The 10 Biggest European Companies

The biggest European companies are world-class players in the energy, automotive, and banking industries. Many of these are tied to countries such as the UK, Russia, Germany, and The Netherlands.

Most of the companies on the list are involved in the oil and gas world. It’s here that you will find most of the state-owned companies on the list as many are key strategic companies in their countries.

But several companies on the list are from the automotive world. These car manufacturers have been recognized around the world. They now have hundreds of products plants all over the world.

As with all of these big European companies, you can easily consider them as international players rather than being national companies.

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10. Daimler

Daimler is a German company that owns Mercedes Benz. The groups make cars and buses and it has been independent for much of its history. Daimler production facilities are now seen around the world.

Some of its largest production plants include Beijing (8.800 employees), Dusseldorf (6.500 employees), Sindelfingen (26.000 employees), and Stuttgart (17.000 employees). Notable Daimler vehicles include the Mercedes S Class, the Mercedes GL Class, and the Mercedes C-Class.

9. ING

ING is a Dutch company in the banking sector. It holds an important European and global role in financial services. These include individual and business loans as well as financial transactions.

Today, ING is present in countries such as Germany, France, Australia, and the USA. ING was established in 1991 as a result of merging companies. Today, it’s a recognized financial player in Europe, North America, Oceania, South America, and Asia.

8. Eni

Image: Facebook / Eni

Eni is an Italian energy company involved in the production and distribution of petroleum and gas products.

It has recently reduced its Eastern European presence. But the company still has large exploitation rights in areas such as South Africa.

7. E.ON

Image: Wikimedia / Holger.Ellgaard

E.ON is a large Essen-based company known for its electric and gas power role. Its role as a distributor of electricity and gas is rather new since the company has only been in operation for about 2 decades.

However, it follows in the footsteps of VEBA, a German state-owned energy company. Today, E.ON is present in many countries as an energy distributor and it is also known for running its nuclear plants.

6. Gazprom

Gazprom is one of the largest players in the oil and gas world. It is known for its role in natural gas, crude oil, and condensate producer. Its major basin of exploration is the Asian part of Russia.

The company was initially state-owned. But it then went on to have its chairman for a few years since 1992. Under the Putin administration, the company has been slowly getting back under state influence.

Gazprom has also started to invest abroad. Many of the company’s assets have been tied to a national presence. But over the years, Gazprom has shown interest in foreign investments such as those in Ukraine or neighboring China.

While most of its assets are in areas with no population, Gazprom is now run from its modern Saint Petersburg headquarters. It’s here that the company decided to sign various sponsorship deals, particularly in football or in the sports world in general.

5. Glencore

Image: Glencore

Involved in the mining and trading of commodities, the Swiss-British Glencore companies is the 5th largest in Europe. It has been known for its mining operations around the world.

But its vast impact on the extraction of commodities is seen in countries such as Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Zambia, and Colombia.

4. Volkswagen

Volkswagen is one of the largest automotive manufacturing companies in Europe and the world. It has grown considerably over the past 4-5 decades being named as the best manufacturer in the automotive world by multiple magazines and events.

Today, Volkswagen sells its cars and cars of other brands that it owns. This includes Porsche, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Bentley, and Bugatti. It also owns Ducati, a top brand in the motorcycle world. Volkswagen also owns truck companies such as Scania, MAN, and Traton.

The company is known for making one of the most popular cars in history, the Volkswagen Golf. Tens of millions of these cars have been sold around the world. Most recently, Volkswagen has been in the spotlight of media attention with its emissions scandal.

This scandal has shown some of its vehicles were responsible for higher pollution results than claimed. Since then, the company has managed to address these problems and to produce cars according to international standards.

3. Total

Image: Total

It’s estimated that Total’s revenue was $200 million in 2019. The company extracts and sells petroleum products. It has subsidiaries around the world and it owns about 25% of the extractions contracts in the Middle East.

The company also has its Total gas stations. It has also been involved in various rally sponsorship deals.

2. British Petroleum

British Petroleum is a London-based company that extracts and distributes crude oil and petroleum products. It has been one of the major companies in the oil and gas world over the years.

It’s estimated that it’s the world’s 6th largest oil producer. British Petroleum creates thousands of jobs in many countries. But it also has its share of conflicts and political influence such as with the 1954 Oman War.

1. Shell

Shell is a Dutch-British company directly involved in the production of oil and gas. It has been one of the leaders in this field for decades. The company is now headquartered in The Netherlands.

But it is registered as a British company. It is estimated that it has a yearly revenue of $484 million. Today, the company has multiple oil platforms both in Europe and around the world.

The biggest companies in Europe were established decades ago. Many of them started as state-owned companies. But some of these now have subsidiaries around the world. Shell is no exception. It has a wide presence in areas rich in oil and gas.