Automotive show shunts focus to future of mobility under IAA banner

One of Europe’s key automobile fairs will reinvent itself as a broader show exploring the future of mobility in 2021, in collaboration with the Messe München venue.

The industrial automotive association VDA, which boasts 600 member companies, has indicated that an overhaul of the formula is now due to include other forms of mobility beyond the traditional motorised options. That, it is said, will now include bicycles, electric bikes and other LEVs emerging in the world of personal and business mobility.

In an interview with German trade portal Velobiz.de the minds behind the overhaul explained that mobility should no longer be presented in an us vs them conversation, but that options exist from which all people can combine or turn to exclusively.

“Mobility is often presented as an either/or: driving pleasure or sustainability, city or country, individual or public, automobile or bicycle. But mobility is always a multifaceted and it’s precisely this that should be at the core of the new IAA. Mobility and climate protection are not opposites either; they are always linked. The latest technologies are the basis for new forms of sustainability. This IAA will show that in all its diversity,” said Dr. Martin Koers, VDA’s Managing Director.

As is the goal with events like the Velocity Conference, which focuses on the bicycle and LEVs role in the future of mobility, the exhibition’s organisers hope that bringing their event to a city will provide the ‘spark’ to change the way people think about mobility in that locality.

“The IAA is also intended to be the initial spark for the host city to develop into a smart city with intelligent transport concepts and innovative networking of transport modes – sustainable and geared towards people’s needs. Munich and the city’s conception offer the best conditions for this – and thus for the restart of the IAA,” explained Koers.

The cycling industry’s support will now be sought, starting with conversations taking place this month, with pre-fabricated stand packages to be sold by the organiser. The Open Space and Blue Lane areas of the venue may become options for those seeking to demo their goods to a potentially new audience.

Concluding why he feels the bike industry would want to consider a place at a traditionally motor-dominated exhibition, Koers says: “We should basically say goodbye to thinking in terms of opposites. It’s not about car or bike, but about the holistic approach that brings sustainable mobility forward, especially in urban areas. The IAA is no longer a trade fair in the traditional sense, but an innovative mobility platform. This includes automobiles, e-bikes, e-scooters, bicycles, scooters and motorcycles, buses, trains, public transport and digital service networks, which are becoming increasingly important.”

The event will take place at Messe München from September 7th to 12th, 2021.