Driving Today

Frankfurt Show Claims ‘Complete Success’

With over 900,000 visitors, the world’s top international automobile show demonstrates the ind...

With the Europeans focused on the debacles of Greece, Ireland and other financially troubled countries, and with the United States teetering on the verge of an official double-dip recession, one might have expected the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show to be subdued at best -- and a disaster at worst. But instead, organizers of the biannual trade and consumer show say that the show was a “complete success” -- and independent observers, including representatives from Driving Today, largely agree. Not only did 900,000 consumers attend the public days of the show, but a riotous contingent of 12,000 automotive journalists converged during the event’s two press days.

“This level of interest far exceeds our expectations,” said Matthias Wissmann, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA’s closing press conference. “The result of people ‘voting with their feet’ clearly indicates, in contrast to some statements by so-called experts, that the ‘fascination of the car’ is very strong, especially among young people.”

With its “Future as standard” theme, the 64th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show featured more exhibitors (1,012), more exhibition space (2.5 million square feet), more world premieres (183) and more visitors than in 2009. Furthermore, the show has a strong global flavor. This year, 1 in 5 visitors came from abroad, and 1 in 5 of those foreign guests came from Asia. In 2009, the figure was only 1 in 8.

Although conventional cars and trucks were on display in abundance, the Hall of Electric Mobility was heavily visited. Displays included all the alternative types of powertrains: mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, range extender, and 100-percent battery-powered vehicles among them. Hydrogen fuel cells also got prominent attention.

Despite the prominence of alternative fuels, though, conventional luxury cars also got their fair share of looks from the overflow crowd. Among the top vehicles were the new Porsche 911, the Audi R8 Spyder GT, the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, and the BMW M5. Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar and Range Rover kept pace with their own luxury offerings. And then there were the environmental concepts from the luxury brands, which included the Mercedes-Benz F125 and the BMW i8 Concept.

 

 


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