Public Private Partnership for more jobs and better quality of life

Working together to tackle structural weaknesses and unemployment in the region






At the end of 1997, Wolfsburg’s prospects as an attractive business location were bleak.

A structural analysis identified the following problem areas:

  • Volkswagen: Volkswagen was the most important employer in Wolfsburg, providing 60 percent of all jobs in the city.

  • Services: On average, almost 50 percent of all employed individuals work in service-related professions in Germany. In Wolfsburg, this figure was only 22 percent.

  • Small and medium-sized businesses: These companies are the driving force behind employment in Germany, yet were barely represented in Wolfsburg, where even the number of small and medium-sized automotive suppliers was approximately 75 percent lower than in comparable automotive industry locations.

  • Company start-ups: The number of company start-ups in Wolfsburg was around 30 percent less than the German average. This was particularly true for companies involved in producing highly innovative products in fast-growing markets.

  • Working in Wolfsburg: Only half of all jobs in Wolfsburg were actually filled by residents of the city. Many people wanted to work in Wolfsburg but actually lived in the surrounding towns and communities.

  • Drain on purchasing power Every year, between 100 and 200 million Euros in purchasing power flowed into the area surrounding Wolfsburg. As a result, the retail sector could offer only a very limited number of new job opportunities.

  • The city of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen worked together to take action to improve the economic situation and provide both the Wolfsburg location and its people with prospects for the future. This determination led to the formation of Wolfsburg AG, a public-private partnership that has been dedicated to creating more jobs and a better quality of life in Wolfsburg and the surrounding region ever since it was founded in 1999..