The electrical engineering and electronics industry is multi-faceted. It produces not only electrical appliances, consumer electronics and lighting technology, but is also home to cutting-edge technology industries such as nano technology and chip production. The electrical engineering industry mostly consists of small and medium-sized companies. The industry’s product portfolio is both very broad and extremely dynamic, generating a third of its revenues with new products and innovations. More than 180.000 engineers work for the German electrical industry.
Export as a growth driver
In terms of employment, the electrical engineering industry is Germany’s second largest industrial branch, generating revenues of €178 billion in 2015. The production in 2015 increased by 1.4 percent compared to the previous year. In this context, foreign trade is extremely important. In 2015, export volumes accounted for €174 billion, of which two thirds were shipped to industrial nations. However, newly industrialised countries have also discovered the value of German electrical products, and the share of export to these countries has experienced considerable growth in the last few years, most recently increasing by 6 percent compared to the year before.
Research: looking towards the future
Particular in the emerging markets of Asia and South America, energy efficiency is an important aspect of technology which is relevant for both business and environmental reasons. German companies have considerable research competence in this area. Every year, the German electrical industry invests a total of €15 billion in research and development and offers employment for 846,000 experts in this field. Furthermore, the innovation spirit of the sector shows in the high number of patent applications, which add up to some 13,000 each year.