Cluster Jul 29, 2015

Automotive in Bavaria: A long tradition to boost tomorrow's mobility

The automotive industry is Bavaria's highest-grossing industrial sector. The long tradition of that industry in Bavaria, powerful, world-famous brands and a unique research and training landscape make Bavaria one of the top international locations of the automotive sector.

Names like BMW, Audi or MAN are the figureheads of the Bavarian automotive industry, which employs 173,000 people in Bavaria alone, and which grossed a turnover of more than EUR 96 billion in 2011. There is a reason for this success. A close-meshed network of 1,100 component suppliers, dual apprenticeships, plus the eleven Bavarian universities and 17 universities of applied sciences ensure a constant supply of highly qualified staff and excellent automotive expertise. Add to this the close cooperation with research institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institutes, the iwb Anwenderzentrum Augsburg, the Neue Materialien Nordbayern competence centre or the Forschungsstelle Automobilwirtschaft, which all make an important contribution to the sector's innovative power.

Mobility is changing
But the future won’t wait. Customer expectations, market situations and society trends are undergoing changes to which manufacturers are forced to respond more and more quickly. With car sharing models, networked and smart vehicles, new drive technologies or alternative materials the Bavarian automotive industry works on shaping tomorrow’s individual mobility. In 2011, for example, BMW introduced a car sharing service on the market. Today, with more than 360,000 registered customers, this car company is the market leader in the segment - in all of Germany. The introduction in 2013 of the first series-produced vehicle with a passenger cabin made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic and an electric motor was another groundbreaking milestone for the Bavarian automotive sector that shows: electromobility is not a concept but a market-ready reality.

Scooters for the Silicon Valley

Mind you, it is not always the global players that set the trends of the sector, nor the revolutionary innovations that establish the success of Bavaria’s automotive industry. Many medium-sized enterprises have established themselves with enormous success in their respective niches in the wake of the big names and brands. Care for some examples? A modest-sized company in Munich, Govecs, has been developing and producing electric scooters since 2009. Now they have scored a big coup. Govecs has secured a cooperation agreement with the American mobility provider Scoot from San Francisco. Scoot is the world’s largest provider of station-independent e-scooter sharing services. The company is located in San Francisco, and thus quite close to Silicon Valley. Govecs will now supply a total of 150 e-scooters to the West coast, customised to Scoot’s requirements.
In Germany, too, scooter sharing is becoming a trend. The start-up scoo mobility provides the means for relaxed cruising through Munich Everywhere in the city, you find motor scooters that can be booked via an app and used - and it all works without a key. Of course, e-scooters are part of the vehicle fleet.
Internationality is also a big issue in the "BAIKA" network. Companies and institutions from the automotive sector are represented here. Using congresses, forums, symposiums and fairs, the network organises topic-specific exchanges between business and science. Furthermore, there are the clusters "Automotive" and "M.A.I. Carbon", joins two other networks that bring the automotive sector in Bavaria closer together.
Such advantages of the location, as well as the highly qualified staff, make Bavaria one of the most sought-after automobile regions in the whole of Europe.

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