With more than 53,000 employees and sales of €16 billion, the automotive sector is one of the key industries in Hessen. Certainly, the state's most well-known carmaker is Opel in Rüsselsheim, which has one of the world's most cutting edge production facilities which outputs around 150,000 cars annually. In the Kassel area, both Daimler and Volkswagen have production facilities, as well as the automotive component and logistics center of the entire VW Corporation. Many suppliers, such as Continental, Veritas and Bosch are also located in Hessen.
Companies such as Seat and Ferrari have located their German headquarters in Hessen. The export share of the Hessen automotive branch is more than 50 % or €8.1 billion. The hessian automobile production is strongly internationally oriented. The USA is one of the largest foreign investors, but Hessen is also home to companies from abroad. Numerous Asian carmakers also have their sales, logistics and R&D centers in Hessen.
Research and development plays a central role for innovation in the automotive branch. It is not surprising that the total R&D expenditure of Hessen's automotive sector totaled €1.7 billion in 2015. This corresponds to a 37.6 % share of Hessen's industry - first among the sectors.
Numerous international car makers have located their research and development centers in Hessen, for example Honda, Hyundai and Kia in Offenbach, Frankfurt and Rüsselsheim, Isuzu and Brilliance/Shenhua in Ginsheim-Gustavsburg, Mazda in Oberursel and Suzuki in Bensheim.
The automotive companies in Hessen offer a diverse range of jobs and career perspectives. Thanks to the highly-regarded technical universities in Hessen which offer academic programs in engineering, mechanical engineering and process technology, there are certainly enough highly-trained young professionals in the workforce.
Around 5,800 graduates annually complete studies in these disciplines. In addition, Hessen companies in the automotive sector train another 2,500 people annually in company-specific trainee programs and many more are trained at numerous supply companies.