2,064 exhibitors from 45 countries at most important mobility trade fair
Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the VDA’s pre-press conference to the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Berlin on Tuesday, 2 September 2014
For you, the journalists, the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover begins in precisely three weeks – on 23 September – with the “Day of press conferences in the CC”. The IAA will be officially opened by the Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, on 25 September. Of course, it already raised us to the “exhibition operating temperature” quite a while ago.
Today we would like to inform you about the current status of preparations for the world’s largest and most important trade fair for mobility, transport and logistics, whose slogan is “Driving the future”. Furthermore, we will give you the current figures for new passenger car registrations and for export and production trends at the German manufacturers.
About the IAA Commercial Vehicles:
We are starting in Hannover with very good indicators. This applies to the exhibition space, the number of exhibitors, and the international character that is special to the IAA. So the conditions are right for expanding the position of the IAA as the world’s largest and most significant trade fair for mobility surrounding commercial vehicles. In terms of technology, this is underlined by the many world premieres that will be on display at the IAA. The total figure will not be certain until just before the IAA. The secret will be revealed on 23 September and posted on the internet at 13.00 h. At present we are receiving more responses from the exhibitors every day, and some major manufacturers and suppliers have still to let us know. But today I can already tell you that for this IAA the climate of innovation is roughly as strong as it was two years ago. So far, the exhibitors have indicated that they will be unveiling more than 300 world premieres.
Another criterion of success is the number of exhibitors. The target we set ourselves was to get close to the very high level from 2012 – with 1,904 exhibitors. We have already exceeded this target. The number of exhibitors is now at 2,064, which is 8 per cent higher than the final figure in 2012. And we still expect the number to rise modestly – if, as in previous years, more exhibitors register for the IAA shortly before it opens.
This puts us within striking distance of the absolute record from the year 2008. However, then the IAA was taking place against the background of a six-year boom in the
commercial vehicle industry. But we are not in this comfortable starting position today. It is true that the German commercial vehicle market has expanded this year, but that is mostly due to the ongoing effects of introducing Euro VI. Western Europe is only shifting laterally. The US market, by contrast, is developing well. Our manufacturers of trailers and bodies are currently also recording solid figures. And the bottom line is, that means we have the right conditions for a successful IAA, although there are no grounds for wild jubilation.
So it is all the more welcome that the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles is enjoying the second highest participation rate since it became a separate IAA Commercial Vehicles – that is, for the last 22 years.
International character: This IAA is fully living up to its aim to be the world’s most important trade show for mobility, transport and logistics. It is becoming even more international: 1,214 international exhibitors have registered to take part, which represents 59 per cent of all exhibitors and sets a new record. We have 167 foreign exhibitors, which is more than in 2012. Two years ago the proportion was 55 per cent. The foreign exhibitors come from 44 countries and together they will occupy 38 per cent of the total exhibition space.
The top ten foreign countries are headed by China – as they were the first time two years ago. Totalling 200, the number of Chinese exhibitors is 32 per cent higher than it was in 2012. China has thus strongly increased its lead on the country sending the second most exhibitors (Italy, with 137). But more exhibitors are also coming from Italy this year than in 2012. Turkey is in third place (113 exhibitors), followed by the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Poland, the UK, the USA and Belgium. The number of Polish exhibitors has risen by more than half to 60, and the figure for US exhibitors is up by over 60 per cent, reaching 55. Argentina, Estonia, Malaysia and Tunisia are also present again.
Among the companies making their debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, I wish to mention just two in particular: Dongfeng from China and Hyundai from South Korea. We also have some firms from Germany which – after a break – have again decided to participate at the IAA. We welcome this greatly as well, as it emphasises the increasing attractiveness of the trade fair.
What would commercial vehicle manufacturers be without their suppliers? Again the suppliers make up the largest group of exhibitors. There will once again be over 1,000 exhibitors at the IAA from this important sector (cf. 1,012 in 2012) – which gives a great boost to our “IAA brand”: this is the only place where visitors can see the entire value-added chain.
As the organisers of the IAA, we are delighted that the number of exhibitors is rising in nearly all segments. Among manufacturers of heavy trucks, vans, buses, trailers and bodies, even in the workshop business, in services and in electric mobility – there is growth everywhere.
We are also very satisfied with the amount of space occupied. At almost 265,000 square metres, the size of this IAA on the largest trade fair site in Germany is also the second best result since the IAA Commercial Vehicles became a separate show.
Today we cannot reveal which specific new developments and world premieres the companies will be displaying. They will be the centre of attention on the Press Days on 23 and 24 September. With 84 press conferences, 24 of them on 23 September and another 60 on the following day, all the exhibitor groups are once again going to extraordinary lengths to offer you exciting information and news for your reports. The suppliers alone will have 36 press conferences.
Future-oriented topics occupy the foreground at this leading trade fair.
We have selected three of them: efficiency, connectivity and flexibility.
Efficiency: With modern Euro VI vehicles, commercial vehicles have finally said goodbye to their dirty image. This means that compared with the previous Euro V standard nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) are down by 80 per cent, and particulates by around two thirds. The Euro VI truck is truly a – comparatively – “clean machine”.
It is remarkable that our manufacturers and suppliers have still managed to stabilise or even slightly reduce fuel consumption and with it the CO2 emissions from new vehicles. This was a technological tour de force involving a large amount of investment, not a walk in the park! And it says a lot when today a modern 40-tonne truck with a payload of around 28 tonnes can be called a “one-litre vehicle” – referring to its fuel consumption per tonne of cargo over 100 kilometres.
At this point we also say to the European Commission: a further reduction in classical pollutants is not expedient either economically or ecologically. A new pollutant class would ultimately result in a huge effort being made to achieve a marginal improvement. Instead, we should join forces to make transport and logistics even more efficient and therefore more sustainable, and to bring CO2 emissions down even further. The real efficiency potentials lie in areas other than engine and drive train technology.
The keywords here are aerodynamics and lightweight construction. We really have to utilise all the potentials to make road freight transport even more efficient and more economical with resources. Therefore politicians are also called on to take action. One area is the long truck, which is currently undergoing a successful field trial. Another topic is more investment in maintaining and extending the road traffic infrastructure, so that the savings in CO2, which we have achieved by pouring a huge amount of input into engines and vehicles, are not simply blown away in traffic queues.
The investments envisaged for the roads are not sufficient – not by a long way – despite the additional 5 billion euro that will be spent during this parliament. Given that tax revenues are set to rise in the coming years, more money should be spent on the roads, with intelligent prioritisation of expenditure and without demanding more from ordinary citizens in taxes and levies.
Connectivity: One very important focus of this IAA will be connectivity. The commercial vehicles of the future will be “always online”, i.e. connected with other vehicles and with the transport company – and they will also be in constant contact with the customer. Fully automated driving – our manufacturers have demonstrated some examples in recent months – will indeed be widely available only in the medium term, but even today the development is there for all to see: the existing driver assistance systems (adaptive cruise control, distance warning, braking assistant, lane departure warning) can be consistently extended and expanded. The next step will be partially automated driving, which will relieve the burdens on drivers during routine tasks, warn them of hazards, and thus bring the accident figures down even further.
Connectivity offers huge opportunities in logistics, too. The supply chain and the transport processes are becoming even more transparent, and in parallel commercial vehicle efficiency continues to increase. This enables hauliers and carriers to optimise their actual transport business even more. Modern commercial vehicles support them in every aspect of this process.
Turning now to the topic of flexibility: Only commercial vehicles can deliver from door to door – that is what gives them such an advantage. Any car drivers who are bothered by trucks should remember that the commercial vehicle transports the goods they need every day. Commercial vehicles deliver 492 litres of mineral water, sodas and juices per household per year, and they supply every household with 110 litres of milk. Every year commercial vehicles dispose of a good 44 million tonnes of household waste, they help in 2 million removals, and in today’s “Zalando era” they are especially important, making 2.7 billion courier, express and parcel deliveries. And prior to actual doorstep delivery, the logistics chain of course includes heavy-duty commercial vehicles carrying the goods over long distances.
Special shows and activities: In addition, the IAA Commercial Vehicles is characterised by its numerous special shows and activities. As examples I may just mention the 55 vehicles that will be available for test drives on public roads – twice the number we had two years ago – comprising 26 heavy commercial vehicles and 29 light vehicles. Then there are also 23 electrically powered vehicles – which is 150 per cent up on the year 2012 – that will be available for test drives on the trade fair grounds. Ten of them will be heavy commercial vehicles and buses.
Commercial vehicles can be experienced in action on the Innovation Stage on the open-air site to the north of Hall 26. These hosted dynamic vehicle demonstrations will highlight safety in road traffic, transport efficiency, environmentally and climate friendly propulsion systems including electric drive, connectivity and the application of intelligent driver assistance systems.
Hall 22 will have a large number of historic trucks, buses, construction vehicles and trailers on display. It will also house an exhibition of spectacular US trucks.
At the same time, the IAA is a major recruiting fair. With WorkING, GoING and our first ever “job and career” section, we are offering suitable platforms for schoolchildren and students to get to know the exciting job opportunities in the commercial vehicle industry and the transport business, including the possibility of making direct contact with a potential employer.
Around 30 specialist events complete our IAA programme and underline the fact that the IAA is also a major congress where experts discuss all the relevant forward-looking topics surrounding commercial vehicles. This naturally includes the “classic IAA events” such as the Hazardous Goods Day and the symposium on load securing. The “China Day”, the “India Day” and the “Turkey Day” also form three country focuses at this IAA.