German automobile companies are some of the most successful in the industry on an international scale. In fact, in 2017, the Volkswagen Group topped a ranking of leading motor manufacturers based on global sales, with 10.74 million units sold worldwide that year. The Volkswagen Group was also the leading car manufacturer by production volume in Germany in 2016, with 10.41 million vehicles produced. The Daimler AG was further behind with 3.04 million vehicles put on the market, and the BMW Group brought up the top three at 2.36 million cars.
The total weight of cars exported from Germany in 2016, based on a preliminary estimate, was 19.2 billion tons, while export value amounted to 220.54 billion euros. German vehicles were mainly exported to other European countries, with 2.85 million cars making their way around Europe in 2016. Other leading regions for vehicle export included North and South America, as well as Asia. The list of leading import countries for German motor vehicles included the U.S., the UK and China among the top three. As of 2016, 27.73 billion euros worth of German cars were imported to the United States.
In terms of passenger car brands, German ones were the most popular domestically. In 2017, the number of registered VW cars amounted to roughly 9.89 million, followed by 4.6 million Opel vehicles and 4.3 million Mercedes cars. Volkswagen’s VW Golf and VW Passat were the leading car models in Germany, based on new registrations in 2017. Historically the number of registered passenger cars grew in the last five decades, from 4.5 million in 1960 to 45.8 million in 2017.