IAA Mobility begins: Under the sign of e-mobility

Status: 07.09.2021 03:44 a.m.

The automotive industry will fill up with electricity in the future. The big manufacturers at the IAA Mobility also seem to have understood this. But not everyone is buying the change of heart in the industry.

By Lukas Graw and Gabriel Wirth, br

That should have pleased the organizers of the IAA Mobility: At the presentation of the new electric Renault Megane, CEO Luca de Meo found words of praise. It is always a good feeling to meet people in person, especially in times of Covid. That is why he wanted to underline the courage of the organizers in particular to keep the fair. This is particularly important for an automobile nation like Germany.

The Chancellor comes to the opening

And Angela Merkel is also coming. As with the previous international motor shows in Frankfurt, this year it will also open the IAA Mobility in Munich. The industry can rely on the outgoing Chancellor. In any case, Daimler boss Ola Källenius is satisfied with her work, as he says, and he already has clear ideas about the future federal government: It must combine ambitious climate policy with strong economic and industrial policy. After all, the industry is investing billions in new technologies, says Källenius, and this can only continue in the future if companies remain strong and profitable.

Some manufacturers are not included

However, whether the IAA can build on previous successes and become one of the world’s leading trade fairs is still completely open to many observers. In contrast to the past, the car manufacturers’ stands in the exhibition halls are much smaller. A few large corporations are also missing, above all Toyota and Stellantis, to which the Opel and Fiat brands belong.

Due to the travel restrictions still in force in many countries, fewer guests from abroad are expected. In return, the former auto show has been transformed into a mobility fair, where numerous bicycle manufacturers also show their products. A good approach for the car expert Stefan Bratzel: “It is a real attempt to position the car as part of a mobility system.”

Big protests and small disruptions planned

However, the new concept does not seem to convince opponents of the car manufacturers. As at the last IAA in Frankfurt 2019, numerous protests and actions are expected at the automobile exhibition in Munich. Their resistance could be even more massive this year. The IAA Mobility offers many more opportunities for protest campaigns, as it does not only take place in the exhibition halls, but in many places in the city.

Opening of the IAA 2021

Gabriel Wirth, BR, 9/6/2021 5:54 p.m.

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