Press Releases

Mattes: IAA presents entire commercial vehicle sector full of anticipation

Hannover/Berlin, 18 September 2018

The 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles is ready to start. More exhibitors, more space, more world premieres – Focus on digitization, connectivity, automation and electric mobility – Commercial vehicle markets support the IAA – Criticism of unrealistic CO2 reduction targets for heavy trucks

Statement delivered by Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA opening press conference in the Maritim Hotel, Hannover, at 10:30 h on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you most cordially to the IAA opening press conference here in Hannover.

Tomorrow and on Thursday, the IAA will host more than 80 exhibitors’ press conferences – a packed program.

Today we wish to give you the latest facts and figures about the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles and draw attention to the main focuses at the world’s most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility.

Commercial vehicle markets in good form

The international commercial vehicle markets (over 6 t) are in good form for this IAA. They have pushed up their year-to-date figures (January to July). That applies to Western Europe (+2 percent), China (+8 percent) and in particular to the US (+18 percent).

Even Brazil, a cause for concern over recent years, is once again generating optimism. Sales up to July rose by more than 50 percent – however, we are still a long way from previous record levels. The Indian commercial vehicle market has also grown strongly (+45 percent).

Yet we cannot ignore the political risks around the world which also affect commercial vehicles. In the close-knit international transport and supply chains in particular, trends toward more protectionism, import duties and trade barriers ultimately do not benefit anyone. We are therefore taking action worldwide to support free and fair trade. Transport and logistics need accessible markets.

The market for light commercial vehicles (up to 6 t) is also doing well. We expect that sales in Western Europe during 2018 as a whole will rise by 2 percent to nearly 2 million vehicles.

To summarize, the markets support this IAA. In addition, the flourishing online trade means that business in vans is booming in Germany and Europe. And the OEMs and suppliers notice the benefits.

Driving tomorrow – the future of mobility at the IAA

The slogan of this IAA is “Driving tomorrow.” This embodies the fact that the sector is facing up to the major challenges of the future: digitization, connectivity, automated driving, electric mobility and other alternative powertrains. Furthermore, the industry is addressing central issues in urban logistics and mobility.

At this IAA it is becoming clear that the companies – the makers of heavy-duty trucks and vans, trailers, buses and special vehicles, along with the many suppliers – are preparing intensively for this transformation that is taking place in powertrains and digitization.

Digitization and e-mobility belong together. They are two sides of the same coin. This is because digitization, connectivity and automation are not only happening in car-2-X communication, but also form an integral part of every new development in the drive train.

Digitization makes transport and logistics even safer and more efficient

Road safety can be substantially improved through digitization and connectivity – and in the future even more so with automated driving. For example, in the near future sensors and cameras will enable commercial vehicles to see and hear. High resolution monitors and cameras will replace exterior mirrors and eliminate all blind spots. This will improve safety, especially in urban settings and during turning.

The suppliers are key players in these innovations and in many others. They account for over 70 percent of the value creation in a vehicle. This is why the IAA covers the value chain so comprehensively – which makes it unique among trade shows.

Moreover, the new technologies offer enormous advantages in flexibility and efficiency. One example demonstrating the potential that lies in connectivity and automation is platooning. This enables even more efficient transportation and even greater CO2 savings over long distances. Driving in a platoon can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 percent. We have proved that platooning is technically feasible – it is already being trialed in everyday logistics. The use of mixed platoons, that is, with trucks from different manufacturers, is an important development goal in the medium to long term.

What is more, commercial vehicles are predestined for automated driving. They have annual mileages of 100,000 to 150,000 km in long-distance traffic, and most of this is on the freeways. By comparison, the average annual mileage of passenger cars is only about 14,000 kilometers, a large portion of which goes on journeys to work.

IAA showcases electric mobility ready for series production

Here in Hannover we can see that the industrialization of electric mobility is not only advancing in passenger cars, but is also taking place in commercial vehicles in particular.

There are many premieres here of vans with electric drive. Visitors to the IAA will experience a quantum jump in e-vans.

This will result in the optimum performance of the daily tasks generally carried out by CEP services, the craft trades and distributors in towns and cities. It offers delivery traffic, where the “last mile” is a key factor, a range of products that satisfy the new logistical requirements and, in addition, have zero local emissions. The traffic in goods is expanding in step with the rapidly growing internet trade, and so is the demand for vans in urban areas.

We are also finding more and more powertrains with zero local emissions in urban buses, and the portfolio is increasing fast. E-buses improve the situation in towns and cities, and they make an important contribution to the ongoing improvement of air quality.

Even in the case of heavy-duty trucks (up to 26 t) electric mobility is making advances, especially in distribution traffic. However, here electrification is a much greater challenge, owing to the weights and ranges involved. Hybrid and natural gas offer alternative propulsion systems. Fully electric operation will, however, arrive in this segment also, and series production may be expected several years from now.

More than 35 models with alternative powertrains are available for test drives on the IAA trade show grounds. A similarly large number of vehicles with conventional propulsion is also available at the IAA for test drives on the public roads.

However important electric mobility is, in heavy-duty long-distance transport (trucks up to 40 t) the clean and efficient Euro VI diesel will remain the king of the road for the time being – in both economic and environmental terms. There are still potentials for greater efficiency, such as aerodynamic optimization, and trailers with rear or side fins. Natural gas (LNG or CNG) can play a larger role as a fuel for long-distance traffic. CO2-friendly power-to-gas can be used increasingly to decarbonize gas propulsion. The situation is similar in the case of other synthetic fuels (e-fuels), which reduce CO2 output in the existing fleet, not only in new vehicles. In the long term, great opportunities are also available for electric propulsion using fuel cells.

Draft European Regulation: CO2 targets for heavy commercial vehicles are not realistic

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of this indicates that this industry is highly innovative – and it is surrounded by really tough competition. But it also needs an appropriate regulatory framework so that it can continue its success.

A massive CO2 reduction for heavy-duty commercial vehicles, to be implemented right across the EU and within just a few years, will be anything but simple to realize.

The product cycles for trucks are longer than those for passenger cars, and in addition every investment made by a transport company must pay off. The fleet cannot be replaced overnight. And there is another difference from the passenger car segment: e-mobility will arrive faster in the van sector; but in long-distance traffic it will take much longer before electric propulsion can replace diesels on a large scale.

For this reason, too, we regard with great concern the planned CO2 Regulation for heavy commercial vehicles, as presented by the European Commission.

Let us not have any misunderstanding: the commercial vehicle industry accepts the challenges of climate protection. It has always spoken out in favor of greater transparency and a realistic regulation for heavy-duty trucks.

However, on certain major points the draft Regulation does not give consideration to the conditions on the commercial vehicle market, and it does not adequately reflect the lead times for development.

The defined CO2 targets – a reduction of 30 percent by 2030, and a reduction of 15 percent by 2025 – are not realistic.

The key factors for successful commercial vehicles have always been cost efficiency, the most economical engines and the lowest consumption per ton-kilometer.

Heavy-duty trucks in Europe are already world champions in fuel economy – to date without any legal requirements. Brussels should take account of this in its plans for the Regulation. In Europe, we do not yet have any certified consumption values for heavy trucks. So extreme reduction targets to be achieved within the shortest time may easily turn out to be something of an excessive task for industry and the transport sector.

Even a reduction target of 7 percent by 2025 would demand huge additional technological efforts on the part of the industry – going beyond “business as usual.” But we can imagine that scenario. From the viewpoint of the commercial vehicle sector, a reduction target of 16 percent by 2030 would still be extremely challenging, but realistic.

We will work hard to make sure that sufficient technical and economic sense feeds into these important preparations for the future of heavy commercial vehicles.

More exhibitors, more space, more world premieres

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Here at the IAA the drive for innovation in this key industry is visible to everybody.

Yes, it is true that electric mobility and digitization were already central topics at the IAA 2016. But there is a crucial difference: then it was mostly concept vehicles and studies that were on display. This year Hannover is highlighting the new e-vehicles in large numbers that are now going into series production.

In other words: announcements are becoming reality. So the slogan of the IAA, “Driving tomorrow,” is tailor-made. This is the message we are sending out: transport, mobility and logistics are changing rapidly in the digital world. They are becoming even more efficient, safer, more flexible and faster, and also contribute to action on climate and the environment, especially in urban areas. That brings considerable benefits for individual citizens and consumers.

The commercial vehicle industry wishes to play an active part in shaping these changes, and sees this as principally offering opportunities. OEMs are evolving into mobility and logistics service providers who are there for their customers everywhere, 24/7.

In short, the IAA shows the entire commercial vehicle sector in a spirit of anticipation!

There are figures backing up this anticipation: compared with the already very good IAA in 2016, we have improved on all relevant indicators:

  • The number of exhibitors has risen to 2,174; they come from 48 countries.
  • The exhibition covers 282,000 square meters, which is a new IAA record.
  • The number of world premieres has increased by almost one third, to 435 – also a new record.

The marked increased in world premieres reflects the powerful drive for innovation in the sector. There are very many more innovations in the areas of digitization, connectivity, automated driving and electric mobility. And in services the number of premieres has actually trebled. This is just a little advance information, and the New Products Directory will be available from noon tomorrow, so we are keeping to the publication time agreed with the exhibitors.

New Mobility World in a new format

The IAA is pushing forward with its new orientation. One way we are doing this is to give even more space to these topics at the New Mobility World (NMW). It provides a platform where technology firms, the automotive industry, mobility providers, startups, digital business and decision-makers from politics, academia, the media and society get together to discuss the future of mobility, present innovations, and make the mobility of tomorrow into an experience.

At the event formats EXPO, FORUM and LIVE, the New Mobility World presents IAA visitors with an extensive program of experiences.

  • In the FORUM (Pavilion P11), the New Mobility World will host a major four-day conference (Sept. 24 to 27, 2018), the official conference format of the IAA. Here visitors may expect exciting keynote speeches, interviews and discussions with over 100 international experts and pioneers, who also come from other branches of industry.
  • The EXPO will be directly adjacent, also in Pavilion P11. This is the New Mobility World’s exhibition area. Here IAA visitors will find a variety of brand worlds throughout the duration of the show on an area of 1,500 square meters. In addition, they can get to know potential customers and business partners. The participants will include large and medium-sized companies, startups, spin-offs and research institutions.
  • At LIVE, the outdoor demonstration area, visitors can experience logistics and safety in the road traffic of tomorrow. The open-air site to the north of Hall 26a will have a daily program of dynamic and innovative demonstrations on the IAA’s trend topics and new features of truck safety systems in road traffic. Selected demonstrations will even give visitors an opportunity to ride in the driver’s cab or try systems out for themselves.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As of tomorrow, you can see for yourselves that the commercial vehicle industry is in an excellent position. The 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles shows that it is living up to its aim of being the world’s most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. The many world premieres are just one indication of this. At least as important is the fact that the entire commercial vehicle sector meets here in Hannover – nowhere else will you find such intensive and international discussions about the mobility of tomorrow and new concepts for transport and logistics.

We are looking forward to the Press Day, the opening of the exhibition by Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer on Thursday, and the entire IAA, and we wish you and all the exhibitors a successful trade show – “Driving tomorrow”!


Thank you.

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

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