Believe it or not, Austria has become a high-quality force on the automotive market. The country’s automobile industry is innovative and extremely productive, with the world’s lightest and most efficient high-performance batteries developed within its borders.
With numerous patents registered in recent years, the Austrian automotive industry is going places – and fast. Austrian auto parts suppliers have won the reputation as reliable partners all over the globe.
But do you know how many car brands are there actually from Austria? We seriously doubt that all the names listed below are familiar to you, but that’s not a bad thing. We had a few surprises, ourselves.
The Austrian Automotive Industry
Mostly focused on supply and demand, the Austrian automotive industry is based on companies that produce automotive parts, although the textile, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering sectors are noteworthy, as well.
Cars, trucks, buses, agricultural equipment and more are currently under development and on sale in the country, with the Austrian automotive industry and production having tripled in the last 20 years.
The Austrian automotive industry is an integral part of German original equipment manufacturers. While KTM is the only OEM in Austria, other companies are branches of large car groups – BMW, Opel, MAN or Fiat – and responsible for manufacture of components, with assembly efforts taking place in other facilities.
Focused around the manufacture of engines and transmissions, Austria’s automotive efforts rely on the German automotive industry. Moreover, key decisions are made mostly outside of Austria, which is not always a good thing.
The Biggest Austrian Automotive Companies
1. Magna Steyr had 5,350 Million Euros in revenues last year, with 9,300 employees in Austria and 13,500 worldwide. The company is headquartered in Canada.
2. BMW Motorren had 3,647 Million Euros in revenues last year, with 4,647 employees only in Austria. The company has its headquarters in Germany.
3. AVL scored 1,750 Million Euros in revenues last year. The company has 4,150 employees in Austria and 10,400 worldwide and it’s headquartered in Austria.
4. Greiner had 1,631 Million Euros in revenues last year. The company is headquartered in Austria and even though we don’t know exactly how many employees are only in Austria, a big part of its 10,785 employees work from here.
5. KTM had 1,560 Million Euros in revenues last year. Headquartered in Austria, the company has 4,303 employees worldwide, with 3,625 working straight from Austria.
6. Bosch had 1,359 Million Euros in revenues for Austria alone. The company has its headquarters in Germany and from its astounding 407,485 employees worldwide, 3,044 are from Austria.
7. ZKW scored 1,340 Million Euros in revenues last year. Also headquartered in Germany, ZKW has 9,250 employees worldwide and a third of them, 3,528 work from Austria.
8. MAN Truck & Bus had 1,084 Million Euros in revenues last year. Headquartered in Germany, the company has 1,929 employees in Austria.
9. MIBA scored 985 Million Euros in revenues last year. With its headquarters in Austria, this company employs 2,818 people in the country and 7,377 worldwide.
10. Rosenbauer earned 909 Million Euros in the last year. The company has its headquarters in Austria and out of the 3,516 employees worldwide, 1,397 of them are in Austria.
Environmental issues have pushed a paradigm shift towards electrification. Mobility as a service and autonomous driving are the key words these days, and the automotive industry had to adapt.
That’s where Tesla comes in. The American giant has made incredible changes and proved that electric vehicles are stylish, practical, as well as fast. Electric cars are the future, and the Austrian automotive industry has high hopes for autonomous driving and, frankly, drivers are feeling excited over the prospect of enjoying such features on a daily basis.
This could lead to strong growth in the industry, while also pushing the trend towards more cars and less public transportation vehicles. Car owners get to be driven around, feeling comfortable and relaxed, while the fully automated environmental-friendly vehicle takes care of everything and leaves everything clean and green – as Mother Nature intended.
What will happen? No one knows for sure, but the reality of the matter is that big changes lie ahead. Will Austria’s automotive industry adapt? It will just have to. Meanwhile, let’s just focus on the Austrian car brands that made history and keep us excited today.
- Years: 1934 – Present
- Founders: Hans Trunkenpolz
- Headquarters: Mattighofen, Austria
- Parent Company: Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto
- Website: https://www.kwm.com/
KTM AG is mostly known for manufacturing bicycles, motorcycles and recently outrageous sports cars. Although owned by Pierer Mobility AG and Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto, we’ll count this as an Austrian company – for now.
Formed in 1992, the company can trace its roots back to 1934. KTM is known for its off-road motorcycles by endure and motocross enthusiasts and has constantly expanded and updated its lineup – please note the entrance of the X-Bow project.
On a global scale, KTM is among the leading off-road motorcycle manufacturers. Proving said statement, as of 2020, KTM AG has a few subsidiaries, including KTM Racing AG, KM Sportmotorcycle GmbH and KTM Sportcar GmbH. Please note that Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH and GASGAS Motorcycles GmbH are also on that list.
Founded in 1932, this company started off as a blacksmith shop and ended up being recognized as a skilled and professional customization shop. The mid-sized company remains a family ran business and employs around 303 people from the local area.
Its international reputation for high quality products and various bespoke solutions puts Achleitner on a very interesting map.
Dedicated to delivering customer satisfaction, no matter how unusual the request may be, this company stands out above competition due to their incredible services – from vehicle manufacturing to extendable trailers and show trucks.
Based in Woergl, Tyrol, Achleitner is all about indibidual and bespoke creations based around Iveco, Mercedes or Volvo vehicles and trucks. However, the results are of high quality and far from boring.
- Years: 2012 – Present
- Founders: Aljosa Tushek, Jacob Carl Spigel
- Headquarters: Graz, Styria, Austria
- Website: https://www.tushek.eu/
Based in Austria, Tushek Supercars is a car manufacturer established in 2012, dedicated to automotive perfection. Constantly innovating and researching on- and off-road car manufacture technology, this Austrian car brand aims to deliver more than a driving experience.
Also known as Tushek & Spigel, the Austrian/Slovenian manufacturer has been known to make an impression with some pretty cool supercars. Working out of a former military airport, where a private racetrack acts as a testing area, the team has everything in place for getting the job done.
If you’re looking for speed and precision, look no further. Although not a player on the mainstream automotive market, this company will get you excited in no time. In 2012, the Renovatio T500 was unveiled and since then two more models have been developed, one more impressive than the other. Light and super fast, the company’s creations are not flying under the radar, but way above it.
- Years: 2014 – Present
- Founders: Philipp Krisel, Johann Kreisel and Markus Kreisel
- Headquarters: Rainbach, Austria
- Website: https://www.kreiselelectric.com/
Philipp, Johann and Markus Kreisel founded Kreisel Electric in 2014. The company’s goal has always been to provide the best battery technology solutions to customers, meaning attaining nothing but maximum performance from electrical-powered vehicles.
Take the Kreisel EVEX 910e car – it does look stunning, doesn’t it? Inspired by the successful Porsche 910, the very same racer that made an impression at the 1967 Le Mans, the Austrian electro-mobility specialist went all electric.
This conversion, dubbed as the Kreisel EVEX 910e, will accelerate to 300 km/h and is allowed to do so on public roads – please obey the authorities and speed limitations in your country and area.
With 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds, this vehicle immediately grabs attention. It will do the same with your bank account; the very limited-run electric racer will set you back a cool 1 million Euros.
Based in Kottingbrunn, Austria, this independent Porsche workshop is dedicated to any and all Porsche models. From engine construction to complete restorations and valuation reports – even purchase tests – this shop will have Porsche fans and owners smiling endlessly.
With over 35 years of experience in the field, backing them up, these specialists will handle anything you throw at them. Restoring a Porsche is easy for these guys; their bodywork and engine department is very well known for attention to details, and the fact that they only use original Porsche parts is simply a collector’s dream.
Servicing or and repairing your old Porsche is also an option and, should you be so unlucky to be involved in a fender-bender, this shop will make your dreamy classic look perfect once more.
Also aiding owners in selling their old-time Porsche cars, this shop seems to be qualified to do anything.
Graf Carello is a company dedicated to making everyday life easier and more pleasant for elderly people through the development of license-free and registration-free senior vehicles, electric vehicles, and mobility aids, for an improved quality of life.
The founder of this company, Siegfried Graf, has dedicated his time to understanding the needs of people with disabilities in order to provide them with functional and useful mobility solutions.
With over 40 years worth of experience to talk about, this firm develops and builds what some may consider ‘old-people electric vehicles’. A success story, based on customer satisfaction, the brand is known for offering various products and models
According to the company, people are at the center of everything they do, which might explain for the fact that company employees will even come to your home and demonstrate what their vehicles can do. Take them for a spin, as it were.
Haidlmair has been setting the standard and has been recognized for its quality products for years now. A market leader focused on efficiency and innovation, this company has trained specialists develop and produce groundbreaking products.
With decades of experience leading them to success, there is nothing this company can’t do. By using state-of-the-art machinery and sustainable methods, the frim delivers mould designs, transformed into unique components by using automation processes and equipment.
HAIDLMAIR has proved that injection moulds can be transformed in just about anything, with their expertise having them excel in different fields, including the one of automotive parts.
Delivering reliable low weight, and high quality products seems to be one simple way of attaining success and worldwide recognition.
The Pinzgauer was a family of vehicles developed for high-mobility, based around all-terrain 4WD (4×4) and 6WD (6×6) military utility vehicles. Although looking a bit odd, these vehicles instantly managed to grab attention, with numerous military forces making them part of their ‘garage’, including Austria, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
Most recently manufactured at Guildford in Surrey, England, these vehicles were originally developed in the late 1960s. The name, ‘Pinzgauer’, is based on an Austrian breed of horses. This seems like an appropriate name choice for this vehicle, which was manufactured until 2007, following proof that it was vulnerable to mines and improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.
Nowadays, the REFORM brand is responsible for impressive vehicles designed for mountain and municipal engineering. However, back in 1910, Johann Bauer, son of a farmer near Wels, puts everything in motion by manufacturing the Welsia seed drill, followed by feed dampers and home ovens.
During World War I the brand focuses on field kitchens and mobile ovens, while WWII activity includes repair operations for seed drills. Moreover, Fichtl & Sachs produces aircraft engines in the Reform factory.
Shortly after the war, the company continues its mechanization efforts, with the Reform motor mower R1. The Austrian company kept researching and developing unique and useful products. Their lineup includes now various vehicles designed for specific purposes. It’s been 120 years, and the company is still here.
Brothers Dominic Tiroch and Knud Tiroch joined forces only to create an Austrian muscle-car shop. Dedicated to both car tuning and mechanical upgrades, as well as outrageous aesthetic effects, Tiroch Art may run under European drivers’ radar, but it has been recognized worldwide as a force to be reckoned with.
Artist and collector Knud Tiroch is a hotrodder, while painting cars is his passion. Born in Vienna on July 15, 1957, the man originally trained as a restorer of furniture. However, he became obsessed about airbrushing techniques, which is why he traveled to the US for further study.
As a result, Tiroch came up with one unique technique that he named G-RAVE, which allows him to create vivid paintings and designs. The European star airbrusher is also the man responsible for the artwork on each Formula1 car for the team Toro Rosso.
Moreover, celebrities such as ZZTop, Austrian Oak Arnold Schwarzenegger, former F1 driver David Coulthard and even Prince Albert of Monaco are among of his satisfied customers.
Dominic Tiroch was born in Baden, near Vienna, on December 23, 1986. It didn’t matter he was an European, he was passionate about drifting and hotrods. With cars and racing is his life, he grew up between hotrods and muscle cars, and he spent many hours in his father’s garage fiddling around with wrenches and car components.
Nowadays, he works his magic by tuning various vehicles, including Japanese Need For Speed-like monsters. One quick look at their projects and you become mesmerized.
Laurin and Klement
Laurin & Klement was a Czech company focused on the manufacture of automobiles, as well as motorcycles and bicycles. Founded in 1895 by automotive pioneers Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, the company began car manufacture in 1905 and became shortly after the biggest name on the market – at least in Austria.
Acquired by industrial giant Škoda Works back in 1925, it was transformed into Škoda Auto and became the popular brand that Volkswagen Group owns today. Nowadays, the Laurin & Klement badge is used by Škoda to ensure people realize they are dealing with especially luxurious and limited editions of some of their car models.
Graf and Stift
Founded in 1902 by the brothers Franz, Heinrich and Karl Gräf, with investor Wilhelm Stift founding everything, Graf & Stift was a very popular designer of luxury automobiles. Some of you may remember June 1914 as a unique moment in history when a Double Phaeton bearing the company’s badge carried Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, at the time they were assassinated in Sarajevo.
Aside from that horrific story which was basically the start of WWI, the brand was also involved in the production of buses, trucks, and trolleybuses and put it on the map. By 2001, the company’s story was over but not before becoming a subsidiary of MAN.