“Even in these difficult times the IAA is a rock of stability: the number of exhibitors (around 1,000) and the exhibition area (around 230,000 square meters) have both reached the high levels seen in 2011 – despite weakness on the Western European passenger car market,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Berlin. The 65th International Motor Show (IAA) Cars, which is organised by the VDA, will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 12 to 22 September 2013. It will be preceded by two Press Days (10 and 11 September 2013) with about 80 press conferences. The IAA will be opened on 12 September 2013 by the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.
Other high-ranking German politicians have also announced their intention to visit the IAA, including Federal Minister of Economics Dr Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister of Transport Dr Peter Ramsauer, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group, Baden-Württemberg’s State President Winfried Kretschmann and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, State President of Saarland.
“The preparations for the IAA Cars have already been running at top speed for many weeks. Nowhere else can you find more world premieres, more manufacturers, more suppliers, or more innovation. It is therefore ‘the world’s most automobile show,’ as the IAA slogan rightly says,” Wissmann underlined. “The IAA demonstrates that electric mobility is no longer a vision; e-cars are now appearing on the roads. But also when it comes to optimising the classical drive trains, the petrol and clean diesel engines, clear progress will again be visible at the IAA. Another major focus is connected driving. This will turn cars into mobile communication platforms – and make driving even safer,” the VDA president said.
“The IAA is the most important international meeting point for the automotive world,” Wissmann emphasised, adding that this was illustrated by the rising proportion of foreign exhibitors, currently at 43 per cent and thus significantly higher than at the last IAA (32 per cent in 2011). The increasing importance of Asia as an economic area was also affecting the IAA, Wissmann pointed out. More than one quarter of the foreign exhibitors come from Asia (cf. 19 per cent in 2011). Wissmann said, “The number of Chinese suppliers attending the IAA as exhibitors has increased more than tenfold compared with the year 2011, and now exceeds 120.” The 2011 IAA attracted 13 Chinese exhibitors. Furthermore, the overall number of suppliers exhibiting at the 65th IAA Cars has increased markedly. It now comes to 375, i.e. 23 per cent higher than in 2011 (305).
“Our admission prices are also a clear sign of stability. The price of entrance to the IAA (13 euro on weekdays, 15 euro at the weekends) has now been unchanged for ten years,” VDA President Wissmann stressed.
Moreover, the IAA is a large congress with over 20 specialist events. The topics range from electric mobility and the connected car to the future of vehicle production in Germany, and from questions about tax, transport and import duty policies all the way to various aspects of road safety. The highlights are sure to include the Electric Mobility Congress (17 September), organised jointly by the VDA, BDEW, BDI, BITKOM, VCI, VDMA and ZVEI; the CarIT congress “Mobility 3.0 – the car’s future is connected” (18 September), organised jointly by the VDA and BITKOM; and the Road Safety Event (19 September), to name but a few.
“The IAA is more than a display of premieres. Here the fascination of the car can be experienced right up close,” Wissmann said. For example, on the open-air site (F13, to the south of Hall 10) twelve vehicles will be available for the off-road test track. The off-road models will be provided by Daimler, Hyundai, Isuzu and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. There will be an even more comprehensive range of vehicles (including electric cars) available to IAA visitors who wish to take them on test drives. Around 70 cars from a total of eleven manufacturers can be driven by the visitors themselves. The manufacturers are Citroën, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Maserati, Opel, Renault, Tesla Motors, Volvo, the supplier Valeo and the gas promoter erdgas mobil.
Another highlight at the 65th IAA Cars will be the special show of historic vehicles entitled “The Stars of 1983” in Hall 3.1. The exhibition will showcase vehicles that were premiered at the IAA 30 years ago and invite visitors to enter into a dialog about younger historic vehicles. “150 Years of the German Red Cross” is the title of an exhibition in Hall 3.1 including a special display of historic vehicles belonging to the German Red Cross.
Exciting contests in top-class motor racing are guaranteed on the gigantic digital Carrera race track on the open-air site (F11). Everything to do with sound inside cars can be experienced in the “EMMA Car Media World” in Hall 4.0. EMMA stands for the European Mobile Media Association, and leading car media manufacturers will be presenting their innovative products.
The IAA traditionally devotes a lot of space to road safety. For instance, visitors to the pavilion of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) in Hall 3.1 can try to “Slow Down” – and find out what the consequences are of mistakes behind the steering wheel. The DVR and the magazine Autobild will be holding a road safety event on the open-air site (F12/F13) to look for “Germany’s best driver.” Also on the open-air site and in Hall 3.1, the DVR will demonstrate how accidents can be avoided with the aid of driver assistance systems. The event is entitled “Best front passenger: how smart is my car?” On the open-air site Volkswagen, Bosch, Conti and Valeo will also demonstrate the most up-to-date driver assistance systems and their effects.
It is never too early to start learning how to behave in traffic. So in the Legoland driving school (open-air site F4) children aged between 3 and 13 can take their first “driving test” in small electric cars from Hyundai. Children aged from 5 to 10 can also learn traffic skills at the “Kids Driving School” (on open-air site F12) organised by the firms Kinder-Überraschung and Porsche. For relaxation there will be the “Ladies Corner” (in the foyer of Hall 4.0).
Online accreditation has been available to journalists since the beginning of July, at www.iaa.de, and has proved popular. Several thousand journalists from 72 countries in all have already been accredited online. And the IAA fan page on Facebook is also going down well. “This week we have exceeded 28,500 ‘Likes,’ which means that for the first time we have had more IAA fans on Facebook than the Paris Motor Show had,” Wissmann said. Furthermore, online ticket sales are currently far higher than in the same week during the run-up to the IAA in 2011. “That is an initial indicator that we are in a good position – but does not forecast the number of visitors,” Wissmann stated.
Finally, Wissmann emphasised that “The IAA Cars is the top event of the automotive year 2013! All the manufacturers and suppliers are making intensive preparations, and construction on the Frankfurt trade fair grounds has already begun. We are looking forward to the IAA. The VDA’s team is highly motivated and the countdown has started. We will do everything to ensure that a visit to the IAA is as exciting and as enjoyable as possible for our guests.”