GER – IAA 2019 presents individual and sustainable mobility of the future

VDA President Matthes: Experiece with all sences in Frankfurt next week!

Lesedauer: min

Statement delivered by Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the VDA’s initial IAA press conference on Monday, September 2, 2019, in Frankfurt am Main, CMF.

You are most welcome to our press conference in the run-up to the IAA. We have decided to hold the press conference a week earlier than we have done in previous years – for three reasons:

First, this IAA – and the social and political environment – are very different from previous events. Demonstrations have been planned to coincide with the IAA. We have offered to enter into dialog with these NGOs, and we wish to inform you about this.

Second, we have given the IAA a new and more comprehensive conceptual design. We want to explain it to you in more detail. And third, we wish to give you an opportunity to prepare for the IAA before it kicks off on September 9 with the first events. In addition, I will give you a brief overview of the markets in the light of the trade disputes.


We are approaching the IAA with confidence! At international level, the IAA is the most important event for the mobility of the future. The IAA is changing, as is the entire automotive industry. It is evolving from an exhibition into a comprehensive platform where all the relevant players in the field of sustainable, individual mobility will be present in greater variety this year – manufacturers, hi-tech companies, suppliers, mobility service providers, and startups. This sets the IAA apart from all other mobility events and motor shows.

The IAA’s motto is “Driving tomorrow” – we aspire to shape tomorrow!

The automotive industry is undergoing a huge process of transformation, which is characterized by three challenges:

  • climate protection, CO2 targets, and alternative powertrains;
  • digitization, connectivity, and automated driving – impacting on the entire traffic system;
  • the automotive industry’s global orientation – in times of protectionism and trade disputes.

All these points both affect Germany as an industrial location (this is tangible for our OEMs and suppliers) and influence the social discourse.

And all of this also impacts on the IAA as a reflection of the automotive industry. Just a classical motor show is no longer able to live up to the expectations that exhibitors, visitors and society place on an event of this kind. In previous decades exhibitions were used for marketing, they were places where firms presented their whole product range. But today they are increasingly becoming meeting points for dialog, networking, integration, cooperation, new connections, and ideas about the future.

It is no longer essential to present everything, but instead to provide the right impulses and to bring all the relevant actors in each sector together.

For this reason, we have re-cast the IAA – as the international platform for the individual mobility of the future.

At this IAA the participants will experience for the first time the new formats IAA Conference, IAA Exhibition, IAA Experience and IAA Career.

The IAA Conference is a key pillar of the new IAA with top-level speakers and panel discussions on the individual mobility of the future.

The IAA Exhibition will showcase world premieres that reflect the entire mobility value chain. The New Mobility World will highlight a large number of technological solutions and prospects for the future.

The IAA Experience will bring driving experiences onto the show grounds, for example on the outdoor circuit, test drives, the Kids World and the E-Move track.

The IAA Career is directed at students, career entrants and professionals.

This makes the IAA much more than a presentation stage for marketing purposes. It is also an area for networking, discussions and inspiration. The aim is to experience mobility with all the senses: to see it, experience it and discuss it.

Please allow me to tell you a little more about the four new formats:

IAA Conference:

In line with the IAA’s leitmotiv of “Driving tomorrow,” the IAA Conference will host an intensive discourse under the slogan “Beyond Mobility,” covering topics with future relevance such as electric mobility and other alternative powertrains, artificial intelligence, smart cities, the sharing economy and infotainment. The discussions will concern not only how to get from A to B, but also how future mobility can alter our coexistence – going “Beyond Mobility.”

The 200 speakers at the IAA Conference will include Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM, Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler, Formula 1 world champion and Greentech co-founder Nico Rosberg, and many more.

The subjects covered at the IAA Conference will range from automation and connectivity to clean and sustainable mobility, to advanced materials and manufacturing. And the formats on four conference stages will be equally varied. We wish to provide intelligent answers to the most urgent questions about the future of mobility. This will be possible only in a frank dialog – and with some provocative questions, plus participants who challenge us.

IAA Exhibition:

As an exhibition the IAA has always been unique because it covers the whole value chain. At the IAA 2019 we are highlighting the entire ecosystem of mobility as never before: we are bringing technology companies together with OEMs, suppliers, mobility service providers and startups.

The focus is firmly on premieres with electric propulsion. The message is that e-mobility is being rolled out in almost all segments; it is not restricted to the luxury segment but is also appearing in the compact class. The IAA Exhibition will also shine a spotlight on progress in digitization and in connected and automated driving.

The IAA Exhibition includes the New Mobility World (NMW) in Hall 5. From September 10 to 15, this will be the place for anything to do with urban mobility, sustainable energy, connectivity and digitization. On the one hand the NMW is an international B2B platform for trade professionals. On the other, the theme parks and demonstration sites in the NMW’s Expo section invite visitors to discover innovative future technologies, meet international hi-tech firms and startups, and hear about exciting concepts for the mobility of tomorrow. This includes the Start-Up Zone and the Start-Up Challenge.

IAA Experience:

The IAA Experience offers visitors the fun of driving and experiences of electric mobility and digitization.

A self-driving shuttle bus from Continental will operate on the F10 open-air site. Then we also have the test drives, with both conventional and electric vehicles. The test drives have a full complement of 13 exhibitors and 72 vehicles. OEMs such as Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Renault/Dacia, Tesla, Volkswagen and Ionity will give IAA visitors a chance to try out the latest developments for themselves and to drive the new models.

The Agora offers the E-Move track (for e-bikes and e-scooters) with exhibitors such as Bird, BMW, Bosch, Brose, Circ and Škoda, and the off-road circuit with off-road vehicles and SUVs from Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Seat, Škoda and Volkswagen.

Hall 4 houses a new crowd-puller right at the heart of the IAA: the IAA Heritage by MOTORWORLD makes the link between the origins of mobility and its future. Here IAA visitors can travel back in time with classic cars.

Young IAA visitors can obtain “Explorer Passes” for an unforgettable experience. The Explorer Pass indicates all the special activities and stands with offers for kids. So the youngest visitors can become guides for their families at the IAA.

IAA Career:

At the IAA Career, career entrants will find important contacts with exhibitors that provide information about courses and career tips for potential high achievers. In addition, the schools’ campaign is again running for schoolchildren and trainees.

The IAA will be opened by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 12. Waymo CEO John Krafcik will also give a keynote presentation.

If we look at the overall IAA concept, we realize that the IAA 2019 is far more than a mere exhibition – it is a platform for experiences, discoveries, and discussions. Using all the senses. It is no longer solely about model premieres, but about the entire new ecosystem of mobility. And about a new quality at the IAA: will we reach the relevant decision-makers, designers, and movers and shakers in future individual and sustainable mobility? Will we manage to expand our target groups? Is the IAA becoming even more attractive to younger visitors, and to women?

We are experiencing a transformation from the world's largest car showroom to the most relevant platform. A trend can be seen among all the major exhibitions: the relevant point is no longer the size of the area, but extent of the media reach. This is the yardstick for measuring the success of the IAA.

We know that fewer brands of cars will be exhibiting at the IAA 2019. We regard this as a challenge and, by offering wide-ranging quality and diversity, we want to make the IAA so attractive that those who cannot be present this time for whatever reason will take part again at the next IAA.

At present around 800 exhibitors from 30 countries have registered. China holds first place among the international exhibitors, with 79 companies – which is more than in 2017 (73). The exhibition covers an area of 168,000 square meters.

The demonstrations that have been announced indicate that the IAA is at the focus of social discussion. Individual mobility is being discussed in connection with all aspects of climate change and sustainability.

We see the citizens’ dialog that we have launched as a major opportunity. The wide-ranging discussion encourages the IAA to drive forward its own transformation and helps open it up for new types of encounters.

Climate protection – CO2 targets – Electric mobility and charging infrastructure

This brings me to the second part of my presentation: the German automotive industry is determined to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Swift market penetration by e-vehicles will be necessary if we are to achieve the EU’s very ambitious CO2 fleet limit values for 2030. That means specifically, reducing CO2 by 37.5 percent: 7 to 10.5 million e-cars will have to be on German roads by 2030. That will be possible only if there is a high level of customer acceptance and the best possible regulatory conditions – and it is not going to happen by itself!

The companies are tackling the challenges with determination. During the next three years our OEMs and suppliers will invest 40 billion euros in electric mobility, and they will increase the number of e-models they have on offer to 150 by 2023. However, we also need appropriate political regulations. The mobility of the future is not a one-way street.

What has to be done? Most importantly, the charging infrastructure has to be expanded in both public and private settings – in a sustainable manner and with total coverage. Today Germany has 20,650 public charging points. That is not enough. By 2030 we will need

  • 1 million public charging points,
  • an additional 100,000 fast charging points, and
  • several million private charging points.

To put it simply, customers will accept e-cars only if they are easy to charge. Electric mobility must be visible to people!

In cooperation with policy-makers and trade unions, we have agreed to pull all these points together in a master plan entitled “Concerted Action on Mobility.” It will be prepared and implemented in the near future. The focus here is on e-mobility. But other options remain on the agenda. For example, we are continuing to work on alternative powertrains and fuels, including climate-neutral e-fuels, CNG and hydrogen.

We will also discuss questions about these topics, and any questions about the future of individual mobility or climate protection, at a public dialog event with IAA-critical NGOs in Berlin on September 5. We have offered to enter into dialog with the NGOs, and this has been accepted. I think it is right to talk with one another instead of about one another.

Furthermore, the VDA is issuing an open invitation to a public citizens’ dialog in Frankfurt – off the IAA show grounds – on September 13, to discuss the economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainable individual mobility.

The economy and trade issues

There is no question that the wind blowing across the economic landscape is becoming harsher. The economy is cooling off – and this is true not only of the automotive industry. Part of the overall picture is the fact that passenger car sales have failed to match expectations and that some businesses have had to adjust their revenue forecasts.

The three large markets (Europe, the US and China) are currently not providing any stimulus for growth – even if all three are maintaining levels that are high by longer-term comparison. In 2019 the total global passenger car market will finish on 81 million units – below last year’s level (-4 percent) – but that will still be about 50 percent more than in 2009 (55.3 million passenger cars).

In 2019 Europe will record 15.5 million new cars, slightly down on the very high sales figures from 2018 (-1 percent).

The US market (light vehicles) that was also very strong in 2018, with sales of 17.2 million vehicles, will be 2 percent down in 2019 (16.9 million light vehicles).

In China we expect a fall of 7 percent in 2019 to 21.6 million passenger cars – triggered principally by trade disputes with the US. We are pleased to see that sales of German group brands in China are doing better than the market as a whole – in the first seven months our market share rose by 2 percentage points to reach 24.0 percent.

In the light of the trade disputes between the US and China, and between the US and the EU, and Brexit, it is plain for all to see that Germany as an automotive location, with its high export quota, is facing considerable challenges.

It is urgently necessary for politicians to undertake serious efforts to strengthen the country’s industrial competitiveness. Measures must be implemented rapidly and consistently. By international comparison, German energy levies and corporate taxes are too high, and we also pay large social welfare contributions. What is needed is a national industry strategy that takes account of the medium-sized companies at all times.

The industry is adapting its structures to the changing conditions. Sometimes this necessary process can be painful. Policy-makers should also look to the future and the new technologies it will bring.

The IAA will be more exciting and varied than ever before. It has long been more than a motor show, and internationally it is the most important event for the sustainable individual mobility of the future!

We will make our contribution to climate protection and invest massively in sustainable individual mobility.

The economic sky is clouding over, and we must make Germany as an industrial location proof against the approaching weather. This will include improvements to the regulatory framework. The politicians have to take action here. We, the industry, will make our contribution.