Frankfurt Motor Show Is Dead, 2021 IAA To Be Held Somewhere Else
30 January 2020 - motor1
It could be the Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich Motor Show instead.
Auto shows are facing a crisis. Declining attendance has many automakers questioning the merits of the elaborate displays, the splashy press conferences, and the financial investment associated with the shows. More and more are skipping them altogether. This exodus has made it challenging for show organizers to draw exhibitors and attendees, and not even the International Automobile Exhibition – known as the Frankfurt Motor Show – is immune. Yestarday, the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), the show's organizing body, announced Frankfurt would not host the show for 2021.
Instead, the VDA is looking to Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, with a decision on which city will host the 2021 show expected in the next few weeks as negotiations with each continue. Seven cities presented their concepts and ideas for how'd they would host the show – Cologne, Stuttgart, and Hanover also submitted. The VDA said each city had "very creative" ideas, and that "it's a very tight race" between the finalists. The next IAA could focus more on mobility – something other shows are highlighting.
The news is a blow to Frankfurt, which has hosted for the show for almost 70 years. It's also home to Germany's financial center and the European Central Bank. The VDA thanked Frankfurt "for this long, very good and trusting partnership," along with the other entrants for participating in the competition.
Thankfully, the IAA show isn't going away. It's a nice complement to the Paris Motor Show – the two alternate year-to-year. However, it is indicative of the times as show organizers try to attract visitors as automakers abandoned the shows and venues for more intimate engagements with journalists, customers, and the public. The IAA saw a sharp decline in visitors and exhibitors during last year's show, attracting 550,000 people. However, that's way below the 810,000 that attended in 2017 and the 931,000 in 2015.