The IAA Mobility Show tries to rethink the auto show
For industry experts with a high number of visitors, the IAA Mobility also offered a Davos-like “summit” with panel discussions with titles such as “Manage Your Electrified Fleet”, “Decarbonizing the Automotive Supply Chain” and “Challenge the Christian Worldview in the Age of Digitization.”
Business & Economy
Axel Schmidt, head of the automotive division of the consulting company Accenture, thinks a new format is overdue and the organizers are on the right track. But he wasn’t sure it would work.
“I don’t know whether this is the beginning of the end or the beginning of a new era,” said Schmidt in an interview.
The beginning of the end is a definite possibility. Many of the huge exhibition halls at Messe München were empty because companies such as Stellantis – the manufacturer of Fiat, Peugeot and Jeep vehicles – refused to rent rooms.
All automakers are under financial pressure. A semiconductor shortage has led to soaring car prices, pushing sales well below pre-pandemic levels. But sales of electric vehicles are increasing.
And just as the pandemic has led many people to question their routines and values, it has also led auto managers to question venerable traditions like the auto show. The Geneva Motor Show, once one of the top events on the industry calendar, has not been held since 2019, although organizers have announced that it will resume next year.
The North American International Auto Show, the most iconic auto show in the United States, is also adapting this year, moving from its usual Detroit venue to the M1 Concourse, a racetrack in Pontiac, Michigan. The event, called Motor Bella, gives visitors the chance to drive high-performance sports cars or roam an off-road circuit, as well as see more traditional exhibits from automakers.