AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Reinventing the wheel for the “IAA” / Mobility platform instead of just passenger cars / Competition between Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart
Will it be Berlin, which was the first city to throw its hat into the ring in writing? Or will it again be Frankfurt, the city that has staged the event for many years? Or maybe even a completely different one of the six German trade fair companies that have so far shown an interest? Whatever happens, international motor show “IAA” will not remain the same. German automotive industry association VDA (Berlin; www.vda.de) has, following the latest slump in the number of exhibitors, put the organisation of the event out to tender – as had been expected after this year’s IAA in Frankfurt (see Plasteurope.com of 17.09.2019). It remains to be seen whether Frankfurt will master the balancing act between the minor scandal about the speech that was not given by its mayor Peter Feldmann and the money generated by the IAA for the trade fair company and the city. At any rate, Plasteurope.com has learned that Frankfurt is planning to submit a bid.

In future, the trade show is to become a “comprehensive mobility platform with a fundamentally new concept,” even though, according to a VDA spokesperson, this has so far been only roughly outlined and must first be discussed with the city that is selected to stage the event. The intention is that the show should no longer be confined only to exhibition halls, and not even solely to the trade fair site itself. Instead, the idea is that visitors without a ticket should also be able to experience the event at other locations in the city. The VDA could imagine “active involvement, including the provision of spaces for activity areas and a cost and earnings model.”

By the end of Q1 2020, the VDA – by then under management of the successor to departing president Bernhard Mattes – intends to make a decision about the IAA’s new home. Apart from Berlin and Frankfurt, the cities of Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart have also declared an interest, and the VDA is talking to other candidates too. If the event were to continue to be held on the same date in September, there would be about one and a half years to sort out the detailed planning and implementation – which could also include investing in, for example, building charging stations und hydrogen fuel pumps as well as carrying out tests with autonomous vehicles.

The classic part of the trade fair should continue to showcase passenger cars and developments from suppliers, extended by the so-called “activity axis”. It is not yet clear what exactly that will be, but concepts and business games are moving in the direction of constructing generously sized test tracks, connecting up with other modes of transport and debating the future shape of traffic. “In the best case, it will be a stimulus to establish new concepts and testing areas for a new mobility mix in whichever city ends up staging the event – through to involving public transport and electric scooters,” said the VDA spokesperson.

One thing already seems clear – the net exhibition space in the halls is likely to continue shrinking, which is also the reason why the IAA wants to look at smaller trade fair sites such as Hamburg and Stuttgart that have about half the space usually used by the IAA. The remainder of the nearly 200,000 m² occupied by the show at least up until 2017 would then be found in the rest of the respective city.
02.12.2019 Plasteurope.com [244016-0]
Published on 02.12.2019
Automobilbau: Für die IAA wird das Rad neu erfundenGerman version of this article...

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