Stationary traffic at the IAA Mobility venue Munich

Munich as mobility hotspot in Germany 


The International Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung / IAA) has left its long-time location in Frankfurt and is now at the mobility hotspot Munich. The IAA is now rebranded to IAA Mobility and is a showcase for all facets of mobility. The new concept of the IAA Mobility sees itself as a platform for mobility and no longer as a trade fair. The shift to Munich reflects the growing importance of Munich as a location for mobility innovations. Munich, as the home city of renowned car manufacturers, technology companies and start-ups in the mobility sector, offers the ideal platform for the presentation and discussion of forward-looking concepts.  

As part of this, we sat down with parking facility operators who manage and own parking garages, mobility hubs or parking areas in and around Munich. Stationary traffic, i.e., parking, is often forgotten when it comes to the topic of tomorrow's mobility. The interviewed operators are big players in the parking industry and important trendsetters when it comes to innovation and ideas. 

Known for their smart billboards and their smart parking facilities – Park One GmbH is one of the fastest growing companies in Germany as well as in Europe. Park One has been in existence for ten years. With 34 locations throughout Germany, they are no longer a small player. On their website, they have even published online video parking workshops that give valuable tips on parking, which brings us back to the topic of smart advertising. 

Parkwerk GmbH is located in the urban creative district Werksviertel-Mitte. The neighborhood offers visitors a place for art, social engagement and entertainment. There are three different parking facilities to discover, sometimes they even become part of an art exhibition. 

We wanted to find out more about how the parking operators position themselves in Munich's mobility structure and how they have used the attention around the IAA Mobility for their own development. 

A look at the visions of leading parking operators 

  1. How do you assess the current mobility landscape in Munich? Given the variety of transport options, from traditional vehicles to e-scooters and ride sharing services, how do you perceive the changing mobility landscape? 

    Parkwerk: The offer in the Munich Metropolitan Region is particularly varied. Networking is advancing from year to year and new ideas are making it easier and easier to switch between the different forms of mobility. In general, the mobility landscape has been in a constant state of change since the 19th century. This change is not only necessary because of the global impact of transport, but also because of the local impact. Munich was once again the city with the most traffic jams in Germany in 2022. Therefore, new approaches need to be found to realise the potential in terms of speed and determination. 

    Park One: For Munich residents, there are more and more alternatives to getting around by car. I think the efforts to create more space for quality of life in the cityscape, for example by introducing greenery, outdoor gastronomy, playgrounds, public transport and areas for cyclists and scooter riders, are excellent. There will also come a time when car-sharing, ride-hailing and similar concepts will prove beneficial for customers and operators. It is also very likely that one day the number of car registrations will no longer increase. We offer sufficient space for parking and charging in our garages, for all those who will continue to rely on their own car in the future, be it an electric or a petrol vehicle. 
  2. Munich is an important location for mobility innovations. What expectations did you have of the IAA Mobility in terms of increasing regional mobility innovations? 

    Park One: In my point of view it makes a lot of sense that the format of the IAA Mobility takes place in the middle of the city and in the middle of the mobility problems. In this way, alternative forms of mobility to the car can be brought to the forefront. 

    It is to be hoped that this will also soften some of the fronts that could be observed at the IAA Mobility in Munich. In the end of the day, all those involved – city planners, mobility providers, car manufacturers and parking facility operators – want the same thing: an even more liveable city on the way to climate neutrality. 

    Parkwerk: The IAA Mobility should show possibilities to the political landscape in Munich. In this way, it can pursue a clear line more quickly and courageously. Consistent implementation of legal requirements and sound policies is very important. Only in this way the innovations at the IAA Mobility will have the chance to make all road users think and to change mobility in a sustainable way. 

  3. Parking facilities can sometimes be the scene of unexpected events. What was the most curious thing that happened in one of your parking facilities? 

    Parkwerk: There are many anecdotes. The fire alarm caused by a too-thick joint, the automatic vehicle that drives itself through the barriers and the abandoned takings of a nightclub right next to the cash machine are just some of the highlights we experienced. 

    Park One: The worst event that has happened to us in the past 15 years with more than 100,000 monthly parking operations was the theft of skis from the unlocked car ski rack of one of our customers. But we have also experienced many positive curiosities, from art exhibitions in underground garages to company parties on parking decks. 

  4. IAA Mobility attracted a wide range of professionals and enthusiasts from the mobility industry. What was the significance of IAA Mobility for you as a parking facility operator? How did you use this opportunity to present your parking facility as an important part of Munich's overall mobility? 

    Park One: During the IAA Mobility we recorded strong demand for our offer. Many manufacturers, also increasingly from Asia, require safe and clean parking facilities for their demonstration vehicles. In cooperation with hotels, we offer manufacturers a comprehensive range of services before, during and after the IAA Mobility. One of our garages in Munich served as a "showcase" for the autonomous parking we presented. Overall, we are convinced that garages play an important part in significantly improving the quality of life at the roadside. For this reason, we welcome the new ways of thinking promoted by the new format of the IAA Mobility. 

    Parkwerk: The IAA Mobility has shown us what we can expect in the coming years. This allows us to think ahead and to prepare for possible developments. As a member of the Werksviertel-Mitte family of companies, we were very pleased with the many international guests who stayed in our neighbourhood during the IAA Mobility. The immediate proximity to the East Station was an enormous location advantage when visiting the exhibition grounds or the city centre. It made it easier to switch from one's own car to public transport. This helped to relieve congestion on the access roads to the exhibition centre and the city centre. Due to our convenient location, we also acted as a HUB to park the car safely and to explore the surroundings and the nearby districts on foot, by e-scooter or by bike.

  5. The IAA Mobility has moved to Munich to focus on mobility innovations. To what extent do you, as a parking facility operator, also contribute to this? 

    Parkwerk: With Scheidt & Bachmann and evopark, we have two partners to further digitalise parking processes and to make them more convenient. Art actions and audio installations such as our birdsong also contribute to a new underground parking experience. 

    Park One: Together with the city of Munich, we are running a pilot project for more environmentally friendly parcel delivery. At some locations in Munich, we also provide bicycles that customers can use to travel to Odeonsplatz and other destinations. Our electric scooters are available in front of each of our garages in Munich. 

  6. Sustainable mobility was a central theme at the IAA Mobility. How do you contribute to the promotion of sustainable mobility? Can you give us an insight into your parking facility's support for environmentally friendly mobility options and what your plans are for the future in this area? To what extent does evopark play a role here?  

    Parkwerk: The biggest contribution is made by our completely renewed and reliable charging infrastructure. Thanks to the provision of green electricity at our 12 charging points in the underground parking garage, we have been able to save over 100 tons of CO2 emissions in just over a year. Scalability was considered from the outset and further expansion is firmly planned. In terms of parking, evopark supports us with ongoing digital innovations. With the digital parking processes, we save 100% of the paper for tickets and receipts as well as the entire cash handling. This not only helps us, but also protects the environment.  

    Park One: E-mobility is becoming more and more of a priority for us. This year we have tripled the number of charging points in our garages. We offer very fair tariffs and payment models. By using license plate cameras and working with evopark, we can eliminate paper tickets in most garages. With the help of evopark and the cooperation possibilities, many customers can even save themselves a trip to the pay station. Parking fees are settled automatically and digitally - in some cases even via interfaces directly in the car. For example, in Berlin the same payment system can be used for paid parking spaces on the street and in our garages. Without evopark, this would not be possible. 

  7. Finally, now to another important topic: when it comes to the football world in Munich, hearts are often divided into two camps. Does your heartbeat more for FCB or for 1860?  

    Parkwerk: National blue, international red. 

    Park One: The basketball team of the FCB and the ski team of the Lions 😉! 

The IAA Mobility has conquered Munich as a mobility hub. We spoke to parking facility operators who not only provide safe parking but also promote sustainable mobility in the city. They rely on environmentally friendly initiatives such as green electricity and the expansion of charging stations for electric vehicles. The parking facility operators underline the importance of IAA Mobility for the promotion of sustainable mobility. They see themselves as a crucial building block for innovative and sustainable mobility and are excited about the coming developments – so are we! Thanks to Park One and Parkwerk for the great exchange! 

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