“Together we accomplish more”

A sustainable and mobile future is a priority for these two men: Wolfgang Forderer is in charge of the City of Stuttgart's Mobility department, and Daniel Hörer works in External Affairs at Daimler. Stuttgart and Daimler are part of the national Urban Mobility Platform initiative.

The Plattform Urbane Mobilität (PUM), or Urban Mobility Platform, was established as an initiative of the VDA (The German Association of the Automotive Industry – a common interest group of German automotive manufacturers and suppliers.), and links nine German cities with nine companies in the automotive industry. Through regular dialog, the partners develop concrete pilot projects in order to shape the future of mobility. As part of the PUM initiative, Daimler is working with Bosch, Porsche and the City of Stuttgart on a corporate mobility management project. The PUM initiative involves the following cities and companies: Bremen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, Leipzig, Ludwigsburg, Munich and Stuttgart; Audi, BMW, Bosch, Continental, Daimler, Ford, Porsche, Schaeffler and VW.

Why is it so important for automotive companies to work with the cities?

Wolfgang Forderer: We face the same challenges. More and more people drive into the city by car for different reasons and the demand for new mobility solutions is growing. This is something that we have also observed in Stuttgart. It is also important not to overlook the topics of protecting the climate and keeping our air clean.

Daniel Hörer: Cities and companies alike need to change the way they think. This is something that we can only achieve together. Because, while us manufacturers can develop mobility solutions, these are of no benefit to anyone if the cities do not create the corresponding framework conditions. Of course, the reverse is also true.

Mobility opportunities in the city.

How does cooperation in the PUM work – with so many partners and interests?

Wolfgang Forderer: Primary responsibility for a pilot project is assumed by a partnership of one city and one company, supported by a panel of experts from additional members of the PUM. The City of Hamburg, for example, is working with BMW on an electromobility project. In Stuttgart we have a special case: Here, the City is working with Daimler, Porsche and Bosch on a "cross-company, corporate mobility management" project.

Daniel Hörer: All members of the PUM discuss the status of the individual projects at regular meetings. The aim is to benefit from each other's experiences. The benefit of having a lot of partners on board: Together we are louder, our message comes across better, and we make faster progress politically.

The goal is a cross-company “Park & Shuttle” concept.

What is your joint corporate mobility management project all about?

Daniel Hörer: Three large companies that are involved in the PUM are based in Stuttgart. This means that an appreciable share of the traffic here is made up of commuting Daimler, Porsche and Bosch employees. All three companies are already working to make commuting more efficient. Daimler, for example, has the F.L.O.W. initiative that bundles all employee services. But together we can achieve much more, and above all show that we as an industry are part of the solution.

Wolfgang Forderer: Our idea is a cross-company "Park & Shuttle" concept. Employees board a bus near where they live that transports them to their place of work. The bus will stop at all three companies and at the urban facilities. This could potentially provide a convenient way for 160,000 employees in the Stuttgart area to get to work. And together we will reduce the dense traffic on the city's roads.

Wolfgang Forderer is Head of the City of Stuttgart's Mobility department.

What is the current status of the project?

Daniel Hörer: We are currently analyzing the commuter traffic flows of the partners. This will enable us to identify locations where the employees can embark, and to plan the best routes.

Have you encountered any obstacles, and if so, what were they?

Daniel Hörer: One challenge when it comes to cooperation between companies is that we need to comply with the different policies of multiple large corporations. In our case there is even a municipal authority involved as well, with completely different requirements and political decision-making processes. Compliance is important. Since employees from different companies – and not just that, but even direct competitors – will be sitting in the same bus, data security is also a big factor. The great thing about our PUM project team, however, is that far from stopping us in our tracks, these challenges motivate us.

Wolfgang Forderer: Another crucial point is how to motivate employees to use the service. It's a matter of emphasizing the advantages over using their own cars. These may include clocking in on the bus, starting work on the journey, or being dropped off right in front of the factory gate –all of these save employees a lot of time.

What is the recipe for successful collaboration?

Daniel Hörer: A strong partnership first and foremost requires trust. This includes talking openly about our goals and motives. Success does not mean that the numbers are good but the partners are ultimately unhappy. The satisfaction of all partners and users is our success factor.

Wolfgang Forderer: There is of course more involved. We need to retain our curiosity as a group, and approach our partners with a flexible mindset. Some things don't work right from the get-go. In those cases we go back to the drawing board and start afresh. Fear of mistakes is unfavorable. We cannot get clean air around the city overnight. But, we are implementing a lot of promising measures - and the sum of these will enable us to progress.

What is the recipe for successful collaboration?

Daniel Hörer: A strong partnership first and foremost requires trust. This includes talking openly about our goals and motives. Success does not mean that the numbers are good but the partners are ultimately unhappy. The satisfaction of all partners and users is our success factor.

Wolfgang Forderer: There is of course more involved. We need to retain our curiosity as a group, and approach our partners with a flexible mindset. Some things don't work right from the get-go. In those cases we go back to the drawing board and start afresh. Fear of mistakes is unfavorable. We cannot get clean air around the city overnight. But, we are implementing a lot of promising measures - and the sum of these will enable us to progress.

Daniel Hörer, from Daimler's External Affairs unit, talking to Wolfgang Forderer

Mr. Hörer, what do you consider the role of External Affairs to be in these kinds of processes?

Daniel Hörer: Our job is to identify the interests and goals that Daimler and the City of Stuttgart share – a common denominator. Of course this requires a constant dialog with the politicians, whose ideas we then report on and discuss within the company. We also put forward our ideas to the political process. You could say that we act as the interpreters between Daimler and our partners.

What is your personal motivation for working toward sustainable partnerships between companies and municipal authorities?

Wolfgang Forderer: I worked for the European Commission for three years, and did a lot of networking there, at the moment also in our worldwide network Cities for Mobility and many projects with research facilities, federations and companies. I just enjoy bringing together and networking people from different companies and municipal authorities – and collaborating on good solutions.

Daniel Hörer: Politics and business don't work without each other. Bringing both sides together is a genuine passion of mine. I firmly believe that we can only make lasting progress on the future of mobility by working together. After all, this is something that affects all of us. I also commute, for example. I hope that we will be able to preserve the natural world for our children and grandchildren, but that they will still have the individual mobility to be able to explore the world.

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