Germany: the shop window for the worldwide rail industry
11 April 2014 • Author(s): Ronald Pörner, Managing Director, German Railway Industry Association (VDB)
The German Railway Industry Association (VDB) purposefully and emphatically represents the interests of German railway technology manufacturers, thus contributing to the dynamics of the worldwide rail industry. The branch is very established in the international business arena with an export ratio of approximately 50%. Whether for rolling stock, rail infrastructure or communication technology – German railway manufacturers contribute to the climate- and environmentally-friendly aspects of rail transportation spanning all five continents. In Germany alone, the more than 170 VDB member companies with their above 50,000 employees achieved a turnover in 2012 of nearly €11 billion.
The German railway industry is one of the most dynamic and innovative industries in Germany. The sector develops and produces a wide range of globally leading railway technology which includes high-speed trainsets, locomotives, regional trains, wagons, metros, city railways and trams, fully-automated underground railways, track systems and electrification, control and safety systems, electrical and mechanical equipment for rail vehicles, information and communication technology, telematics systems for intermodal networking of transport carriers, turnkey systems as well as various railway-engineering components. The German railway industry is essentially characterised by the cooperation of system houses and a broadly positioned medium-sized supplying and system industry. Several efficient system houses emerged from the intensive concentration process within the railway industry in the 1990s. These companies deliver their vehicles and products to railway operators all over the world. Each of them is able to provide an entire turnkey railway system. These system houses are the technology and market leaders in the worldwide railway industry.