Home » Cars Brands » German Car Brands: Names, List And Logos Of German Cars

German Car Brands: Names, List And Logos Of German Cars

By Liam Houghton


Updated on

German car companies have a history of manufacturing high-class vehicles where performance is more important than appearance. Following the “function over form” principle, German car brands focus on functionality and quality.

These valuable qualities make Germany the leader of the auto production in Europe and place it among the top 5 countries in the whole world for vehicle manufacturing. With an annual output of over 6 million cars, German cars are some of the most innovative and reliable vehicles in the world.

The impressive history of German cars began back in 1870, with the four-stroke internal combustion engine invented by the mechanic engineers Karl Benz and Nikolaus Otto. After this invention, which basically changed the world, Germany started producing about a thousand vehicles per year.

Company Names and Logos of All German Car Brands

German car brands logos
German car brands logos

German automakers are recognized for producing some of the best automobiles in the world. Besides high-quality, German vehicles bring exceptional design, superior comfort, high-end technologies and unbelievable speed on the market. They are also known for providing an exclusive driving experience.

The most popular makes come with an impressive collection of both sports and luxury cars, that are incredibly stylish and high-performance vehicles. Continue reading to see the list of German car brands names and logos of the companies that manufacture them.

Most Popular German Car Companies

These are the most popular car manufacturers from Germany, that include BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche. As you can see, most of these manufacturers are luxury car makes, and have greatly increased the standard of automobiles worldwide.


2022 Audi A7
2022 Audi A7

Founded in 1909 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Audi is definitely one of the most important companies that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes vehicles. The company was named after its founder’s surname – August Horch – which in German means “listen”. Later on, in July 1909, Audi Automobilwerke was set up.

Back in 1932, the company merged with Horch, DKW and Wanderer in order to form Auto Union UG. Now, this event explains the four interlinked rings of the Audi logo. Since 1966, the company has been part of Volkswagen Group.

Audi logo
Audi logo

Stats: Today, Audi’s sales keep growing. In 2013, Audi sales went up 8.3%. The main sales areas remain Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Back in 2009, China was the strongest actor, since it imported 108,000 out of a total of 705,000 vehicles.

Models: Audi sedans (A1-A8), Audi coupés and SUVs, S (sport) and RS (Renn Sport/Racing) models.

Audi’s most popular models include Audi A8, Audi TT, Audi A3, Audi A6 and Audi A1. This classification is based on the number of sales. German car fans probably know that, in 2013, the top 5 best-selling Audi models were the following: AUDI A3 – 202,300 units and all SUVs combined totaled 438,400 items.

Mercedes Benz

2022 Mercedes S Class
2022 Mercedes S Class

This German luxury car making company has been around for more than a century. It is definitely the oldest auto makers in existence. Known in the auto industry for its limousines, which can be seen in the most famous movies, Mercedes Benz produces some of the best vehicles in the world.

Since the beginning, Mercedes has lead the market with an innovative combination of style and technology. With time, the company garnered an extensive list of models including luxury cars, trucks, buses, limousines and vans.

Mercedes-Benz logo
Mercedes-Benz logo

All Mercedes vehicle categories include passenger cars (CLA-Class, C-Class, GLK, R-Class, E-Class Wagon, CLS-Class, S-Class), luxury cars (CLA-Class, C-Class, E-Class, R-Class, E-Class Wagon, CLS-Class, S-Class Hybrid, S-Class, SL-Class, CL-Class), sports cars (SLK, SLS), SUVs/CROSSOVERS (GLK, M-Class, M-Class Hybrid, GL-Class, G-Class), vans and minivans (Sprinter).

Mercedes-Benz’s luxury cars: Limousines

The fancy world of automobiles was marked by Mercedes-Benz 600, the luxurious vehicle that came in two different models: a short wheelbase 4-door sedan, a long wheelbase 4-door Pullman limousine and a 6-door limousine.  Their production began in 1964. In 1972, 600 models came out on the market.

Famous people who owned this model included Coco Chanel, Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, etc.

The most popular class of Mercedes sedans is Mercedes Benz CLA, that in 2013 brought the company sales of 100,000 units since its launch in April 2013. The highest demand was in the US, as 27,000 units were sold there.


2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works. The success comes from its focus on the engine, which was improved by generations of engineers over the years. The brand put a lot of effort into quality and into a constant pursuit of excellence, which makes it one of the most important manufacturers in the industry.

BMW logo
BMW logo

BMW became an automaker in 1929 and ever since then has been known for crafting luxury cars and SUVs that offer amazing driving experiences. BMW produces passenger cars, luxury cars, sports cars, SUVs and Pickup trucks.

BMW’s luxury cars

The BMW Group achieved record sales in May 2014. It reported that sales in China helped boost its first-quarter profit by 11% in 2014. This makes BMW the world’s leading premium luxury car maker.

The most popular BMW models, that achieve top sales, are BMW X-vehicles. The demand for sport-utility vehicles led the mother-company to fruitful gains.


2022 Volkswagen Arteon
2022 Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by Ferdinand Porsche. Back then, the German company was entirely composed of luxury cars, meaning that only one German out of 50 bought a vehicle. Known as “the car of the people”, the brand is known nowadays to produce the best German autos. Today Volkswagen remains a model of success, as it managed to acquire SEAT, Skoda, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.

Volkswagen logo
The new Volkswagen logo

Out of all models, Volkswagen Golf is the most affordable one in Europe. According to JATO Dynamics study, in January, its sales grew by 28 percent. Studies also show that, for 2012 and 2013, the VW divisions that led the market were Audi, Skoda, Seat, VW Commercial Vehicles, Porsche, MAN, Scania, and Bentley.


2022 Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche logo

Porsche is an active automobile manufacturing company that mostly specializes in producing sedans, hypercars, supercars, SUVs and sports cars. While this German company isn’t the most popular auto manufacturer nowadays, it surely gained a great reputation in the late 80s and early 90s. Some of the most popular Porsche models include the 918, Macan, Cayenne, Cayman, Boxter, and Panamera.

Other Active German Auto Manufacturers

These are some other active German automakers that are producing vehicles to date. These may not be very popular worldwide, but these have their own brand name in their home country, Germany. So they have their own role in the economy and contribute to the automotive world.

Opel AG

2022 Opel Astra
2022 Opel Astra
  • Years: 1862 – Present
  • Headquarters: Rüsselsheim, Hesse, Germany
  • Founder: Adam Opel
  • Parent Company: Groupe PSA, Stellantis
  • Website: http://www.opel.com/
Opel logo
Opel logo

Opel AG has been in the business of manufacturing cars for more than 153 years. The company was at first a manufacturer of bicycles, but after seeing the creation of the first vehicle, the company shifted its interest to automobiles and manufactured their first vehicle in 1899. You might have noticed a few of the vehicles manufactured by Opel in some mafia or gangster movies for sure.


2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe
2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe
Alpina logo
Alpina logo

Alpina is another German company that was founded way back in 1965. Although the company isn’t hugely popular, it is still active and works with BMW to manufacture its own cars. Much of the company’s processes are integrated into BMW’s production lines and the company is still popular in a few areas in Germany.

Bitter Cars

Bitter CD
1979 Bitter CD

Bitter logo

Founded by Erich Bitter, a former race car driver, the Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH (Bitter) is a premium sports and luxury automaker in Germany. Bitter Cars hasn’t exactly been able to gain a lot of popularity, but it is only because of its luxurious, yet sporty cars that the company is still present and manufacturing cars to date!


Gumpert Apollo Sport
Gumpert Apollo Sport
  • Years: 2004 – Present
  • Headquarters: Altenburg, Thuringia, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Roland Gumpert
  • Website: http://www.gumpert.de/
Gumpert logo
Gumpert logo

Gumpert is another active automobile manufacturer that although has been in the business of manufacturing automobiles for quite some time now but has been unable to gain universal popularity, like Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi. It is generally a supercar manufacturing company and has made numerous appearances in Top Gear in the form of its famous ‘Apollo Racecar’.


Isdera Commendatore 112i
1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i
  • Years: 1969 – Present
  • Headquarters: Hildesheim, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Eberhard Schulz
  • Website: http://www.isdera.de/
Isdera logo
Isdera logo

Isdera, officially known as ‘Ingenieurbüro für Styling, Design und Racing’ is one of those German car companies that was privately owned. The company focuses mainly on producing sports cars that are built by a small team of craftsmen. And you know what the fun part is? One of the vehicles has also made its appearance in ‘Need for Speed II’, the popular racing video game released in 1997.


Keinath GTC
Keinath GTC
  • Years: 1983 – Present
  • Headquarters: Reutlingen, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Horst Keinath
  • Website: Not Available
Keinath logo
Keinath logo

Most of the car manufacturers in Germany focus on creating sports cars, race cars, and luxury cars. Keinath is another automobile manufacturer that has been in the businesses of producing race cars since 1983. The company generally began creating automobiles by producing a variant of the popular Opel Monza and then went on to create the GTR that was highly sporty, stylish and incredibly powerful.

Non-Active German Car Makes List

These defunct German auto manufacturing companies are no longer in existence but helped form a name for Germany in the auto industry. Auto Union AG and DKW for example, helped form the famous brand today, Audi.


adler logo
Adler logo
  • Years: 1900 – 1957
  • Headquarters: Not Available
  • Founder/Parent Company: Heinrich Kleyer
  • Website: Not Available

Adler was among the few German car manufacturers to gain popularity during the early 1900s. They successfully manufactured a total of 30 vehicles, all of which were unique in their own way. Apart from vehicles, the company also produced a range of other items, including typewriters, bicycles, and motorcycles.

Auto Union AG

Auto Union logo
  • Years: 1932 – 1966
  • Headquarters: Chemnitz (1932-1948), Ingolstadt (1949-1968), Ingolstadt/Audi AG(1985-present)
  • Founder/Parent Company: Not Available
  • Website: Not Available

You can take a wild guess by observing the logo that the Auto Union is what we know as ‘Audi’ today! Had mind blown? Well, it’s true! The Auto Union was responsible for a number of popular vehicles during the early 1930s, but later it was acquired by Volkswagen and then evolved into Audi.


DKW logo
  • Years: 1928 – 1966
  • Headquarters: Saxony, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen
  • Website: Not Available

Take a wild guess again! Yes, as you can see from the picture above, DKW was an automobile manufacturer that merged with Auto Union AG. The company, before the merger, introduced its first steam car in 1919 and then later after merging with the Auto Union released its last car in 1966. Apart from automobiles, the company was also a famous manufacturer of motorcycles.


Borgward logo
  • Years: 1929 – 1961
  • Headquarters: Bremen, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Carl F. W. Borgward
  • Website: Not Available

Borgward was a popular German Automobile Manufacturer back in the late 30s. The company was established in Bremen and was quite successful for a long time. It was able to produce four separate car divisions, all of which were highly impressive. These included the Lloyd, Goliath, Hansa, and Bogward itself. The automobile manufacturer ended because of bankruptcy.

Eisenacher Motorenwerk(EMW)

Eisenacher logo
  • Years: 1945 – 1956
  • Headquarters: Eisenach, Germany
  • Founder/Parent Company: Not Available
  • Website: Not Available

Eisenacher Motorenwerk, often abbreviated as (EMW) was an East German Automobile manufacturing company. It was based in Eisenach and was popular for producing sports cars and formula one cars way back in the 1950s. The company also ended due to bankruptcy.

We hope you liked our compilation of the top german car brands names, companies list, and logos. We tried our best to include all the manufacturers, but if you find any missing ones or any errors please comment below to let us know. If you are interested, you can check out more car brands list organized by country.


About Liam Houghton

Liam has been an automotive enthusiast probably since birth and grew up restoring classic cars with his dad. He still remembers the exact moment when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and learned how it works. Also an avid racing fan, especially when it comes to Formula 1, Liam has contributed a unique blend of insight into both the classic car brands and sports car segments on GCB since joining the team in 2016. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.