The origins of the IAA can be traced back to more than 100 years, to 1897, when eight motor vehicles were exhibited to the public at the Bristol Hotel in Berlin. VDA (Verband der Automobil Industrie), the powerful German Automotive Industry Association, is the organizer. This year's show motto is "Commercial vehicles: Driving the future."
Preceded by two press days, the will play host to more than 1,700 exhibitors (some 35 from the U.S.) and will attract 250,000 to 300,000 visitors from all across the globe. More than 2,000 trade press journalist have signed up for credentials, with 40% coming from outside Germany.
A day ticket costs 19 euro ($24) and a season ticket/exhibitor pass costs 63 euro ($77).
At a recent Pre-IAA International Press Workshop in Frankfurt am Main, industry leaders held presentations in front of some 200 gathered editors.
The 2008 IAA hit an all-time high both in respect to numbers and exhibitors, but when it opened its doors on Sept. 25, 10 days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the enthusiasm slowly passed away, with a rash of canceled orders due to increased credit restrictions.
The commercial vehicle industry has emerged from the crisis of 2009 stronger than it was before, VDA president Matthias Wissmann said during the iAA preview. "The last two years have seen a great recovery. In Western Europe, sales of heavy commercial vehicles (over 6 ton) in 2011 climbed to around 262,000 units, which was a rise of 31% compared with the crisis year of 2009."
However, today the European commercial vehicle industry is feeling how the national debt crisis in some European countries is affecting demand. Still, the severely affected markets (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) amounted to only around 15% of the entire sales volume.
"Over the year 2012 we therefore expect new registrations of heavy trucks (over 6 ton) in Western Europe to total between 250,000 and 256,000 units," Wissmann said.
WIssman predicted "exciting world premieres," for the IAA show. "We expect to see new ideas for optimizing aerodynamics. We will experience the progress in alternative commercial vehicle drivetrains - ranging from natural gas and hybrids to hydrogen and electric mobility. Innovations will also be presented that bring even greater safety."
The press workshop featured a panel discussion on the topic: "Road freight transport between economic growth and climate protection: strategies of the commercial vehicle industry on global markets." Presentations focused on topics such as aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, emissions reduction, hybrid and electric vehicle technologies, driver training for fuel-efficient driving.
Presenters during the Pre-IAA press seminar included Matthias Wissmann, President of VDA, Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Commercial Vehicles, Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of MAN, Akhat Urmanov, vice president of Kamaz Trucks, Norbert Holzer, senior vice president of Iveco SpA., Heinz-JÃ¼rgen Loew, president of Renault Trucks, Kay Lindemann, COO of VDA, and Rudolf Kuchta, senior vice president of MAN Bus.