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New perspectives in the city. Munich and the IAA.

The IAA will be held 2021 for the first time in the metropolis on the Isar. As the Bavarian high-tech city with an international reputation, Munich offers numerous chances to give the automotive show a different profile.

Seven major German cities vied for the IAA. Munich, Hamburg and Berlin made it to the final round with their creative ideas but in March the VDA Managing Board opted for the Bavarian capital. All signs thus point to a new start for the IAA in the fall of 2021. But what does the new concept look like exactly?

A city in transition

One thing is already clear: the IAA in Munich will not take place only on the Exhibition Grounds but at various places in this city of over one million inhabitants. The last modules of the detailed concept for the mobility platform will be finalized by summer. Munich and the IAA: both are in transition. Munich will evolve over the long term into a "smart city" complete with extensive charging infrastructure for e-vehicles, hydrogen filling stations, e-taxis, air mobility hubs, autonomous people movers and more bicycle paths. The IAA will make its mark here and leave substantial tracks – with effects extending beyond the time of the event itself. With this approach the IAA is emphasizing its unique status as the leading mobility platform among the numerous automotive shows and technology platforms. The Bavarian state government is funding the project with 15 million euros.

Automobiles and technology in their DNA

One thing is certain: as booming economic locations at the center of the German high-tech industry, Munich and Bavaria are a perfect fit for the IAA. About 22,000 companies specialized in electronics, telecommunications, electrotechnology, machinery and motor vehicle construction, and aerospace technology are located in the city. The figures for the automotive industry are also impressive: 500,000 people in Bavaria now work either directly or indirectly for this industry – some in the third or fourth generation. Brands such as BMW, Audi and MAN have settled here and global suppliers such as Brose, the Dräxlmaier Group, Rexroth, Schaeffler and Webasto have roots in Bavaria. About one-quarters of the automobiles made in Germany are produced in the Free State. Moreover, Bavaria is the birthplace of many important developments in automotive history:

  • Andreas Flocken developed the first four-wheel electric automobile in Coburg in 1888.
  • The legendary engineer Rudolph Diesel invented the first compression ignition engine in Augsburg.
  • Walter Linderer presented the first airbag in his native city of Munich in 1951.

The greater Munich area is also known as "Isar Valley." A total of 140,000 people work in the IT industry in this economic region, making it the top IT location in Germany. Big names such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Apple, Intel, Cisco and Salesforce have their headquarters here – along with companies proud of a long tradition, such as Siemens and Infineon. Moreover, numerous incubators and mobility startups have sprung up here.

Leader in mobility research

The region also has an above-average concentration of universities and research institutions. Prestigious institutes and universities are concerned with the mobility of the future. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure plans to establish a "German Center for Future Mobility". The project is still in an early development phase. Here experts in science and economics will be investigating and developing the mobility systems of the future. The research center will have a estimated budget of 500 million euros for the first five years; the money will go into various academic departments and a campus devoted to practical application. Here solutions for climate-friendly and digitally connected mobility – as well as future-ready technologies, products and services – will be developed to market maturity.

Sophisticated event location, the largest folk festival and a 5-star airport

Oktoberfest, BAUMA, the Munich Security Conference: The city on the Isar has proven time and again that it can host attractive large-scale events with a global reputation. The Exhibition Grounds undergo continual modernization for this purpose; today they meet up to 100 percent of their electricity requirements with green power from photovoltaic and geothermal plants. Moreover, the state capital is the home of the first five-star airport in Europe, with direct connections to 254 destinations. In 2019 Munich Airport was chosen again as the best airport on the European continent.

A world city with a heart

Munich and the surrounding area offer a huge assortment of tourist attractions and cultural highlights: over 60 museums, over 130 art galleries, countless beer gardens and taverns, Nymphenburg Palace, the FC Bayern soccer team, the English Garden and many more. Thanks to its unique location on the Isar not far from the Bavarian Alps, the city offers visitors unmatched experiences outside the city as well.

The people of Munich welcome the IAA

What's even more important: Munich gets a vote of approval from the Bavarian government, business and especially the population, as shown by a representative Civey survey: nearly every third German (31 percent) voted for the Bavarian location. Furthermore, the majority of the city's inhabitants welcome the IAA: 63 percent take a favorable view of the IAA's move to their city. This is shown, furthermore, by the positive reports and comments on the choice of Munich in the national media and social media channels.