I.In September there is a general election. And IAA. But no Oktoberfest. That raises questions, not just about the next chancellorship. Can an automobile exhibition be a success in the Corona-hit year 2021? Especially at the new location in Munich and with a new concept that locally divides the exhibition into several parts? The organizing Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) is full of confidence that the date 7th to 12th September is set. If you are interested in cars and in Germany, you can only wish the best.
But rejections are hailing. Most recently last week from the Franco-German-Italian group Stellantis, which is united under one made-up word. These include brands such as Opel, Peugeot, DS, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. For example, the world premiere of the compact Astra model at the IAA used to be set for Opel. Now a new generation of Astra is coming up again, but it will be placed past the fair, hardly by chance a few days before it starts. “This is how we create enough attention for our car,” they say at Opel. Of course, part of the whole truth is that CEO Carlos Tavares is putting the newly formed conglomerate under iron austerity pressure. Millions for an IAA are apparently not even for the German brand, although an appearance in Munich is significantly cheaper than at the previous location in Frankfurt. At least that’s what it says.
The same considerations have arisen in many other houses. The list of brands that will not be seen in Munich is depressingly long. Škoda, Seat, Jaguar, Land Rover and Kia are missing. Nobody from Japan is exhibiting, neither Honda nor Toyota nor Mazda will be there. Aston Martin, Ferrari, Volvo and Rolls-Royce are missing.
Ford is there
The inclined observer doubts whether anyone will come at all. Yes, BMW will of course have a presence on its doorstep, including a motorcycle. Its subsidiary Mini also speaks of a popular home game. Mercedes-Benz comes with the AMG attack department. Ford is there. Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and the Spanish Cupra brand are showing their latest models, mostly focusing on electromobility. As far as can be seen, only three other well-known manufacturers from abroad have registered: Renault, Hyundai and the Polestar brand belonging to Volvo. The range is supplemented in particular by numerous suppliers and a large number of bicycle manufacturers.
The IAA 2021 is intended to be a hybrid trade fair for the first time. Part of the exhibition, which the VDA Summit calls, will take place on the exhibition grounds. Product presentations aimed primarily at trade visitors are planned here. The admission prices, staggered like a list of surcharges, from 150 to 1200 euros could be a hurdle, a corporate board of directors says that the association has gone mad. “This will go wrong. Who should pay for that? No wonder that our sales department is only planning at half throttle. ”The other part of the exhibition is connected via a 12-kilometer blue line and is spread across the city. The aim here is to reach the general public, tickets are available from 20 euros. Ford, Dacia, Michelin and Bosch will be at Königsplatz. The Wittelsbacherplatz is occupied by Audi, Porsche and Siemens. The Feldherrenhalle becomes an area for Mercedes-Benz. The Hofgarten is all about bicycles, here, among others, Bergamont, Brose, Riese & Müller, Rotwild and Specialized are expected.
The separation of course means that Volkswagen, for example, will only be on display at the trade fair. The Wolfsburg-based company wants to present itself there on two floors, with mostly electric cars on the ground floor and the new Bulli T7 on the first floor.
All manufacturers plan with extensive live streams so that those who do not want to or are not allowed to travel can also participate. Hardly anyone will come from China, not even from the United States. In addition, the anxious question remains whether a visitor takes twenty minutes underground to get from one exhibition site to the next. Opinions differ widely about the new concept, everything from “it is completely different” to “interesting approach” can be heard in the industry. Ultimately, it depends on the visitor. The Bavarian would say: Take a look.