Audi in the Werksviertel district: on the road to sustainable mobility

Sharing instead of owning: in Munich’s trendy Werksviertel-Mitte district, Audi is developing the mobility of the future. The “Audi on demand” service is just the beginning of an ambitious vision for mobility and a new Audi ecosystem.

11/26/2019 Reading Time: 3 min

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

The Munich Werksviertel district, also known as the factory district, is proving to be the urban district of the future. It offers spaces for cultural activities, living, working, and going out — all with an industrial flair, and all sustainable and innovative. The shared goal of the “settlers” — as the renters here are called — is access to networked, digital, sustainable mobility. And Audi is a strong proponent of sustainable mobility. What’s going on in the Werksviertel district is “extremely passionate and extremely visionary,” says Horst Hanschur, Head of Sales Strategy and Business Development at Audi. “This is how we imagine the cities of the future. The people living here are young urbanites with very typical mobility needs, as well as B2B customers who are traveling for business and want to live sustainably.”

That makes it a perfect ecosystem for Audi to test out new digital and sustainable mobility offerings and develop an innovation hub. And it makes Audi Business Innovation (ABI), a subsidiary of AUDI AG that develops mobility services and digital business models, an ideal new “settler.” Audi on demand is the first of many innovative projects planned by Audi departments in the Werksviertel district.

History of the Werksviertel-Mitte district: Once a potato factory. Once a party district. Now the district of the future.

The area belongs to the family of Werner Eckart, heir to the Pfanni food manufacturing company. Up until the 1990s, Pfanni employees processed potatoes in the Werksviertel district — for mashed potato mix, for example. After that, Munich’s residents danced and partied there in clubs that have since become legendary — and since 2017 the Werksviertel-Mitte district has been located there.

The new concept unites the entire history of the Munich district: the industrial charm of the Pfanni factory is omnipresent in the container buildings. On top of that, visitors can enjoy numerous cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Werner Eckart designed the “settler” concept, with which he wanted to establish a community that makes shared decisions and works together to realize projects — innovatively and sustainably.

Audi e-tron in the pop-up store

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Networked and customer-oriented: Audi on demand

exterior view of the Audi pop-up store

An innovative pop-up store in WERK 3 in the Werkviertel district has been open to visitors since November 25, 2019. There, Audi provides information about electric mobility and offers the Audi on demand service — a mobility concept that allows users to rent an Audi for anywhere from 1 day to 28 days. You might call it “mobility on demand with Audi premium service.”

With this service, Audi is making itself more accessible and thinking in terms of user needs: in the future, owning a car won’t matter — mobility itself will. And that is reflected in the store’s concept, as well. Over a period of two years, multiple car manufacturers will present themselves, one after the other, giving customers a consistently unique experience. Audi will start things off, followed by Seat and VW. “We are excited that we will be the first to offer mobility as a service in the Werksviertel district with an all-electric premium product like the Audi e-tron,” explains Hanschur.

App Audi on demand on smartphone
Audi on demand: customers can rent the Audi of their choice using an app.

The newly developed app MOBIKO is compatible with the Audi on demand service. This allows employers to make a flexible, digital mobility budget available to their employees — both for their commute and their leisure time — as a benefit.

Driving the vision forward as “settlers”: a digital fleet

For Audi and ABI, Audi on demand and MOBIKO are building blocks of their mobility vision for the Werksviertel-Mitte: a shared digital fleet. Nico Gropper, Head of Business Innovation at ABI, explains why: “The number of cars, and the subsequent lack of space in a major city, is becoming more and more of a problem. So we need to react by offering new, sustainable, urban solutions that make life in the city better.” The idea: Intelligent fleet usage ensures that there are fewer cars on the road in the inner city and that there are more parking spots available. This creates more urban space overall. At the same time, Audi wants to make electric mobility more accessible to the “settlers” in the Werksviertel district.

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Mobility is a key component of urban development


time the average Los Angeles commuter spends stuck in traffic each year


of urban traffic results from the search for a parking space


of global CO2 emissions are produced in cities

The Werksviertel community: improving sustainability together

With the Werksviertel’s culture of “open feedback,” Audi hopes to collect valuable feedback about the mobility of the future and how they should design it so that everyone can profit. The community has a clear opinion on the subject: they want limited parking spaces in the area so that the “settlers” and visitors have more space. And, above all, everything should be wheelchair accessible — so that everyone has access to mobility. “The chance to have an open discussion, to offer mutual help, to evaluate and improve the products from both perspectives, and to continue developing them — it’s absolutely unique. I am sure that it will help us to realize certain developmental leaps more quickly,” Hanschur says with enthusiasm.

For Audi, the Werksviertel district is a place where many different target groups overlap and where many different mobility scenarios can be found. Commuters, renters, hotel guests, concert visitors — they are all mobile, and they all want to get from A to B. Audi wants to make that happen in a way that is intelligent, networked, and sustainable. “The special laboratory situation there is very exciting — we want to see how a new mobility service works and what the demand is like,” Hanschur explains.

Audi in the Werksviertel district: designing the city of the future in miniature

In the future, Audi will be even closer to the innovative spirit of the Werksviertel district. At the end of November, Audi Business Innovation will be moving into a modern office space on the premises. And a creative Audi team of designers, retail, and mobility experts will join them. Lisa Füting, project manager for ABI, explains the decision: “As ‘settlers,’ we have the unique chance to influence the design of an exciting district of the future and to bring people in closer contact with our vision for mobility. The arrangement benefits everyone involved, so we can design the world of tomorrow more sustainably.”

Climate event KlimaHerbst 2019: Audi introduces itself to the Werksviertel district

As part of the Munich “KlimaHerbst” in 2019, the city of Munich introduced Audi to the “settlers” as part of their future vision. Lisa Füting, Project Lead for the Werksviertel district at Audi Business Innovation, as well as Katharina Schneider, Project Lead for Commercial E-mobility at Audi AG, Nicolai Gropper, Head of Business Innovation at ABI, Robert Steinböck of MOON, a VW corporate department providing electric mobility systems, and Thomas Liebhardt of the Werksviertel-Mitte district were part of the project.

Füting shows her excitement at the event: “The Werksviertel district gives us the perfect conditions to create a sort of test laboratory where we can learn and develop an integrated mobility offering for the “settlers” in close collaboration with them.


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