Why are you interested in the automotive industry

Your entry into the automotive industry

Cars have always been your thing - but is that enough for a successful application? This article answers these and other questions about the industry as well as application, entry and career planning in the automotive industry.

The automotive industry is considered a key sector in Germany and one of the largest industries worldwide. In 2016 alone, the German automotive industry generated sales of 404.6 billion euros. The automotive industry achieved more than half of its sales abroad, making us Germans export masters. So it's no wonder that so many students and young professionals are interested in the automotive industry. If you are one of them, you have many competitors. You should therefore plan your entry strategically - preferably from the beginning.

Which degree suits the automotive industry best?

Sure, the automotive industry needs engineers - studying mechanical engineering or vehicle construction is therefore not a bad idea. But many other fields are also in demand, because the job profiles differ greatly in the automotive industry. You don't have to be an engineer to apply in the automotive industry. For example, Audi is constantly looking for academics from the following areas:

    • Research and Development
    • Production / logistics / planning
    • Controlling / Finance / Taxes / Customs
    • communication
    • Marketing / sales / product management
    • Revision / law / patent system
    • Quality management / quality assurance
    • Human resources / education
    • procurement
    • IT / organizational development

But it is not only the subject that is decisive - the degree also plays an important role, according to studies. Accordingly, it is worthwhile to add a master’s degree after completing a bachelor’s degree, because over 90 percent of employers in the automotive industry prefer master’s graduates. But that does not mean that you can only gain your first work experience after completing your master’s degree.

When does it make sense to enter the automotive industry?

Basically: As early as possible. Beginners and trainees in particular are expected to have a sound understanding of their careers. This applies to both past and future areas of responsibility. In order to be able to cope with these requirements, applicants need industry-specific experience through internships and a corresponding profile. Even as a student, you should therefore have an answer to this question: How do you imagine your career? Because even during your studies you can work on your successful application in the automotive industry. You should gain experience, choose the right specializations, network and carefully consider the topic of your master’s thesis:

1. Gather first experience in the Bachelor's degree

Try to get to know companies now and complete as many internships as possible. In this way you can determine whether the automotive industry is really the right industry for you and which topics are of particular interest to you. And if you are already at the company, then ask the industry insiders your questions. Many will be willing to report on their everyday life and tell you something about their professional careers. The internships and information will surely help you to choose your future majors.

2. Correct choice of major subjects and networks

Ideally, you already know which subjects you want to specialize in at the beginning of your main course. You shouldn't leave your choice to chance, because wrong emphases are not an absolute exclusion criterion in the automotive industry, but they can slow it down. In turn, you should combine the focal points with appropriate internships - you might even complete an internship abroad as part of your master’s degree, because after all, the automotive industry is very international. And since many internships, theses and other jobs are given out secretly, it is already worthwhile to maintain contact with former colleagues and fellow students. Too many underestimate the power of a network and miss out on important career opportunities.

3. Arouse interest with the topic of the master's thesis

It is best to choose a topic that fits your specialization, your résumé and your interests. The thesis is a popular topic in job interviews, especially among young professionals. You might even want to take the opportunity to gain further insights into everyday company life and write your thesis directly in the company.

Find the right company for entry into the automotive industry:

The automotive industry is a heterogeneous market - anyone who wants to get into the automotive industry usually decides to work for manufacturers or suppliers. But other companies are also participating in the mobile market. Here is a brief overview:

  • Manufacturers produce motor vehicles and engines, trailers and containers as well as vehicle parts and accessories.
  • Suppliers come, for example, from the textile, electronic and chemical industries as well as from the mechanical engineering and iron industries.
  • Service providers in the automotive industry are engineering service providers, management consultancies, freight forwarders and transport companies
  • In addition to private individuals, customers are primarily dealers, workshops, petrol stations, car rental companies and the taxi industry
  • Banks, insurance companies and authorities are also involved in the mobile market

Experience reports on the automotive industry

Do you want to find out more? Squeaker share their personal insights into the automotive industry with you in field reports. And if you already have some experience, you can write your own report and support others with your experience. And if you have any further questions, just ask competitors and industry insiders in our forum.

Apply to manufacturers or suppliers?

Many applicants put themselves under unnecessary pressure with this question. Joining an automobile manufacturer seems to be associated with more prestige among young talents than with a supplier, but this has more emotional than rational reasons. Most executives in the automotive industry, on the other hand, have worked for both manufacturers and system suppliers and recommend that you gain experience with both. In addition to companies, engineering service providers also offer interesting career opportunities. There, young engineers gain experience with several automobile manufacturers within a short period of time. It should be noted that where you start your automotive career does not determine your later entry or promotion opportunities. It doesn't really matter in the end. It is more important to start internships as early as possible.

These manufacturers and suppliers are potential employers

These automakers have been loudstatista most market shares in the car market in the EU:

  1. Volkswagen Group
  2. Renault group
  3. PSA group
  4. ford
  5. BMW Group
  6. Opel Group
  7. Fiat-Chrysler Group
  8. Daimler
  9. Toyota Group
  10. Nissan

These automotive suppliers are generating loudlystatistamost sales

  1. Bosch
  2. Continental
  3. Denso
  4. Magna
  5. Hyundai Mobis
  6. ZF Friedrichshafen
  7. Aisin
  8. Bridgestonr / Firestone
  9. Johnson Controls
  10. Michelin