German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the IAA MOBILITY 2021 together with Hildegard Müller (President of the VDA), Markus Söder (Minister president of Bavaria), Dieter Reiter (Lord Mayor of Munich) and Klaus Dittrich (Chairman and CEO of Messe München).
"I declare the 69th IAA open" - with these words, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the official starting signal for the world's largest mobility platform on Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 7) at the Munich exhibition center. 744 top-class exhibitors from 32 countries will be present until Sunday, when important innovations will be presented with a new concept under the new name IAA MOBILITY and at the new location in Munich. Above all, however, concepts for the climate-neutral mobility of the future will be discussed.
"The IAA MOBILITY is a signal of hope," declared Chancellor Merkel. And this is true twice over: firstly, as the first trade show in Germany with a global footprint after a year and a half of the Corona pandemic. Second of all, as an important initiator for the targeted climate neutrality. "Looking around here, I am firmly convinced that the transformation to climate neutrality will be a success for our country and for our automotive industry," Merkel said, who was applauded by the top-class audience.
The Chancellor is convinced that the automotive industry can be a "central part of the solution" to the climate problem. Four years ago, she had only seen concept studies on e-mobility at the IAA, and two years ago only the first models in Frankfurt: "Now all manufacturers have electric vehicles suitable for everyday use in their range." But it was also important to "tap the full potential of all innovations." Specifically, Merkel mentioned hydrogen and synthetic fuels, which could make a contribution for climate protection.
Angela Merkel expressly praised "the new holistic concept" of the IAA MOBILITY for the mobility of the future. She said the 70 exhibitors from the bike sector were just as important as the discussions on mobility concepts at the Citizen Lab with citizens in the city.
"At this IAA MOBILITY, boundaries are breaking down. It is a clear signal of departure for the whole world. This is where we set the course for the future," said Hildegard Müller. As President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), she committed herself "without ifs and buts" to the goal of climate neutrality. However, the change required to achieve this is a "Herculean task" for which the appropriate political framework is also needed. "Safe and fast charging with green electricity is the be-all and end-all for the change. We need more, much more speed in the expansion of the charging infrastructure - in Germany, but even more so in Europe," Müller demanded. Merkel commented that we need to "do better." And once again underscored the goal of establishing one million public charging points in Germany by 2030.
Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe München, underscored the signal effect that the new IAA MOBILITY will have: "We are breaking new ground with the VDA and I can already say: It's worth it! We are already the largest mobility platform in the world. The IAA MOBILITY is a beacon for Europe and the industry."
The first edition of the trade show in the state capital is also a milestone for the state of Bavaria, as Minister President Markus Söder pointed out: "Auto is coming home. It's just a perfect match." The CSU politician hopes that the automotive industry will finally be held in the same esteem in Germany as it is around the world. "Without cars, the mobility of the future will not work," Söder said.
In his speech, Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter emphasized that he wanted the IAA MOBILITY to spark a "critical but peaceful discussion" about the mobility concepts of the future: "The central question of the day is how we can remain mobile and maintain our quality of life while becoming climate-neutral."
On the opening day, major global players in the industry had already spoken on this topic. "Reducing CO2 emissions is possible without sacrificing the standard of living," Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, expressed his conviction. He called for even greater efforts from the entire industry: "So far, our efforts have not been consistent enough; much more can be done to combat climate change."
Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG, promised groundbreaking innovations from the industry: "Vehicles will be cleaner and smarter than ever before. Let's get to work!" Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr emphasized, "The crisis has accelerated the transformation. Everyone expects us to transform faster. Innovation and technology are the solution to this."