Five Top Ranked German Car Brands

german car brands

Top Ranked German Car Brands Worldwide

German car brands are worldwide famous for their high quality and engine power. Since decades, manufacturers in Germany are constantly setting new standards. No wonder: the Karlsruher Carl Benz registered a patent of the motor vehicle in 1886. Until today, his ideas and visions characterize German car production.


Mercedes Benz is the best known German car brand of Daimler PLC. The cars from Mercedes-Benz are especially famous for their high-quality requirements and intensive research as well as development in the fields of safety and comfort. The manufacturer produces a wide range of vehicles for different applications. The passenger car segment is divided into classes. The smallest models are in class A, the most expensive and luxurious ones in class S. Mercedes-Benz also takes great care in the quality of the technical components. 

The German brand arose from a fusion between the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft ( = Daimler-engines-company) and Benz & Cie.


Since 1929, Opel is part of the American company General Motors. Adam Opel founded a company for sewing machines, but after his plant burned down, he continued his business in motorcycles and bicycles. After his death, the three sons of Adam Opel started running the company. Cooperation with the leading French car manufacturers allowed the German plants a rapid technical rise and development of different vehicle variants with miscellaneous engine characteristics. The family soon entered production line production and Fritz von Opel experimented with rocket-driven vehicles. Even during World War II, Opel very successfully manufactured cars.

After losses due to the financial crisis between 2008 and 2010, Opel is in the black again since 2016. The biggest plant is in Rüsselsheim.

Volkswagen (VW)

Volkswagen ( Volk = nation; Wagen = vehicle) was founded under the name Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH ( = Company for the Preparation of the German People’s Car Ltd) in Berlin. During the time of World War II, it was the task to produce cars for the majority of people. Finally, the largest automobile factory in Europe was built in Wolfsburg. The major breakthrough came after the World War with the famous VW Käfer ( = VW Beetle) and later on also with the Bulli, a bigger family car. 

Since 1960, Volkswagen is a stock company due to the British military government. Until today, cars from Volkswagen are famous for affordable prices and high-quality standards when it comes to technique and safety. The Volkswagen concern unites i.a. the brands Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley.


One of the most famous German car brands, Audi, occurred when the co-founder of August Horch & Cie Motorwagenwerken Zwickau ( = August Horch & Cie motor vehicles Zwickau),  August Horch, left his own automobile company to start a new one with the help of other companies in Zwickau. Since he was not allowed to use his own name for the new brand due to legal reasons, he played with the Latin term audire, which means “listen!” Audi developed from the imperative. 

The German brand became part of Auto Union AG in 1932 after it had been taken over by DKW. After the war, the Union was dissolved and expropriated, but soon afterward, Auto Union GmbH ( = Car Union Ltd.) was rebuilt on the initiative of Hans Migotsch. The union was bought up by the Volkswagen Group in 1966 and now belongs to the group’s premium brands under the Audi name. Together with Lamborghini and Seat, the manufacturer belongs to the sporty Audi brand. 

The cars are best known for their elegance and high quality. They are based on many years of research and development, beginning with the early days of the automobile industry.


BMW arose from the Rapp Motorenwerken GmbH ( = Rapp engine plant Ltd), founded in 1913. BMW is part of the BMW Group, which includes the brands BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royce. BMW is best known for its technical progress. Even before World War II, the car manufacturer produced the first motorcycle at the location in Berlin-Spandau. During the war, the main BMW plant in Munich got almost completely destroyed. After opening a lot of new plants, BMW was able to avoid a takeover by Mercedes in 1959.

Today, one of the most famous German car brands, BMW, is especially successful in the field of green innovation, which is based in particular on the development of hydrogen-powered automobiles. BMW stands for consistently good quality, extensive development, and safety. BMW motorcycle still characterizes the upper class in the motorcycle market.

Featured image (cropped): Mercedes-Benz 220 Limousine – Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 3.0
February 26, 2017
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