. It was an italicized block “H” in upper case.


Multicar Logo

This is the name of the automaker and the brand name of a multicar mini-truck manufactured in Waltershausen. They originated in 1956 and were discontinued in 2005. The Multicar logo contained the name in bold capital letters with rounded corners. Below the name was a red stripe with a diagonal bent upward at the end.


NAG Logo

The abbreviation of this German automobile company remained unchanged even after rebranding, as its original name, Neue Automobil-Gesellschaft, was changed to Nationale Automobil-Gesellschaft. The year of foundation of the company is considered to be 1901, and the time of liquidation is 1934. The emblem NAG represented three letters arranged in the form of pentagons. Because of this, the emblem resembled a fragment of a bee honeycomb.


Neoplan Logo

Gottlob Auwerter founded this automobile company in 1935. Now, it is a subsidiary of MAN Truck & Bus SE and produces buses and trolleybuses. Neoplan text logo. It consists of the name typed in capital letters. The letters are broad, bold, and chopped; the underlines diverge in different directions from the legs of the letter “A.”


Robur Logo

The main specialization of the automaker from East Germany is trucks, vans, and buses, which are produced in the city of Zittau. Its existence was from 1888 to 1991. The Robur logo uses three angled squares and the name in a cohesive upper case font. The letters are arranged in the form of an alternating staircase: one at the top, one at the bottom – and so on to the end.


Simson Logo

This German company was associated with the manufacture of mopeds, motorcycles, bicycles, and automobiles. It entered the market in 1856 and left the market in 2003 after bankruptcy. The Simson logo was a graphic-text logo. It was a “winged” circle with an “S” in the center and the full form of the name at the top.


Trabant Logo

Cars under this brand were produced by VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau: the series included four models with the same name. The year of their appearance was 1957, and the time of leaving the market was 1991. The Trabant logo was formed from the common mark of the parent company and the individual brand name. The lettering was joined, imitating calligraphic handwriting with a continuous upper-case “T” and lower-case “t.”


Apal Logo

This company originated in Belgium and produced its cars from 1961 to 1998. It then moved to Germany and is still in its core business. The Apal logo is a circle with several rows of rings. In the center are a stele and the brand name emphasizing the elongated letter “A.”


Hartge Logo

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


Lotec Logo

This company is based in Colbermoor and deals in sports cars, racing, and uniquely customized cars. It was founded in 1962 by Kurt Lotterschmid. The Lotec logo has a very complex structure, as one letter is part of another – for example, “T” and “E.” In general, the lettering resembles sections of the track where 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.