Strong European market supports the IAA

Strong European market supports the IAA

 320 world premieres – 2,000 exhibitors from 52 countries

Strong European market supports the IAA

Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA advance web press conference on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, at 14.00 h

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you most cordially to our web press conference.

In three weeks the 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles will open its doors in Hannover.

The IAA is practically fully booked. We are very satisfied with the amount of space occupied. At 270,000 square metres, this IAA is one of the largest since the IAA Commercial Vehicles became a separate show.

At the world’s most important market place for transport, logistics and mobility, around 2,000 exhibitors from 52 countries will present their innovations. This IAA is more international than ever before, with 15 percent more countries.

The total number of world premieres will not be certain until just before the IAA. At present we are receiving more responses from the exhibitors every day. But today I can already tell you that for this IAA the drive for innovation is even stronger than it was two years ago. So far, the exhibitors have indicated that they will be unveiling more than 320 world premieres. In addition, there will be more than 100 European premieres.

As this IAA kicks off, it will fully live up to this international aspiration: the proportion of foreign exhibitors comes to 61 percent. At this time over 1,100 journalists from around 50 countries have already been accredited for the IAA.

The entire international value chain for commercial vehicles is represented at the IAA: manufacturers of heavy trucks, vans and buses, makers of trailers and bodies, plus the many supply companies and service providers.

The slogan of this year’s IAA is “Driven by Ideas.” The industry is thus pointing up the megatrends for which the commercial vehicle sector is presenting solutions:

  • These trends include, first and foremost, connected and automated driving; here we speak of the “digital transformation” of the whole industry.
  • They include the alternative powertrains that are becoming more and more common in commercial vehicles and buses. Electric and hybrid drive, and natural gas are the keywords here.
  • They also include “urban logistics,” which makes transport and logistics in towns and cities even more efficient and environmentally friendly.

To accentuate these topics, for the first time we have designated them as special themes for the IAA Commercial Vehicles at the “New Mobility World logistics.”

This new initiative aims to put a stronger focus on the future designs, new logistics concepts, offers and services from the exhibitors, to make them more recognizable to visitors, and to engage the interest of new companies and visitor groups.

The New Mobility World logistics is also a multiplier for future logistics and transportation topics.

In this way we are creating a new framework for the dialog between all the stakeholders.

We have selected five thematic areas for the New Mobility World logistics:

  • Connected Vehicle,
  • Automated Driving,
  • Alternative Powertrain,
  • Urban Logistics and
  • Transport Services.

These trends in innovation are no longer restricted to individual providers. At this IAA the industry will show the complete range of its progress and commitment in these areas of innovation.

This year, that can be experienced all over the IAA – at the exhibitors’ stands and at numerous congresses. And the open-air “New Mobility World LIVE” will offer IAA visitors the chance to see dynamic and interactive driving demonstrations. In addition, during the exclusive Guided Tours our exhibitors will present innovations to the participating trade visitors – each tour will be dedicated to one of the five thematic areas. Furthermore, electric vehicles will be available for test drives on the exhibition grounds, and there will be test drives in light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles on the public roads.

Digitization is being driven forward by the manufacturers. But here, too, nothing can be done without suppliers – who are also showing great commitment.

The goal is clear: connectivity makes transport even more efficient and even safer.

Commercial vehicles are becoming more intelligent. In the future multifunctional cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will be the “eyes and ears” for assisted and automated driving. Real-time data will be used to warn trucks about a traffic queue ahead, and emergency braking assistants are already in use today.

And when our future digitally connected heavy trucks automatically drive on the freeway in convoys – which we call platooning – it will reduce consumption and simultaneously improve road safety.

Electric and hybrid drives are used not only in vans and buses, but will also ensure that consumption and CO2 emissions from heavy trucks are brought down even further. And alternative fuels such as natural gas also have the potential to reduce CO2 from trucks.

Connectivity and electric mobility will ensure that in the future urban logistics – that is, the “last mile” – can be covered even faster and with zero emissions.

This IAA shows that we will experience a broad mix of drive trains in the future. Diesels will continue to play a key role in long-distance traffic (heavy trucks). The latest exhaust aftertreatment technology (Euro VI, SCR and AdBlue) makes them not only efficient and economical, but also clean. Today’s Euro VI trucks and buses have only homeopathically low pollutant emissions – both in tests and on the roads. The reduction of these emissions has now been successfully completed in commercial vehicles.

However, the trend in urban logistics is very clearly moving toward the alternative powertrains. Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming more and more important. This is true of vans and buses – and soon it will also apply to heavy trucks in local distribution.

In addition, the IAA is a large congress with 27 specialist events on all relevant topics.

They include our “classics” such as the Hazardous Goods Day and load securing, plus numerous events on digitization, connectivity – including the startup forum “Lab16” – and urban logistics. There are also several events dedicated to education and training in transport and logistics.

This brings me to the markets.

The Western European commercial vehicle market is buoyant as we approach the IAA. Last year new registrations of heavy-duty trucks (over 6 t) already climbed by 14 percent to 259,000.

In the first seven months of this year Western Europe showed another 12 percent rise. This reflects the economic recovery in many Western European countries. When the economy is doing well, more commercial vehicles are sold. In Western Europe we recorded the highest sales of heavy commercial vehicles since 2008. Yet we are still a long way from the pre-crisis level.

For the year as a whole we expect growth of 8 percent in Western Europe to 280,000 units.

What is more, half of all commercial vehicles (over 6 t) registered in Western Europe come from a German group brand.

The Western European van market is also booming. We already had double-digit growth during the two last years. This year so far the van market has added 12 percent.

By contrast, the US truck market will take a breather this year – this is not unusual following six years of growth in succession.

After two weak years the Chinese market for heavy-duty vehicles will again expand strongly in 2016.

Russia and Brazil remain causes for concern. Demand in these countries is very low – and as yet there is no improvement on the horizon.

Just the same, all in all the global commercial vehicle market (over 6 t) will grow this year. The same applies to the van market, which is driven by the steadily increasing number of online orders from private households.

We are looking forward to this 66th IAA. The world’s lead trade show will be characterized particularly by the forward-looking topics of digitization, connectivity and automated driving, alongside alternative propulsion. It is “driven by ideas” in the truest sense of the word.

The commercial vehicle industry has long seen itself as a provider of mobility and logistics services. Digitization and alternative powertrains offer a huge opportunity to shape the continually increasing volume of freight traffic worldwide to make it even more efficient and climate-friendly.



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