Wissmann: IAA Has Exceeded Our Expectations

29 Sep, 2016, 08:44 ET from German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)

HANOVER, Germany, September 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the final IAA press conference on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 12.30 h, Convention Center, Hannover exhibition grounds 

World's leading trade show even more international - more visitors despite fewer days - 332 world premieres - digitization, electric mobility and urban logistics are megatrends 

The slogan of this IAA - "Driven by ideas" - is really being put into practice at this, the world's most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. This IAA is characterized by a unique dynamism and looks a long way ahead. Here in Hannover the future is becoming visible reality. The entire commercial vehicle industry displays to the IAA visitors its drive for innovation, its creativity, and its pioneering spirit. These qualities are embodied by the 332 world premieres and over 100 European premieres. The IAA is even more the trade show of the decision-makers, and it is more international than ever.

Three major topics have dominated this IAA: electric mobility, digitization and urban logistics.

Electric mobility: Practically all the manufacturers of city buses and vans have models with electric and hybrid drive in their portfolios. Some of these vehicles are already on the roads, and many more will appear in the near future. This means that in towns and cities more and more zero emissions mobility will be possible, and buses and vans will be as quiet as a whisper. In the medium term this will also apply to heavy trucks in local distribution. This will bring a new quality of life to our urban spaces.

Digitization: This is the strongest and most comprehensive driver of innovation. Connectivity and automation in commercial vehicles go far beyond the assistance systems we have seen to date.

Here is just one example: trucks that are electronically networked and digitally connected on freeways and other long-distance roads - which we call platooning - can markedly reduce their fuel consumption and their CO2 emissions. At the same time, platooning enhances safety as there is no "moment of shock" any more and the connected electronic systems react immediately. For long-distance truck drivers connectivity has the added advantage that it enables them to "digitally reserve" a free parking space.

Urban logistics: Digitization offers a quantum leap forward in towns and cities: more safety, greater efficiency, and better quality of life. All-round cameras and sensors on the vehicles are deployed so that the "blind spot" and the associated dangers will become a thing of the past. Goods will be supplied on demand, individually and on time. For towns and cities this is still a vision, but it is already conceivable for destinations in rural areas or in the mountains: the van is supported by delivery drones that "swarm out" and fly to the relevant door. Here at the IAA we have demonstrated this to the visitors live in front of Hall 19.

These three megatrends will have full impact in urban areas in particular. For the people there that will mean urban mobility and logistics will benefit from enhanced efficiency, safety and comfort.

At the New Mobility World logistics we have covered these topics at numerous congresses, on the LIVE stage on the open-air site, during the Guided Tours and in many test drives in electric vehicles on the exhibition grounds - so they have become tangible. The IAA visitors have been able to immerse themselves in this new world of mobility and logistics and experience it directly. That, too, is part of the fascination of this IAA, and we are developing it into more of an event rather than just a presence here.

The IAA is the only place where the whole value-creation chain for commercial vehicles can be seen. That sets us apart from all other automotive trade shows. The suppliers are very well represented: half of the 2,013 exhibitors are in this manufacturer group. They account for an even larger proportion of the IAA's world premieres: 72 percent (239) of the 332 world premieres are from supply companies, most prominently from those involved in electric mobility and digitization. The suppliers also account for a similar share of the European premieres (71 percent).

The manufacturers of trailers and bodies are also very visible with their many innovations. Visitors could experience "up close" their growing importance in value creation, from alternative powertrains all the way to new services, while at the same time the classical boundaries between suppliers and manufacturers are shifting with the advent of digitization and new business models.

Buses are especially strongly represented at this IAA. And it is not by chance that four of the five candidates for the renowned "Bus of the Year" award are buses with electric drive. The trend is clearly toward a more electrified sector. And that is the case even though buses are already the absolute CO2 champions.

The IAA has become even more international. The proportion of foreign exhibitors comes to 61 percent (59 percent in 2014). The number of exhibiting countries has risen to 52 (45 in 2014). The five best represented countries are China (with 229 exhibitors), Italy (145), the Netherlands (121), Turkey (92) and France (85). Over a third of all exhibitors come from Europe (not including Germany), and one fifth come from Asia.

We are delighted by the huge visitor interest, in terms both of quality and quantity. The visitor numbers are not directly comparable, because this year the IAA 2016 runs for nine days, whereas in 2014 it was ten days. This time we kicked off with a far higher number of press conferences, but one day later. But still the average number of people coming to the IAA per day is higher than it was two years ago. We are very pleased to record 245,000 visitors, which is a very, very good result. And this means that - despite the shorter show - we have exceeded the number in 2014.

Our exhibitors have expressed their particular satisfaction with the high quality of the visitors and the very intensive discussions with customers. The IAA Commercial Vehicles has developed even more strongly into a professional decision-makers' trade fair. The proportion of trade visitors has risen to 86 percent (84 percent in 2014). Eight out of ten trade visitors are decision-makers, and among foreign trade visitors the share is nine out of ten. The national and international managers in this industry all know that the IAA Commercial Vehicles is a must for their business, as revealed by our representative visitor surveys.

What is true of the exhibitors also holds true for the trade visitors. They are becoming ever more international. One trade visitor in three comes from abroad (29 percent in 2014), and on the best days the figure reaches a high of 43 percent. Most of the foreign trade visitors come from China, followed by the Netherlands and Poland.

There is more good news: the IAA visitors are more willing to make investments after going round the exhibition - and the proportion is higher than it was two years ago: 60 percent of trade visitors with an influence on purchasing decisions plan to make investments in the field of commercial vehicles within the next six to twelve months (56 percent in 2014). More than half of the trade visitors use their visit to the show to plan their investments, and among foreign guests the figure is even higher (68 percent). Some IAA visitors are very keen to take decisions during the show. Some exhibitors rang a bell at their stand every time a purchasing agreement was concluded, often chiming several times in an hour.

This demonstrates that the IAA is the decision-makers' trade show and reaches exactly the right target groups. The IAA is a unique platform for excellent customer contacts. And the visitors find highly professional experts at the exhibitors.

Furthermore, the IAA is a major congress with 27 specialist events totaling around 4,400 participants. I would like to mention here just as examples the CarIT congress, the two "classic IAA events" on hazardous goods and load securing, plus the new symposia at the New Mobility World logistics including Dronemaster Logistics and "Lab 16 - Startups meet Industry." With Lab 16 in particular we have created a completely new event format where startups and the industry can meet and hatch smart new ideas. The Lab was accompanied by a 24-hour hackathon, in which students worked under intense pressure to come up with creative IT solutions for a German commercial vehicle manufacturer.

With this program and the high-ranking speakers, our choice of topics was also a bulls-eye, as shown by the large number of participants. The many walking tours for VIPs - including European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, and members of the European Parliament and the German Bundestag - revealed huge interest in electric mobility and connectivity in particular.

In addition, the many test drives in both electric and conventional vehicles, our activities to promote the upcoming generation, and the many special shows are also part of the overall concept of this leading trade fair.

In short, this IAA is also a large, international mobility congress with an exciting program of action, and an efficient communication platform that saves a number of business trips, as exhibitors assure us.

More than 2,100 journalists from 58 countries have been accredited for the IAA, which is a rise of around 10 percent compared with 2014 (1,944). The IAA Commercial Vehicles is without question the leading international trade show for transport, logistics and mobility, with the greatest worldwide media response. Many exhibitors mentioned they had a lot more visits from media representatives at their stands than in 2014 throughout the show's duration, i.e. not only on the Press Days, when over 100 press conferences were held.

Today we make a very positive assessment of the IAA. And at this point we wish to thank the entire team at Deutsche Messe AG for their support, their professionalism, their outstanding attention to services, and for their close and smooth cooperation with all of us at the VDA. Given the heavy workload and the long days, we greatly appreciate this dedication. We will be happy to come here again.

After the IAA comes the IAA: in one year from now the 67th IAA Cars will begin in Frankfurt am Main (September 14 to 24, 2017), and in 2018 we will meet again in Hannover for the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles (September 27 to October 4, 2018).

http://www.iaa.de

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Contact: Eckehart Rotter
German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
Press Department
Tel.: +49-30-897842-120
E-mail: rotter@vda.de

SOURCE German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)