Logo of the City of Munich Landeshauptstadt München


Automobilindustrie  Link öffnet eine vergrößerte Darstellung des Bildes.
© BMW Group

Automotive engineering in the Munich Metropolitan Region

In terms of turnover and the number of employees, automotive engineering is the single most important branch of industry in the Munich Metropolitan Region. Key strengths here are the geographical concentration of OEMs, suppliers, universities and research.

The City of Munich and the Munich Metropolitan Region are home to international automotive groups. Two OEMs with a global footprint – the BMW Group and commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN (part of the Volkswagen Group) – are headquartered here. These firms are complemented by a large number of suppliers and other service providers such as Knorr-Bremse, Osram, iwis, Webasto, Infineon and ESG. Close geographical proximity to Ingolstadt, where Audi AG is based, further enlarges this sizable cluster.

50,000 people in Munich are employed in automotive engineering. In 2014, a total of roughly 186,000 people worked at 1,100 companies in the industry as a whole, generating revenue of EUR 110 billion (data provided by Invest in Bavaria). Automotive companies based in the Munich region account for roughly 80% of the automotive revenues realized in Bavaria as a whole. Every fourth German car is made in Bavaria.

The study EMM 2013 Automotive engineering in the Munich Metropolitan Region was released in November 2013. It had been commissioned by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria, the Munich Department of Labor and Economic Development and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the Swabian region. According to the study, the industry is upbeat about the future: Three quarters of companies expect their revenue to increase further in the years ahead.

Research into innovative mobility

What do people want mobility to look like in the future? The innovative prowess of Munich's automotive industry is reinforced by deep integration in the wealth of research capabilities afforded by the city's universities and non-university establishments. A total of 28 institutes of higher education in Bavaria lay a firm foundation for research and development. Many of them also teach automotive-specific courses, while the Technical University of Munich operates a Science Center for Electromobility.

To satisfy future requirements, BMW is planning to ramp up its FIZ Innovation Center in Munich on a huge scale (FIZ Future 2050). The site is to be expanded by as much as 80 percent and several thousand new jobs are to be created here in the long term, including experts from a variety of R&D disciplines.

Automotive cluster

The automotive cluster is intensifying collaboration between corporates and research organizations with the aim of making the Bavarian economy even more innovative. Members are receiving support for joint research projects and the acquisition of funding. The work of the Baika network, which organized events covering a broad spectrum of topics for small and medium-sized companies, has been subsumed under this effort.

Elektromobilität  Link öffnet eine vergrößerte Darstellung des Bildes.
© Peshkova /


Germany's Federal Ministry of Transportation has singled out Munich as one of eight model regions for electromobility around the country. Regional activities are coordinated by utility company Stadtwerke München (SWM). Under the aegis of the model region, SWM, Siemens and the BMW Group have together launched a pilot project to test electric vehicles and establish a grid of charging stations around the city.

In May 2015, the Munich City Council passed a resolution for an action programme called IHFEM, to promote E-mobility. In the near future, the city will invest 30 million euros to boost electric vehicles and infrastructure for E-mobility in Munich.

Munich-based Cirrantic has developed an app that calculates the charge required by e cars.

Autonomous driving

The German government's digital motorway test bed project targets smoother and safer traffic flows in the future. BMW, Audi and Siemens are working together on the project. The objective is for a section of the A9 motorway to be digitized and fitted with the technology needed to enable driver assistance systems and, later, fully automated vehicles to be tested. The project focuses on car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication, i.e. the exchange of information between vehicles and with the road environment. Wheel sensors fitted to cars will measure traffic density, speed and distance. The A9 motorway itself will warn drivers of wet patches, black ice and obstacles on the road. All this will be made possible by cutting-edge transmission technology based on the 5G mobile standard. Compared to the current LTE standard, 5G boasts a broader bandwidth and the faster data transmission that is needed to transfer data in real time. At the same time, harmonized road signs and clearly visible lanes will be put in place to upgrade the motorway surface.

In phase one of the project, about ten wheel sensor systems are being installed on the digital motorway test bed and should be operational in 2017.

Status: August, 2016