Press Releases

Wissmann: IAA starts with glittering display of premieres

Berlin, 03 September 2013

Statement delivered by VDA President Matthias Wissmann at the web/telephone press conference on 3 September 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have pleasure in welcoming you most cordially to our international telephone press conference in the run-up to the IAA.

I am delighted that all of you who are going to report on the IAA have dialled in to join us from many countries around the globe, so that right now more than 100 participantsfrom China, the USA and a large number of different European countries are taking part. The 65th IAA is “the world’s most automobile show” – according to the custom-made slogan for this year. It says that here there are brand new cars, fun behind the wheel, exciting events and many, many attractions!

At no other auto show can you find more world premieres, more new developments, or more innovation. Our visitors can look forward to 159 world premieres, of which are 70 world premieres from OEM, and 65 from suppliers.

The IAA is the world’s most important automotive motor show.

Despite the difficulties in the passenger car market in Western Europe, the IAA is a rock of stability: the motor show has exhibition space covering 230,000 square meters, which nearly equals the figure from 2011. With 1,091 exhibitors, this IAA is in fact exceeding the high level already seen at the previous motor show. The 65th IAA Cars is organised by the VDA itself.

It will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 12 to 22 September 2013.

The large, modern trade show grounds in Frankfurt and their excellent connections with Frankfurt Airport, the autobahn and the rail network provide an appropriate infrastructure for the IAA.

The IAA will be opened by the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, on 12 September 2013. In 2013 the IAA remains the most significant international meeting point for the automotive world. This is shown by the rising proportion of foreign exhibitors, which is now at 42 per cent and therefore far higher than that at the last IAA Cars (32 per cent in 2011).

The increasing automotive activities in the Asian economic area also affect the IAA:

Another 42 per cent of foreign exhibitors come from Asia.

This share has more than doubled in comparison with 2011 (19 per cent in 2011.)

The number of Chinese suppliers coming to the IAA as exhibitors has actually increased ten-fold compared with the year 2011, and now stands at 129. China therefore clearly comes first in terms of the absolute number of foreign exhibitors, followed by the United Kingdom (with 85 exhibitors), France (with 34) and Japan (with 31).

We have 21 exhibitors from the USA.

In total, there are exhibitors from 35 countries at the IAA, and new among them are for example Thailand and Indonesia.

The IAA is the only one of the world’s large auto show where not only manufacturers, but the entire supply industry and thus the whole automotive value-added chain is represented – and this trend is increasing: The number of suppliers exhibiting at the 65th IAA Cars has risen markedly. It now comes to 380, which is 25 per cent higher than in 2011 (305).

55 per cent of the exhibiting suppliers come from abroad.

The IAA is becoming more and more international, and its visitors are getting younger and younger – while the average age of the population in Germany is increasing. At the IAA in 2011, the average age of visitors was 35, whereas in the year 2009 it was 36. This is a remarkable fact and underlines the uninterrupted interest of the young generation in individual mobility.

Our admission prices send out another clear signal of stability. The prices for tickets to the IAA (13 euro on weekdays, and 15 euro at the weekends) have now remained unchanged for ten years. The technology at the 65th IAA Cars is largely characterised by two strategically important innovative topics:

electric mobility and connected vehicles.

The IAA shows that electric mobility is no longer a vision; e-cars are now appearing on the roads! The range stretches from pure battery-electric cars to plug-in hybrids and all the way to vehicles with range extenders, along with fuel cell vehicles. The IAA is therefore throwing open the window to the future. The German passenger car manufacturers alone will launch 16 series models with electric drive trains on the market by the end of the coming year. The importers are also represented by exciting models with alternative propulsion systems.

At present this is still a small market, yet we observe high growth rates. In fact sales of electrically powered vehicles have doubled every year since 2007. The target of one million electric cars, which Germany has set itself for the year 2020, can be reached given the right general conditions.

This will need the EU to support the industry’s efforts on innovation, instead of hampering technological developments with rigid regulations and unnecessary bureaucracy. In Germany we have already made considerable progress due to the concentrated co-operation between academia, industry and politics in the National Platform for Electric Mobility.

However, important parameters still need some adjustment to give this technology more impetus. The recommendations to the policy-makers are:

-       appropriate super credits of the European Union for electric vehicles applied to the CO2 fleet value,

-       special depreciation options for electric cars used as company cars,

-       needs-based expansion of the public charging infrastructure,

-       consistent development of international standardisation.

The German automotive industry has already put in a huge amount of advance work. Over the next three to four years it will invest 12 billion euro in alternative propulsion systems – which equals 40 per cent of all R&D expenditure on the powertrain.

In the coming years this will be accompanied by a share of sales of only 5 per cent made up by cars with alternative propulsion systems.

One thing remains clear: the classical internal combustion engines – clean diesels and petrol engines – will continue to dominate the market for many years to come, while alternative power trains will join them.

The IAA clearly demonstrates the progress achieved in optimising the classical drive trains: smaller turbocharged engines with equally high or even greater power output, lower consumption and thus lower CO2 emissions, too.

The second technological focus at this IAA, alongside electric mobility, is connectivity.

Over the coming years this will lead to dramatic changes:

Cars will become mobile communication platforms.

Drivers will be online in their cars all the time.

The connected car systems will provide drivers with the necessary information – much faster and more comprehensively.

So a car can “see further” than the driver ever could.

Cars recognise obstacles that are behind the crest of a hill.

Cars can observe traffic approaching from the side, so in a way they can see “round the corner.”

And cars relieve drivers of some of the burdens of driving, through a wide range of advanced driver assistance systems – especially in critical traffic situations. Advanced driver assistance systems already help in changing lanes, keeping one’s distance, braking, and manoeuvring into a parking space. Connectivity means greater safety for all road users – and for the driver it also means greater comfort.

So it is obvious where this is heading: we are moving towards partially automated driving, and later on to highly automated driving. These are fascinating prospects for motorists. As with electric mobility, also for connected driving numerous aspects contributing to the overall conditions will be either expanded, re-adjusted, or created from scratch.

The traffic infrastructure and car IT architectures – from premium models in the luxury segment to compact cars – must be expanded for networking the information. Equipping a car with an advanced IT platform will thus become a major element in the essence of the manufacturer’s brand.

The specific IT will therefore become a vehicle manufacturer’s “digital brand.”

This is linked with a clear rise in value-added – at manufacturers, at suppliers and in the ICT industry.

Content, data and services will allow companies to offer value-added services, and therefore they form the basis for new business models, for which a market worth billions is predicted.

We obviously have dynamic growth ahead of us: experts expect to see annual growth of 36 per cent for connected cars. And even if the percentage should turn out to be somewhat lower, the industry has no doubt about the clear growth trend in this field.

Overall, more than 210 million connected cars will be on the roads world-wide by the year 2016 – which is four times as many as there are today.

Both these drivers of technology – electric mobility and connected driving – can not only be seen at the exhibitors’ stands, but will also be covered in detail at our one-day symposia at the IAA:  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

before Chancellor Merkel opens the IAA at our ceremony on 12 September, the Press Days will take place on 10 and 11 September.

On these two days journalists will face a real marathon:

-       we have 81 press conferences in all,

-       49 of them will take place on the first Press Day

More than 60 per cent of all the press conferences will be held by foreign firms – this is another indication of just how international the IAA is.

Online accreditation for journalists has been available since the beginning of July, at:

Over 7,500 journalists from 96 countries have already been accredited online. We expect a total of more than 10,000 media representatives at the IAA. No other motor show elicits a greater response from the media!

The IAA’s fan page on Facebook is also proving very popular: We already have more than 31,000 “Likes” from IAA fans on Facebook. This reveals that people’s anticipation of the IAA is increasing all the time.

Furthermore, the IAA is a large congress with over 20 specialist events. They complete the offering at the “world’s most automobile show.” In addition to electric mobility and the connected car, the topics of the events also cover the future of automobile production in Germany, and range from issues of tax, transport and import-duty policies all the way to various aspects of road safety.

The IAA also offers pure action – with over 20 special activities. Let me give you just a few examples:

Here visitors can experience the fascination of the car right up close – on the off-road test circuit or during test drives in about 70 cars from a total of eleven manufacturers, including 16 electric vehicles.

Of course the IAA traditionally devotes a lot of space to road safety – and there are numerous events on this subject, including “Slow Down” and the road safety training for children. Children aged from 3 to 13 can take their “first driving test” in small electric cars at the IAA.

For lovers of historical vehicles there is the special show entitled “The stars of 1983.” The exhibition in Hall 3.1 showcases vehicles that were first presented at the IAA 30 years ago.

To summarise, I can say that the countdown for the world’s most important motor show, the IAA, has started. The IAA has become even more international. The visitors may expect 159 world premieres – more than at any other motor show.

The two main focuses – electric mobility and connectivity – define this IAA and open the window to the future of mobility. The IAA Cars is the top international event of the automotive year 2013! All the exhibitors – manufacturers and suppliers alike – are making intensive preparations, and construction on the Frankfurt trade show grounds is entering its final phase.

You will all be very welcome!

First, the good news:

The global passenger car market will expand by 3 per cent in 2013 to more than 71 million units. Behind this overall welcome development, the developments on important markets are drifting ever further apart.

The Chinese market will grow by 15 per cent in 2013, to 15.2 million units.

The USA will also increase by 5 per cent to around 15.2 million light vehicles.

Western Europe, on the other hand, will fall by about 5 per cent in 2013 to 11.2 million passenger cars.

In a longer-term comparison, the structural change will be even more marked:

the Chinese market will have 6.8 million new cars this year than it did in the year 2009, and growth in the USA will amount to 4.8 million additional light vehicles.

In 2013 the Western European market, by contrast, will be 2.5 million new cars down on the year 2009.

In the difficult situation in Western Europe, the German passenger car market has turned in relatively good results: for 2013 as a whole we expect the volume of new registrations to be somewhere between 2.9 and 3.0 million passenger cars.

That is indeed somewhat below last year’s level.

Yet in the second half of 2013 we expect to see the domestic market stabilising. 

The July figures have already confirmed our estimates in this respect.

And – after adjustment for the number of working days – the August figures are close to those from the same month last year.

We expect that in the coming years the German passenger car market will again settle down at around the 3 million cars.

Thank you very much.


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