IAA Mobility Director: “Bikes vs cars ‘enemy images’ will not get us anywhere”

As the end of the first IAA Mobility event draws nearer Executive Director – Business Unit Consumer Goods Messe München, Tobias Gröber has offered his take on why the two industries should continue to forge bonds rather than take pot shots.

“We are aware that this opening will not please all market participants and stakeholders who would like to hold on to their traditional ”enemy images’’ (cars versus bikes, pedestrians versus bicycles). But this polarisation will not get us anywhere as a society, because only an interplay of all solutions will help us move forward; not the artificially maintained preservation of old positions. Because mobility in the countryside needs different solutions than in big metropolitan areas. And that is why, especially after the first IAA Mobility, it is even more important for us that it is not “either bicycle or car”, but “both bicycle and car” – having an eye for when each is the better solution.”

Running until the end of the weekend, the exhibition has drawn interest from the bike world, registering over 50 exhibiting brands and seemingly pulling in the bike world’s scouts who will have been keen to understand the proposition ahead of future trade show planning. IAA is bi-annual and so next year it is likely the cycle trade will settle at the first Eurobike in Frankfurt.

Feedback has already been delivered to Gröber’s team, with cycling brands in the B2C and B2B areas apparently expressing the wish to integrate much more strongly into the broader event “and to mix it with the suppliers from the automotive, IT/tech, infrastructure, etc. sectors.”

“Especially this mix of automotive brands, supplier industry, global corporations and start-ups and bikes, micromobility, e-scooters and cargo bikes has been extremely well received. Therefore, we will tackle this for 2023,” he adds.

The show’s parallel trend across both cycling and automotive centred on the various approaches to delivering the cargo bike; the bike industry opting for everyday utility convenience and the car world tending to take a more literal approach to replacing the van in cities. There were several signs that the world’s are colliding, with a number of OEM parts makers setting out their stall to supply both parties.

Aximo, a new mobility centric arm of the much larger Hirschvogel Automotive Group was one such exhibitor offering to bolster the strength and longevity of the bike world’s products, but also offer the automotive world a price competitive bespoke build option to assist traditional car makers in tapping this new and potentially lucrative marketplace.

“The IAA Mobility is the first major international event in Europe after the start of the pandemic. We are very satisfied with the way things have gone so far. Many market participants are only now realising or understanding that we really want to bring together all mobility carriers on one strong platform. And the bicycle can and must also play an important role here,” concludes Gröber.

CyclingIndustry.News will carry a deep-dive article on both the IAA Mobility event, plus Eurobike, in our next print edition, to which you can subscribe here. Figures on attendance for the show are expected to be released on Monday next week.

In an interview with CI.N last month Eurobike Director Stefan Reisinger pledged that his event will always be about the bike in its various forms, the show’s advertising pointedly saying “no cars”.

Leave a Reply