The premiere of the new auto show IAA Mobility in Munich was rated a great success by the organizers. The exhibitors are by and large very satisfied, and despite the pandemic, over 400,000 visitors came in just six days – “a clear vote with their feet,” said the President of the VDA, Hildegard Müller, at the end on Sunday.
According to surveys, most exhibitors and visitors would like the new concept of showing cars and, for the first time, bicycles throughout the city and not just in exhibition halls. “The mix of exhibitors and the opportunity to test innovations directly were rated particularly positively,” announced the organizers. Almost 10,000 people tried cars and bikes themselves. The offer was fully booked, said Müller.
Two thirds of the visitors are younger than 40 years. There was great openness and curiosity for new drives and very practical questions such as charging, but also for topics such as digitization or autonomous driving, said the VDA President. In some places, access was slowed down due to overcrowding.
“Approach was absolutely correct”
On the other hand, there were also “some inquiries”, admitted Müller in an interview with the German press agency. “We’ll take the question of how we can network the conference and make it visible again.” Conversation forums transmitted via streaming were sometimes only followed by a dozen viewers. According to the assessment of a well-known company in the industry, there was at times “dead pants” in the exhibition halls. Müller said that maybe at the next IAA in 2023, the bicycle and e-bike manufacturers would be involved in the halls of the automotive industry: “This is where the suppliers mix too, so that you can do it a little better on site. ” In-depth feedback discussions would be held with all exhibitors. “The basic concept was not called into question.”
Daimler boss Ola Källenius said: “The approach to bring the trade fair into the city was absolutely correct.” The IAA in Munich is “a clear signal for the change in the industry: a new trade fair, with a new concept, in a new city – and finally with guests on site again”.
BMW was also satisfied: “We draw a positive conclusion – the IAA Mobility was an ideal platform to exchange ideas about sustainable mobility.” There have been many good conversations. Only highway blockades and other “destructive actions are a shame, from our point of view not very meaningful and distort the good overall picture”.
Are retirees looking for a change?
Several large car companies such as Toyota, General Motors or the Opel parent company Stellantis were not present at the IAA. Müller referred to the Corona restrictions and was optimistic that many international exhibitors would be on board at the next IAA.
Industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer was very critical. Without a completely different concept, “it was the last IAA,” he said. Suppliers wanted to show their innovations to a lot more car manufacturers on site, and the event areas in the city are more of an attraction for retirees looking for a change. (dpa / gem)
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