Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the final IAA press conference in Frankfurt am Main, CMF, on 20 Sept. 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is my pleasure to welcome you most cordially to our closing IAA press conference.
The IAA ends on Sunday at 7 p.m. But today we can already establish that this IAA is a total success! The world‘s most important trade fair for mobility has sent out two very strong signals for innovation: electric mobility and the connected vehicle!
These two drivers of innovation dominated the Press Days and the international reporting. They dominated the opening ceremony attended by Chancellor Merkel. We held two large, whole-day symposia on these subjects, both of which were very well attended. And most of all they are fascinating the visitors to the IAA here in Frankfurt on all the exhibition days. At the stands of the manufacturers and suppliers, visitors experience electric mobility and connectivity in their most varied forms.
The IAA has therefore thrown open the window to the future of mobility:
- The car of the future will set new standards in emissions.
- We are on the way to the zero emissions car.
- Today we talk of “fuel costs” – or to put it better, “electricity costs” – of only 3 euro to travel 100 kilometres.
- For customers in particular, this is a strong argument in favour of electric mobility!
- Here at the IAA everybody can see that electric mobility is no longer a vision, but reality.
- We are no longer dealing in announcements; now it is being implemented!
- The e-cars are now appearing on the roads – and in all segments, from small cars to sports models.
- By the end of 2014 the German manufacturers alone will launch 16 electric series models onto the market – with pure battery-electric drive, as plug-in hybrids, or with range extenders.
- Secondly, the car of the future will be completely connected.
- “Always online” – in future this will apply especially inside cars.
- Cars and smartphones are two sides of the same coin!
- We are bringing the Internet into the car – and we are bringing the car into the Internet.
- The exciting innovations can be seen in impressive displays at the stands of the manufacturers and suppliers here at the IAA.
- This industry is energetically driving forward the digital revolution both in and around the car.
- Online services in and around the car are increasing rapidly.
- They will lead to an exciting and new driving experience.
- The car is becoming a mobile communication platform.
- This makes driving even more comfortable and, most importantly, even safer.
So the automotive industry is promoting two innovative topics of strategic importance. The car is on the way to the “mobility of tomorrow” – with a high innovation speed! At this IAA it is also becoming apparent for the first time that electric mobility and car IT are not simply two isolated pillars. Instead, these two aspects are moving closer together and driving each other forward. Internet-based services, electronic engine management, the large number of driver assistance systems – all of this requires electronics. And therefore this IAA is “the world’s most automobile show.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
with 1,098 exhibitors from 35 countries, the 65th IAA Cars has consolidated its position as the leading international trade show for mobility. The IAA is the most international motor show – the proportion of foreign exhibitors is 42 per cent. The IAA is by far the most important motor show in the world – with 159 world premieres, 70 of which are world premieres from passenger car manufacturers. The IAA is also the motor show that generates the greatest response from the media: over 11,700 accredited journalists from 99 countries are reporting on the IAA.
With around 400 suppliers, the IAA reflects the entire value-added chain – this, too, is unique. Only at the IAA can visitors see the suppliers’ combined drive for innovation – which is underlined by the 65 world premieres displayed here by the suppliers alone. The IAA visitors are showing a huge amount of interest in particular in the services from suppliers. As I found confirmed while walking around the exhibition, discussions with customers at the stands were so numerous and so intensive that some employees could hardly get away for a minute, even in the second week of the IAA. The competence of the suppliers is impressive – especially concerning electric mobility and car IT. In all, a large number of technical discussions were held. They were encouraged in part by our ten technology walking tours with developers and purchasers from our German manufacturers.
One especially welcome development is that the exhibiting suppliers in particular have expressed their great satisfaction about how the trade fair has gone. The tenor of their remarks is that the IAA has once again demonstrated its great value as the world’s most important show for all kinds of automotive competence. The focuses – electric mobility and connectivity – are the right ones.
Furthermore, the suppliers were included on the itineraries of the walking tours (over 100 in all) with high-ranking politicians from Brussels, Berlin and the German states. The German Chancellor was here, as were European Commissioner Oettinger, half a dozen MEPs, many ambassadors, a large number of economics ministers from other nations, numerous foreign delegations, four German state premiers, over a dozen ministers from the federal states and state secretaries from national and state level, and many members of the German Bundestag.We had numerous racing professionals here at the IAA, along with music stars and television celebrities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
the programme for this IAA is so extensive that I cannot go into detail. I will just say this: our programme of shows and activities – the off-road vehicle circuit, test drives, the special show of historic vehicles, and the Carrera track, to name but a few – goes down very well with the IAA visitors. We organised over 25 specialist events and congresses, which were all very well attended.
However, the centre of attention was the world premieres. On all the exhibition days the halls were teeming with people, and sometimes there was hardly any space to move. At Audi, on the agora in front of the pavilion, people were even queuing.
That brings me to the visitors to the IAA. Of course the weather is always a factor at the IAA. In contrast to many previous IAAs, this time we did not have the best weather imaginable. However – and this illustrates the strength of the IAA – at this IAA visitors were again “voting with their feet”… for cars!
We still have two and a half days of the IAA to go, which – as shown by the statistics – are always among the days with the most visitors. We expect that on Sunday evening, when the IAA closes its doors, we will have recorded somewhere in the region of 900,000 visitors. And that is a very welcome result against the background of the ongoing difficult economic situation in Western Europe. The IAA has fully lived up to our expectations, and in many aspects it has even exceeded them.
A good four out of five IAA visitors (83 per cent) come from Germany. Three out of four foreign IAA visitors come from Europe. The share of visitors from North America has more than doubled (from 2 to 5 per cent). Two thirds of all IAA visitors travel more than 100 kilometres to the show. The proportion of trade visitors is well over one third (36 per cent). The high calibre of the trade visitors is revealed by a single figure: 72 per cent of the trade visitors are involved in purchasing decisions. This is an important reason why our exhibitors – especially the suppliers – are so satisfied with this trade fair.
Turning to the general public:
over two thirds (67 per cent) of IAA visitors had already been to an IAA – and one in nine had already visited the IAA ten or more times. On average, visitors spend six and a half hours walking round the IAA. We are particularly pleased that the IAA is evidently becoming more and more attractive to female visitors: they now make up 16 per cent of visitors (cf. 14 per cent in 2011); on the first IAA Sunday the figure was as high as 20 per cent. The average age of the IAA visitors has stayed at 35 years – in view of the overall demographic development, the IAA therefore remains a “fountain of youth.”
The notion that young people are interested in cars is clearly backed up by the schools’ campaign: we have recorded around 34,000 participants, which is an increase of 20 per cent compared with 2011 – and far exceeds our expectations! Some classes and course participants came from other countries, including Austria, France, Poland, the Czech Republic – and one Chinese exchange class.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would just like to summarise:
- The 65th IAA Cars has fully lived up to our expectations as “the world’s most automobile show.”
- Our exhibitors are very satisfied with this IAA; the calibre of the visitors has risen again.
- The topics of electric mobility and connectivity are fascinating, point to the future, and have obviously also attracted many young people to the IAA for the first time.
- The only drawback was the weather – but on this point Messe Frankfurt has promised to do much better in 2015!
- Finally, I wish to thank Messe Frankfurt, the police, the fire service and all the other organisations and service providers, who have supported this IAA and made an active contribution to making this mobility trade fair a success.
- My thanks also go to our own team that has spent many weeks preparing and running this IAA.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After the IAA comes the IAA: the 66th IAA Cars will take place here in Frankfurt from 17 to 27 September 2015, with Press Days on 15 and 16 September 2015. And next year the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles will be held in Hannover – from 25 September to 2 October 2014.
May I invite you to that show and ask you to mark the dates in your diaries.
Thank you very much!