For automotive engineering, the entire value chain is based in Greater Munich – from global players BMW, Audi and MAN to medium-sized suppliers and smaller companies

Automotive engineering in the Munich Metropolitan Region

BMW Group

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 2015, a total of roughly 197,000 people worked at 1,100 companies in the industry as a whole, generating revenue of EUR 102 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.

For more Munich industry details, please see the current Sector Information Automotive (pdf, 110 KB) , issued by Munich's Economic Development Unit.

In November 2013 a comprehensive study called Automotive engineering in the Munich Metropolitan Region was released (available in German only), 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.

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.


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.

As of 2015, the Munich City administration has implemented an action programme called IHFEM, to promote E-mobility in a number of ways. Until the end of this year, the city has allocated about 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.

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 ramping up its Research and Innovation Center FIZ  in Munich on a huge scale. The site is being expanded by as much as 26 hectares. When completed in 2019, around 5,000 additional employees will work here in innovative open-plan workspaces. Mainly engineers, designers, software development and IT specialists will cooperate to focus on electromobility, autonomous driving and digitization. 

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. From a few selected motorways, a section of the A9 is being 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. Transmission technology will be 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, until the end of this year sensor systems are being installed on the digital motorway test bed and should be operational.

Status: October, 2017

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