More than 400,000 cars are manufactured every year in "Autoland" Austria. The foreign automotives market have high regards for Austrian manufacturers and suppliers.

Austria is dominated by car producers

The automotive industry ranks among the most important sectors in Austria, the “land of cars“. The most common branches of the economy include the tyre, electrical, steel, leather, carpet, and rubber foam industries, but also battery and plastics manufacturing, metal processing (aluminum), engines, high-tech electronics (car entertainment and audio systems) as well as gear and drive components manufacturing. The domestic industry accounts for a good 10 per cent of Austria´s industrial performance.

Every year, Austria produces more than 400,000 cars. In 2010 the turnover amounted to a total of EUR 11,648 million. In 2008 the profit generated by the sale of the produced goods amounted to: EUR 11.41 billion, in 2009 to: EUR 8.37 billion, and in 2010 to: EUR 10.44 billion. The number of people employed in the automotive industry was in 2008 at: 28,890, in 2009 at: 26,336, and in 2010 at: 24,982 (cf. Statistik Austria).

The major players of Austria´s automotive industry are BMW, Fiat, General Motors (Saab), Magna, and MAN (utility vehicles). The growing significance of the sector enhances the international car companies´ willingness to invest to a remarkable extent.

The global players BMW and Magna represent the most common investors in the Austrian automotive sector standing out especially because their ongoing expansion. With the manufacturing of engines in the on-site engine competence and development center located in Steyr, BMW and Magna make a substantial contribution to Austria´s automotive industry. In 2010 Austria recorded more than 328,563 new car registrations (Statistik Austria). In April 2011, the number of newly registered cars in Austria was already at a whopping 46,793 making up an increase of 2.4 per cent when compared to the previous month (cf. Austria Presse Agentur, The most important customers from abroad include: Daimler, Audi, and Volkswagen (VW). An upward trend can be noticed in the sales of SUVs such as the RAV 4 by Toyota. Utility vehicles like trucks, buses, lorries, vans, and transporters are also well worth mentioning. The Austrian manufacturers and export companies include MAN, DAF Austria, IVECO, LIAZ, SCANIA and many more. Other than the new registrations of cars, the number of HGVs remained on the same level; the latter dropped by -0.1 per cent compared with the same month of the previous year. (cf. Austria Presse Agentur,

Export on the upswing 

The automotive industry takes a crucial role when it comes to the export. Compared to 2010, the first half year of 2011 turns out to be more successful for the Austrian foreign trade as is shown by increasing export figures. Year by year the export of machinery and vehicles has been constantly on the rise and amounted in 2008 to: +EUR 46 million, in 2009 to: +EUR 35 million, in 2010 to: +EUR 41 million and in the first half year of 2011 (Jan. – June) up to +EUR 23 million. The differences to the previous period amount, expressed as a percentage, in 2008 to: -2.1 per cent, in 2009 to: 24.3 per cent, in 2010 to: 17.2 per cent (Jan.-Dec.) and to 14.2 per cent (Jan.-June), and in 2011 to: 18 percent (Jan.-June) (cf. Statistik Austria).

The export quota of the individual sectors amount as follows: In 2010 manufacturers of cars and car components rank on the top position with 89.2 per cent followed by other domains of automotive engineering with 76.6 per cent (Statistik Austria). Hence the lion´s share of the domestic export can be attributed to the car component industry. The “Golden East” is booming like never before which is much to the pleasure of the car suppliers, as domestic car companies produce merely a quarter at their production sites. Austria´s supplier industry, which is primarily made up of medium-sized companies, registered a dramatic increase in the sales and turnover figures. The most common suppliers in Austria are: voestalpine motion, KTM, MIBA AG, FAAC, AVL List, Alutech GmbH, AMC, EMCO, EYBL-Konzern, Pankl Racing Systems, etc. Austria´s automotive industry exhibits an export quota of +87 per cent corresponding to a volume of more than EUR 11 billion (cf. Statistik Austria).

Top grade for automotive engineering in Austria

In conclusion, it should be mentioned that the domestic car engineers and suppliers are highly acclaimed by the foreign automotive market. Especially the states Upper Austria/Steyr (BMW and MAGNA, KTM), Vienna (General Motors, MAN, SCANIA), Graz (MAGNA), and Salzburg (Porsche/Holding) come off pretty well. It´s the Austrian expertise, the brilliant engineers and their technologies that make the country stand out from others. The Austrian automotive industry enjoys an excellent reputation in the sector and is internationally renowned for its great innovative energy and investment strength that is complemented with the continuous advancement in the domain of research and development.

Additional sources: Bauzeitung 2011:, Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag: Fischer-Weltalmanach. Zahlen-Daten-Fakten, 1960 ff.
Editorial department: Mag. Markus Pellischek-Wilsdorf