Realignment of the IAA

Toyota and its Mirai will be missing in 2019 at the IAA
Toyota and its Mirai will be missing in 2019 at the IAA

The 68th International Motor Show has to get itself re-organised. Two years ago, the organising German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) already had to contend with numerous cancellations by automobile manufacturers because quite a few preferred a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show in the USA to an exhibition in Frankfurt (see H2-international issue Jan. 2018).

This year’s IAA Cars, which will take place from 12 to 22 September, is not likely to be any different. In April 2018, for example, BMW announced that the Bavarians would focus more strongly on China and CES in Las Vegas and reduce their IAA stand from 11,000 to 3,000 m2, as the planned budget for this was reduced from 25 to 6 million Euros. Other vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota or Volvo cancelled completely. More than ever before, the VDA is therefore advertising the fact that, in addition to the exhibition, it also has three other mainstays to show for itself: Conference, experience course and career – but they are not really new. Nevertheless, according to VDA press spokesman Eckehart Rotter, these “four innovative formats” are intended to help stem the decline in the number of exhibitions and visitors.

The New Mobility World will also take place parallel to the IAA again this year, albeit somewhat earlier (10 to 15 September). At the NMW Expo, companies in particular will be exhibiting promising mobility solutions. The same hall will also host the IAA Career and the IAA Conference (11 to 15 September), which will be held to discuss topics of relevance to the future such as artificial intelligence, infotainment, alternative drives, climate change, smart cities and the sharing economy.

Rotter could not say to what extent H2 and FC technologies will be visible on site this year. He assured us that “we need all types of propulsion.” But he also said that “we don’t expect to reach the objectives for 2030 with hydrogen”. The fuel cell technology will come, “but not so fast and not so strong”. That is why the VDA primarily relies on battery-powered electromobility. Rotter called this “prioritisation on the time axis”.

In response to a question from H2-international, the press spokesman wished the politicians would set the framework conditions in such a way that the market could keep pace. In particular, this would require a massive expansion of the charging infrastructure and even better depreciation possibilities.

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