Archive for the ‘Munich’ Category

Oktoberfest 2009 beer price +3.8%

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

As every year in spring, the city of Munich has announced the official price-span for drinks at the official Oktoberfest 2009 in Munich. This year, one liter of beer will cost you between 8.10 Euro and 8.60 Euro; the weighted average price is 8.44 Euro. Compared to 2008, this means a price increase of 3.8% (after 5% last year).

As a side note, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the beer price over the past 24 years is 4.1% (i.e. the prices increased each year on average by 4.1%), so this year is slightly below this average. Then again – 8.60 for a liter of beer?

Which brings me to more practical issues – the cheapest tent this year are two smaller tents, Burtscher and Heinz Heilmaier oHG Hbr., where one liter of beer costs “just” 8.10 Euro.

Apparently, Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest beer are not seeing a crisis, and this surprises me a bit, to be honest. Yes, people still are thirsty during Oktoberfest, but when everybody else is feeling the pain from the economical downturn, I’d have expected at least a flat pricing that reflects reality. Companies will further cut budgets for team incentives at Oktoberfest, and individuals will probably either stay at home more often during the fest, or consume less while in the tent. It will be interesting to see how the “what crisis?” strategy actually will turn out.

If you want to find out more about the original Munich Oktoberfest, please visit

Financial Crisis Reaches Munich

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Automag Buchner + Linse, Munich (Archive Photo)
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Global economic woes have now reached Munich. One of the sectors that have added strength to the local job market is BMW. The manufacturer of premium cars has not just its headquarter in Munich, but they run a couple of factories and flagship dealers in the city.

In addition to the BMW-owned dealers there is also one independent dealer left, who has sold BMWs in Munich since 1929 – Buchner+Linse’s Automag. This dealer filed for “preliminary insolvency” on 27th February 2009. An officially appointed insolvency manager took over business and now tries to figure out whether the company can be continued or will have to be liquidated.

One wonders how a dealer that sells thousands of new cars every single year can get into financial trouble? Well, there are two main reasons, according to Automag:

:: Overpriced cars from leasing returns

In a climate where it is difficult to sell any premium car, unrealistically high prices for cars that return from a leasing contract can lead to massive losses as they can not be sold at the price required to turn a profit. This makes it difficult to compete with the BMW owned flagship dealers that may have different objectives. (BMW says, however, that every dealer gets the same treatment, be it an independent dealer or a BMW owned flagship dealer.)

:: Extraordinary expensive showrooms

Automag moved to a new, beautiful building (pictured above) two years ago. This had to be done in accordance to BMW guidelines that keep standards high to attract premium customers. Obviously, this increased the cost of the showroom massively. If Automag had ignored the guidelines, the dealer would not have kept its contract which is needed to sell new BMWs. So the dealer had little choice here.

How will the situation resolve for the 200 employees of the dealer? Nobody knows exactly, but according to a report in local newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the insolvency manager is in serious discussion with a couple of investors, hoping to cut a deal within a few weeks.

Melting Snow in Munich

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Munich/Germany, 28-FEB-09 — People sit on park benches in the center of Munich, at the Museumsinsel, enjoying the first warm sunbeams. The melting snow in front of them has transformed into tiny lakes that reflect the blue sky. The winter in Bavaria has been rather strong this season, but for the next few days, very mild temperatures of up to 12 °C are being forecasted, warm enough to quickly melt most of the remaining snow in the city. Photo by Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Beautiful Unterhaching

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Sometimes it is just great to wake up and be greeted by a beautiful scenery, featuring trees that reach out to the blue sky while the morning fog still creeps along. All of this right in front of your house at no extra charge. You just have to open the windows, grab a camera, and take the photo.

Canon 1Ds mk III, EF 70-200/2.8L @ 125mm, 1 sec., f/16, ISO 100
Mark Zanzig/

Yesterday morning I had to grab a tripod as well to get the full sharpness of f/16 at ISO 100. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to shoot a whole second. :-)

Anyway, ever since we moved to the village of Unterhaching, which is situated just a few minutes south of Munich, I had this happen quite frequently. I really appreciate to start a day like this – to be inspired by nature, and to get a feeling of being a part of it. Somehow.

Have a nice day!