Press Releases

Wissmann: IAA offers a fascinating view of tomorrow’s mobility

Frankfurt am Main, 14 September 2015

219 world premieres – 1,103 exhibitors from 39 countries – megatrend connectivity

Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA’s opening press conference at 13.00 h on Monday, September 14, 2015, in the CMF Frankfurt am Main

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have pleasure in welcoming you most cordially to our IAA opening press conference.

“Mobility connects” is the slogan of the 66th IAA Cars. And it is tailor-made for this, the world’s most important automotive trade fair, because here in Frankfurt the megatrend of connected and automated driving becomes visible to everyone – something that is tangible, something to be experienced! And here at the IAA we have better international connections than virtually anywhere else (“Mobility connects”).

The intelligent, connected car communicates with its surroundings and with other road users. It can park itself, warns its driver of traffic obstacles in good time, and prevents accidents. To put it simply, in the coming years driving a car will become even safer and more comfortable. In addition, connectivity makes an important contribution to protecting the environment and the climate, because in the future unnecessary congestion can be avoided, CO2 emissions will continue to decrease, and there will be far less annoying traffic looking for a parking spot in towns and cities.

The IAA shows that cars and smartphones are merging into a single unit and the connected car is becoming a mobile communication platform.

Today one quarter of all new cars already have an Internet connection, and two years from now the figure will be 80 percent. Digitization is progressing by leaps and bounds. The German automotive industry alone – the manufacturers and suppliers – will invest 16 to 18 billion euros over the next three to four years in the research and development of connected and automated driving.

What until now has been on display separately at various trade shows – such as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Detroit Motor Show – is being exhibited here at the IAA in a wide overall context for the first time: at the stands of the manufacturers and suppliers, in the new exhibition section “New Mobility World” in Hall 3.1 and on the open-air site totaling 30,000 square meters.

Over 180 exhibitors are presenting in the New Mobility World, and in Hall 3.1 alone we have 46 passenger cars on display, including electric series vehicles, studies and pre-production vehicles. IAA visitors can try out more than 60 pedelecs, from the city cruiser to the “Fatbike.” The IT sector is here in all its diversity – ranging from business start-ups to international corporations. Two hundred events will take place in the New Mobility World.

On the open-air site the large suppliers – Bosch, Continental and ZF – are demonstrating live how connectivity and automation can vastly improve road safety in the future. The car will apply the brakes by itself if a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street. The emergency steering assist will help avoid obstacles. Here the left turn assistant prevents collisions at intersections, and there the construction site assistant supports the driver in tight highway construction sites.

And having reached his destination, the driver is warned in good time by a clearance checking assistant if the bicycle on the roof carrier is too high to enter the parking garage.

And one more technological treat that helps solve problems with parking spaces: in the future the car itself will be able to look for and find its parking spot – and will then park itself automatically in the smallest spaces when the driver simply presses the symbol on his smartphone. There are 12 vehicles taking to the outdoor circuit. You will find some information about the New Mobility World in the fact sheet in front of you.

The examples make it evident that here at the IAA automobiles and the digital world are combining to enhance mobility – bringing huge advantages for people, business and the environment. Today the IAA offers a fascinating view of the mobility of tomorrow.

Electric mobility is another core component of the IAA. Many manufacturers already have electric models on offer or are launching new vehicles onto the market. And many suppliers are displaying their technological innovations in this field. Electric vehicles have great advantages in urban areas in particular: they operate with zero tail-pipe emissions – and are much cheaper to use.

Of course we all know that the general conditions must be right for electric mobility to become established. Those leading providers who wish to become established on the world’s markets will do well to make their home market the leading market. And those who wish to be the leading market have to push forward and cannot just sit and wait. Even if the fuel price is favorable at this time, in the long term we must – and we will – reduce our dependency on oil. Electric mobility is an important step on this path. In other words: politicians must urgently put the framework conditions in place for Germany to be the leading market.

However, the IAA also demonstrates that in the near future the classical internal combustion engine will continue to play a major role. It still has considerable potential for optimization. Many points of leverage are being exploited: smaller engines, higher turbocharging and consistent use of lightweight construction ensure that new vehicles will be even more efficient in terms of fuel consumption, and their CO2 emissions are falling accordingly.

I wish to stress that modern clean diesels really are clean machines. They are not only very economical when it comes to consumption, but the strict Euro 6 standard also means they emit extremely low levels of pollutants. All the critics of diesels should know that those who are serious about action on climate and reducing CO2 must also say ‘yes’ to clean diesels.

One thing that looking at the CO2 and consumption figures must not obscure is emotion. For very many people around the world, a car of their own is more than just a means of getting from A to B – it is also an expression of their personality. I call that simply the “fascination of the car,”which can once again be experienced at this IAA. Passion, enthusiasm, joy – all of this, alongside all the rational arguments, makes cars so desirable.

On Wednesday OICA, the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles) will present an international TNS study here at the IAA, which includes the question of what significance cars have for people on different continents. The VDA is one of the initiators of this study. I do not want to anticipate the results, but some observers are in for a surprise.

The indicators for the IAA also look good: once again the show is fully booked. The exhibition space comes to 230,000 square meters, matching the amount at the IAA 2013. That equals 33 standard football pitches. 1,103 exhibitors from 39 countries are presenting their new developments in the exhibition halls and on the open-air area. That is the highest number of exhibitors this century. And the IAA really is the leading international trade show: 40 percent of the exhibiting companies come from other countries, and 37 percent of the foreign exhibitors come from Asia.

The number of nations represented has risen by 11 percent compared with the IAA 2013, to 39. The five best represented foreign countries are China, South Korea, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

The IAA showcases the global world of the automobile. That makes it so unique. And it is the only trade show that covers the entire automotive value chain: 404 suppliers are represented in Frankfurt (55 percent of them from abroad) – and of course nearly all the major vehicle makers. That underscores the IAA’s huge attraction for exhibitors and visitors.

We are especially pleased about one particular trend: the number of world premieres has increased again. Some additional exhibitors have registered within the last week. This means that 219 world premieres will be unveiled at this IAA. And that is 60 more than at the IAA 2013!

The growth is 38 percent and is clear evidence of the excellent international standing of this exhibition as a platform for innovation. The vehicle manufacturers alone are presenting 83 world premieres, the suppliers have 98, and the other exhibitors have 38.

To add to this, there are 27 European premieres and 33 German premieres. So the IAA has a truly amazing display of innovations!

Furthermore, visitors can look forward to many special activities. I will mention here just a few examples: the off-road vehicle test track, the test drives, the special show of vintage cars, the IAA children’s movie theater, the classic vehicle auction, and the “Automania” model car collectors’ fair.

I wish to draw particular attention to the new recruiting section entitled “job and career” in Hall 4.0, which is exclusively devoted to careers and professional development in the automotive industry. In addition, we are continuing the existing goING and workING programs for schoolchildren and students. And our 28 specialist events make the IAA a large mobility congress.

The worldwide significance of the IAA is emphasized by the fact that the meeting of the G7 transport ministers will take place at the IAA on September 16 and 17. Federal Transport Minister Dobrindt will welcome his counterparts from Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, Italy and France. The European Commissioners Bulc and Oettinger will also attend the G7 transport ministers’ meeting, which will focus on connected and automated driving, along with the question of the importance of this development for policy and business.

One can understand why the G7 meeting is being held in Frankfurt: it is a hugely international venue. And no other automotive trade fair has such a large and international media presence.

So far over 9,000 journalists from 87 countries have already been accredited. In total we expect about 12,000 media representatives from all over the globe.

Before the Chancellor opens the IAA on Thursday, the two Press Days will take place tomorrow and Wednesday. These days will be a real marathon for you:

There will be a total of 93 press conferences, 52 of them on the first Press Day.

The proportion of foreign exhibitors’ press conferences is 59 percent, which is another indication of the international nature of the IAA.

I would like to draw your attention to one event in particular: tomorrow evening (Sept. 15) the first ever MediaNight will take place in the New Mobility World in Hall 3.1, and we warmly invite you to attend.

The IAA also reflects the state of the automotive business. And naturally we know that there are definitely challenges in some regions of the world. This industry is taking account of that. Yet the most decisive factor for the IAA is the economic situation in Europe. And that is healthy. We are pleased to see that the Western European passenger car market is currently developing with such dynamism. For the year as a whole we expect a rise of almost 6 percent to 12.8 million passenger cars. The new EU Member States are also making progress.

The large US market is likewise expanding and in 2015 it will grow by 3 percent to nearly 16.9 million new vehicles – which would be the highest sales level for ten years. China is staying on course, but is shifting down a gear. For the entire year we now expect to see a volume of around 19 million passenger cars. The world’s largest passenger car market is clearly on a path of growth for the medium and long term.

All of this provides positive support for the world’s most important automotive trade show, the IAA.

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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