NORTHWESTERN GERMANY IS AN AUTO REGION
In few other regions of Germany is the automobile industry as deeply rooted as it is in the Northwest. In addition to Daimler and VW’s large manufacturing plants and numerous automobile suppliers, the seaports in Bremen and northwest Lower Saxony are of particular importance. The harbor areas host a major part of the automobile handling of German manufactured cars. In 2014 approximately 1.31 million vehicles were handled in the Emden harbor and approximately 2.27 million vehicles in the Bremerhaven harbor, meaning that two-thirds of the 5.6 million vehicles manufactured in Germany were exported through Northwest Germany to other parts of the world. Furthermore, the products and services necessary for vehicle packing and retrofitting create additional added value for the region.
According to a study by the Jade University of Applied Sciences the automobile industry in Northwestern Germany provides jobs to over 95,000 workers. It is one of the core industries of the region next to the agriculture and food industry, maritime industries, and the air and space industry.
Nearly everything that is necessary for vehicle manufacturing is produced within the region surrounding the manufacturing plants. However it is not the quantity produced within the region but rather the know-how concentrated in the Northwest of Germany that is transported to the rest of the world. The Daimler manufacturing plant in Bremen and the Volkswagen manufacturing plant in Emden are primarily responsible for the production of certain models. This responsibility means that the vehicle production that takes place in plants on other continents are coordinated and led by the manufacturers here in the Northwest. Furthermore, workers from companies all over the world come to Northwest Germany to be trained by our region’s experts.
THE INDUSTRY NETWORK: AUTOMOTIVE NORDWEST
With the aim of bringing together the numerous businesses and organizations within and intersecting with the automobile industry, the cluster Automotive Nordwest of the metropolitan region of Northwestern Germany was founded in 2008 and officially became a registered association in 2009. The cluster’s sphere of activity includes, but is not limited to the entire Northwest of Lower Saxony and the state of Bremen. Between 2011 and 2014 the association received funding from the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen, the Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg (Metropolregion Nordwest), and the European Union’s ERDF program. However since 2014 the cluster has been funded almost entirely by the membership fees.
One of the network’s goals is to increase the degree of prominence of the Northwest of Germany as a center of competence. According to the cluster’s mission statement, “The cluster displays the regional automobile sector’s capabilities and significance to the rest of the world and acts as a point of contact between the industry, politics, the press, and other automotive networks within Germany and the rest of Europe.”
The network also seeks to actively participate in the development of megatrends and to ensure that they are taken into account and addressed in the further development of the region. Last but not least, the cluster Automotive Nordwest supports cooperation between the network members as well as contact with other sectors, which often lead to developments and ideas that are mutually beneficial.