Hannover region – more than just VW
The Hannover region is the economic center of Lower Saxony. With Volkswagen AG from Wolfsburg, a global corporation comes from the region that has been shaping Germany as a business location for decades. But other industrial sectors as well as education, research and development also contribute to a broad-based labor market
Hannover: State capital and world-renowned trade fair location
The favorable location in the middle of Germany at the crossing points of the traffic routes from Berlin to the Ruhr area and from the north German ports to the south German commercial centers has favored the development of trade and industry for centuries. With its status as the state capital of Lower Saxony, Hannover is the seat of many authorities and institutions. With the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University and around 30,000 students, Hannover is also an important university city in the area of research and teaching.
In terms of the number of jobs, the automotive industry is of great importance in Hannover. Commercial vehicles have been built at the VW plant in Hannover since 1956. Another employer from the automotive sector is the listed Continental AG, which has developed from a pure tire manufacturer into an automotive supplier in recent decades. These two companies alone together have around 22,000 employees.
The other large companies bear witness to Hannover’s mix of industries. In addition to the construction machinery manufacturer Komatsu Hanomag, the tourism group TUI and the food manufacturer Bahlsen, there are a wide variety of companies in Hannover. The insurance industry is also represented by the VHV Group (leading German construction and credit insurer) and the listed Hannover Re (third largest reinsurance group in the world).
The exhibition center in Hannover is world-class. With a hall area of 392,453 m² and 24 halls, the exhibition center is the second largest exhibition center in the world after Shanghai. Every year, around 60 trade fairs attract more than a million visitors to the exhibition center. The highlight was the World Exhibition Expo 2000.
Industry mix in the Hannover region
The major cities in the Hannover region are economically structured in different ways.
In Braunschweig, the city with more than 1000 years of history, the automotive industry is still one of the most important branches of industry. Today, in addition to the VW factory built in 1938, there are numerous medium-sized suppliers in the city. In addition, the commercial vehicle holding company of the VW Group and Volkswagen Financial Services AG (including the VW Bank) have their headquarters in the city. Braunschweig is also the seat of a traditional Siemens AG plant, which is a world leader in railway automation. Braunschweig is attractive for the Siemens Mobility division because of the Technical University of Braunschweig and the branch of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Research foundations are created at the TU, and the DLR acts as a competence center for transport technology and aerodynamic research for the railway industry. Another company from the mobility sector, Bombardier Transportation, has one of its locations in Braunschweig.
Other companies represented in Braunschweig are Nordzucker AG (food manufacturer), New Yorker (global textile company) and the Westermann printing and publishing group.
The concentration of companies, authorities and research institutions in the field of mobility, especially aviation technology, air traffic safety, space travel and transport in Braunschweig is unusual. Above all, the Federal Aviation Office and the Federal Office for Aircraft Accident Investigation should be mentioned.
Anyone who associates Wolfsburg with Volkswagen AG is not entirely wrong. After all, Volkswagen AG is by far the largest employer, employing more than 50,000 people in Wolfsburg. The region’s economy is heavily geared towards the automotive industry thanks to the Volkswagen factory and the many suppliers in Wolfsburg. In a mutual initiative by VW and the city, this monostructure is to be dissolved in order not to be too vulnerable to crises in the automotive sector. Therefore, all those involved work together within the framework of a concept with the aim of developing a sustainable economic and employment perspective
Göttingen has made a name for itself as a university town. Around 30,000 students are enrolled at the Georg-August University. But Sartorius AG, a listed pharmaceutical and laboratory supplier, is also based in Goettingen. Also The Mahr Group is a German family-run group of companies in the field of production measurement technology, which is represented at several locations worldwide and is also based in Göttingen. Another family business is Friedrich Random GmbH & Co. KG, now a global logistics service provider with around 2,000 employees.
Salzgitter is characterized by a high proportion of large-scale industry in the city’s economy. Unsurprisingly, Salzgitter is the third largest industrial location in Lower Saxony. The Salzgitter Group is a listed steel group and consists of more than 100 individual companies with around 25,000 employees worldwide. The company is the fifth largest European manufacturer in the fields of flat and profile steel and, thanks to its subsidiary Mannesmannröhren-Werke, is one of the world leaders in the tube sector. The Volkswagen factory in Salzgitter has existed since 1969 and is the central location for engine production at Volkswagen AG. The nearly 7,000 employees in Salzgitter manufacture almost half of all Volkswagen engines. Around 160 different engine types are produced here, including for the brands Audi, Seat, Skoda and Bugatti. Other companies from the automotive sector based in Salzgitter include Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH (manufacture of control units for automotive technology) and MAN Truck&Bus AG (manufacture of components and kits for vehicle manufacturing plants). In rail transport, Alstom Transport Deutschland, a rail vehicle manufacturer, is represented in Salzgitter.
Logistics location in the Hannover region
The convenient location of the Hannover region has made it a preferred location for freight transport and logistics companies. The region is located at a motorway and railway junction and has an international airport that can handle air freight imports and exports worldwide. Due to this favorable location, companies such as VW Commercial Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz, arvato, Bahlsen and Amazon have settled their European and national distribution centers here. Important logistics companies in the region include DHL, Kühne and Nagel, DB Schenker, Dachser, UPS, TNT, Hellmann, Hermes, DPD, and Fiege.
In connection with the inland waterways, the Hannover region plays a leading role in seaport traffic, because the region has a connection to the European inland waterway network via the Mittelland Canal. There are four inland port locations that enable regular container and ro-ro traffic to the deep-sea ports and the use of large motorized cargo ships of up to 2,000 tons. These are the Container Terminal Hannover (CTH) in Nordhafen, the Rail Terminal Hannover (RTH) in Lindener Hafen and the DUSS Terminal in Linden. In intermodal transport, the marshalling yard in Seelze is one of the most modern marshalling yards in Europe, which is supplemented by the mega-hub facility in the freight traffic center in Lehrte.