On September 5th, the IAA Mobility 2023 will open its doors in Munich. But what was once the world's largest auto show has turned into a somewhat remote technology and mobility get-together. You will find fewer and fewer car manufacturers there, but the demand from other sectors is growing.
The goal for the IAA 2023 in Munich is clear: it wants to be the largest and most important mobility event in the world. Major car manufacturers, suppliers, tech companies, service providers and start-ups have announced their presence. Chancellor Scholz will open the IAA on September 5th. But car fans who drive to Munich in anticipation of a major car show are likely to be disappointed. Because the IAA Mobility no longer lives up to the magnificent name "International Motor Show". Why is that? Is the trip to Munich still worth it? And which car manufacturers are still exhibiting there?
Shared concept in Munich
The most obvious difference to the classic IAA in Frankfurt is the division of the exhibition. At the premiere of the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, the so-called IAA Summit was established as a B2B area (business-to-business) on the exhibition grounds. This part of the exhibition is aimed exclusively at trade visitors - also in this year 2023. Manufacturers of all forms of mobility, suppliers and start-ups should be able to network with each other here.
Car and mobility fans, on the other hand, have to comb through downtown Munich, where trade fair stands, small adventure parks or exhibition areas are installed at various locations. In plain language: the B2C target group (business-to-customer) can enjoy the open space concept. After all, the IAA Mobility 2023 is free of charge at these locations. As was the case two years ago, trade fair spots can be found at Wittelsbacher Platz, Odeonsplatz, Marstallplatz, Königsplatz, Marienplatz, Max-Joseph-Platz, as well as Ludwigstrasse, Hofgartenstrasse and the Residenzhöfe.
Not many car manufacturers left
According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the registration deadline for exhibitors is probably around the end of February. Maybe in March too. There doesn't seem to be a clear date. It is already becoming apparent that many large international car manufacturers will not be there again . The Stellantis Group, for example - with its brands Peugeot, Fiat, Citroen, Jeep, Chrysler and Maserati. General Motors or Toyota as the largest car manufacturer in the world: not included. Mazda, Honda and Suzuki were absent last time. Just like Jaguar, Land Rover or McLaren. Not to mention Tesla, Ferrari or Lamborghini.
The German brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, VW and Ford have of course agreed to be permanent members of the VDA . At Opel, the decision is still pending. From China come BYD, Hongqi or Leapmotor .There are also many large suppliers on board, such as ZF, Schaeffler, Continental, Brose, Bosch, Mahle, Siemens and Magna. However, they will all present their future-oriented innovations at the IAA Summit and network there in the B2B format.
Effort and costs are still immense for exhibitors at the IAA and have to be justified by many customer contacts. In 2021 there were probably 400,000 visitors from 95 countries over the six days of the IAA. For some car companies like Polestar, the 2021 appearance was probably not worth it. In any case, Polestar and mother ship Volvo will not be present at the IAA Mobility 2023. Hyundai doesn't seem too convinced of the concept either. Although the Koreans are investing a lot in alternative drives and mobility and were there in 2021, the final decision for Munich 2023 has not yet been made. However, Hyundai Mobis is already on the list of summit participants as a supplier.
While other trade fairs in the fields of tuning (Essen Motor Show), camping (Urlaubsmesse Stuttgart or Caravan Salon Düsseldorf), off-road (Abenteuer Allrad Bad Kissingen) or bicycle (Eurobike in Frankfurt) are booming, the IAA seems to be missing a clear target group. Perhaps it is also due to the caution of the major manufacturers. After all, nobody wants to be accused of "greenwashing" when presenting their electric cars, or even negatively associated with climate demonstrations.
This is no longer just an IAA problem. Established manufacturers also refrain from appearing at the other major international motor shows. The automobile suffered body damage to its image. In this respect, the IAA Mobility is perhaps just trying to change the topic to holistic mobility, so that at some point it may even be possible to get along without a car manufacturer. In any case, the President of the organizer VDA, Hildegard Müller, sums up her opinion as follows: "The IAA MOBILITY 2023 intensifies the dialogue with actors from business, media, politics and society. We want to set new and cross-industry thought impulses together and experience the future of mobility make." In this vision, all that remains of the fascination with the automobile is probably the "A" in the trade fair title.