Press Releases

Wissmann: IAA throws open the window to the future

Frankfurt/Berlin, 09 September 2013

Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA opening press conference in Frankfurt am Main, CMF, on 9 Sept. 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have pleasure in welcoming you very warmly to our opening press conference at the IAA.

The 65th IAA 2013 is “the world’s most automobile show.” That is the IAA slogan. The slogan is backed up by facts and figures:

there is no other motor show anywhere in the world with more premieres, more new developments or more innovation. Visitors will not find “more automobile” anywhere else. They can look forward to 159 world premieres, 70 of them by manufacturers and 65 by suppliers. The IAA remains the world’s most important motor show. It remains a rock of stability despite the difficulties in the passenger car business in Western Europe:

with an exhibition area of around 230,000 square metres, the size of the IAA is similar to that in 2011. With 1,098 exhibitors from 35 countries, it has actually already far exceeded the very high level at the previous trade fair (1,012). The IAA is organised by the VDA and will be opened by Chancellor Merkel on 12 September. It will run until 22 September.

The IAA is the world’s most important meeting point for the automotive world. The IAA has again become more international as it celebrates its 65th anniversary. The proportion of foreign exhibitors is 42 per cent, which is much higher than in 2011 (32 per cent). Among the foreign exhibitors, 42 per cent come from Asia. This proportion has more than doubled as compared with 2011 (19 per cent in 2011). Exhibitors from China are especially well represented. In fact their number has increased ten-fold – to 129 (13 in 2011). Most of these are suppliers. The Chinese OEM Changan is also present. This clearly puts China in first place by the number of foreign exhibitors, followed by the United Kingdom (85 exhibitors), France (34) and Japan (31). From the USA we have 21 exhibitors.

The IAA also remains the only motor show in the world where the entire automotive value-added chain is represented – and the tendency is increasing: The number of suppliers exhibiting at the IAA is 383, which is up by one quarter compared with 2011 (305).

More than half (55 per cent) of the exhibiting suppliers come from abroad.

We have kept the IAA admission prices for the general public unchanged for ten years (13 euro on weekdays and 15 euro at the weekends).

Ladies and Gentlemen,

the progress achieved by the German automotive industry in reducing the classical pollutants, CO2 and fuel consumption is impressive:

-       when it comes to classical pollutants – volatile hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulates – the new Euro-6 vehicles now have emissions that are reduced by 97 to 98 per cent compared to levels at the beginning of the 1990s.

-       Measured against the year 2000, we have brought down particulate emissions by 94 per cent.

-       Our cars are therefore often cleaner than the ambient air!

-       In the period from 2006 to 2012, the newly registered passenger cars from German group brands made huge progress in consumption:

-       from 7.1 litres to travel 100 kilometres down to only 5.7 litres.

-       At the same time we drastically reduced CO2 emissions:

-       from 175.2 grams per kilometre to 141.4 grams!

-       This trend has also continued over the first seven months of the current year:

-       the average consumption by newly registered passenger cars from German makers fell to 5.5 litres for 100 kilometres – a drop of 4 per cent compared with the same period last year.

-       CO2 emissions have also continued to fall: by 4 per cent to 136.9 grams.

-       Today we have 434 models on offer emitting less than 120 grams of CO2. This corresponds to consumption of 4.9 litres over 100 kilometres (4.6 l/100 km for diesels; 5.2 l/100 km for petrol engines).

-       Our portfolio of these CO2 champions has expanded by almost 70 per cent compared with last year!


However, Ladies and Gentlemen, these successes have been achieved by optimising the classical drive trains – clean diesels and petrol engines – by using smaller engine capacities, fewer cylinders, turbocharging and lightweight construction. These potentials for improvement have now largely been exhausted. However, as shown recently by an expert report from the RWTH Aachen University, the 95 gram target planned for 2020 can only be achieved if new registrations contain a considerable proportion of vehicles with alternative drive trains – that is to say, only if a large number of electric cars are bought.

The 95 gram target cannot be achieved with the internal combustion engine alone. This is the new quality that is the subject of the current debate on the CO2 Regulation. And this is why super credits for e-vehicles are so important.

We have drawn up a “path of innovations” for the IAA which, from tomorrow onwards, shows all interested visitors the shortest route on the exhibition grounds to the brand new innovations in environmental and climate protection, and offers information about electric mobility and connectivity.

This brings me to the two strategically important innovation topics that define this IAA: electric mobility and connected vehicles. The IAA shows that electric mobility is no longer a vision. Electric cars are now appearing on the roads – as pure battery-electric cars, as plug-in hybrids, and as range extenders. Then there are also fuel cell vehicles.

So the IAA is throwing open the window to the future.

The German manufacturers alone will launch 16 series models with electric drive onto the market by the end of next year.

The second focus of innovation is car connectivity.This will lead to dramatic changes over the coming years:Cars will become mobile communication platforms.

Drivers will then be online all the time and connectivity will provide them with all the important information much faster than before. For example, the car will be able to “see further” than the driver ever could. In short, connectivity enhances the safety of all road users – and for the driver it also means greater comfort. It is clear where this is heading: towards partially automated driving, and later to highly automated driving. These are fascinating prospects for motorists. And the market opportunities are enormous; we expect 36 per cent growth per year.

In 2016, 210 million connected cars will be on the world’s roads – four times as many as there are today. Electric mobility and connectivity are not only visible at the exhibitors’ stands, but will also be covered in detail at the one-day symposia at the IAA.

In total, more than 20 specialist events supplement the offering at the “world’s most automobile show.” They will cover topics including Germany as a production location, tax, transport and import-duty policies, and of course road safety.

The IAA also offers pure action – at over 20 special shows and activities. To give you a couple of examples, I can mention the off-road vehicle test circuit and the test drives with around 100 cars in all, including some electric vehicles.

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.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

before the Federal Chancellor opens the IAA on Thursday, the Press Days will take place tomorrow and Wednesday.

There is a real marathon for you on these two days:

-       There will be over 82 press conferences in total.

-       Around 52 of them will take place on the first Press Day.


Sixty per cent of the press conferences will be held by foreign firms – which is another indication of the IAA’s increasingly international nature.

To date, over 9,000 journalists from 97 countries have been accredited online. We expect well over 10,000 media representatives to attend the IAA. No other trade fair elicits such a keen response from the media!

Please allow me to summarise:

The requirements for a successful IAA are in place. With 159 world premieres, the IAA obviously comes top in an international comparison! The two focuses – electric mobility and connectivity – define this IAA and open the window to the future of mobility. And now everything is up to our exhibitors, who will present their many world premieres in the days ahead!

I wish you all an exciting IAA!

Thank you very much!

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