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Photo Courtesy Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 3.0




Established: 1158

Overall area: 310.4 km2

Population: 1,378,000



Area: N/A (0.5 km2 for BMW plant)

Program: Auto Assembly

Urban form: Industrial areas are tightly integrated with other land uses

Industrial typologies: varies

Largest employers: BMW Werk Munich (10,000 employees)

Known for its electronics and advanced manufacturing, Munich is one of Germany’s leading manufacturing regions, supporting a diverse range of industrial activities ranging from small crafts to innovative service and high-tech assembly.


One of the city’s most notable manufacturing plants, BMW Werk Munich, opened in the 1920s, originally to produce aircraft engines and power units. The site was rural land, and the surrounding area remained undeveloped until after the Second World War when the city expanded and the plant gradually became delimited by housing and commercial developments.


This pattern would change following 1972 when the Munich Olympic Park opened to the west of the factory, forming the final boundary for the site. Since then, the plant has expanded vertically rather than horizontally


This diagram illustrates the combined area of the BMW plant and its neighboring industrial districts. Over the course of four decades residential and commercial area have gradually grown around the factory.


Today the campus is located south of a major train station and within a 15-minute drive of downtown Munich. Smaller manufacturing and related facilities surround the BMW plant. Their uses vary from automobile-to service-related firms.


More than 50% of the vehicles assembled in this location are shipped by rail. Major arterial and collector roads also surround the site. However, a significant portion of the manufactured vehicles is directly delivered to the individual customers on site, which reduces the facility’s reliance on infrastructure.


Furthermore, 60% of the vehicles are manufactured on demand (just-in-time production), which reduces the need for excessive storage space. Due to the facility’s spatial constraints, the plant utilizes a multi-level underground storage system instead of using exterior parking lots commonly found outside of auto assembly plants. The internal circulation system of the production line is also multi-layered making the best use of limited space. 

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