Mattes: IAA Commercial Vehicles exceeds our expectations

Leading international trade show sets new standards with 435 world premieres and 282,000 sq m – Very many purchasing agreements – Focus on digitization, electric mobility and urban logistics – High-quality visitors – Strong presence also on social media

Statement delivered by Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the IAA’s final press conference on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 11.00 h, in the Convention Center, Hannover trade show grounds

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you most cordially to our final press conference at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles.

This IAA certainly has a well-chosen slogan: “Driving tomorrow.” Today I can say that this aspiration – to comprehensively present the future of mobility, transport and logistics here in Hannover – has been realized in full. Throughout this IAA we have experienced an industry in a state of anticipation, which actively faces up to the challenges. This industry delivers!

We see pioneering spirit, new ways of thinking and enormous dynamism here at the manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial vehicles, vans and buses, in the trailer industry, at the many, many suppliers and also in software and IT firms that are at the IAA for the first time.

This IAA has even exceeded our ambitious expectations:

we have gained more exhibitors,

occupied more space,

presented more world premieres,

and welcomed more visitors!


Here are the figures:

  • 2,174 exhibitors from 48 countries are present here in Hannover (2,013 in 2016).
  • 282,000 square meters of exhibition space – a rise of a good 4 percent (270,000 sq m in 2016) and also a new IAA record.
  • 435 world premieres – a newrecord showing disproportionately high growth of 31 percent (332 world premieres in 2016).
  • And what is particularly welcome: the number of visitors has again risen slightly compared with the already very good result in 2016, to around 250,000. And that despite days with heat waves, storms and rain.

Figures are one thing, but for us as the organizers of the world’s most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility, the qualitative assessment by the exhibitors tells us far more.

Today I can conclude the following:

The core messages that we communicated before the IAA – I refer to our International Press Workshop at the beginning of July – were confirmed extensively here in Hannover, realized in many different ways by the exhibitors, and backed up with products and services for actual practice. This IAA has focuses on electric mobility, digitization, connectivity, automated driving and urban mobility. Above all, this industry is driving thesetopics forward with tremendous commitment, major investments and new products!

Electric mobility

This IAA hasshown that electric mobility in commercial vehicles is going into series production! We have notonly 36 electric models for test drives, which have proven very popular, but also numerous world premieres of e-vans and e-buses. And the medium-duty trucks for distribution are also being electrified.

It is especially noteworthy that at many stands clever electric cargo bikes have been on display for the first time, which provide a new answer to the question of the “last mile.” They are flexible, fast and environmentally friendly. In addition, they have remarkably high torque, can store energy from braking in a high-voltage battery and use it the next time they move off. So the range of applications for commercial vehicles with electric propulsion is expanding all the time.

This type of powertrain offers advantages in urban logistics: it is quiet, agile and has zero emissions – and a range that fully satisfies the demands.


The innovation trend of digitization can be experienced at virtually all the exhibitors here at the IAA, from producers of trucks and buses, to the trailer industry, all the way to the large, medium-sized and smaller suppliers and telematics providers – here we find investments, research and developments. Another difference from 2016 is that now the products are coming onto the market in large numbers.

I could give you several examples, but I want to keep it to just a few:

  • The “intelligent truck” that notonly has many extremely advanced assistance systemsbut whose external mirrors have been replaced with “mirror cams” – which makes blind spots history.
  • The fully connected trailer is smart and lean. The trailer or semi-trailer uses capacity management to communicate notonly with the cargo manager, but also with freight exchanges, offering its free capacity and even providing suggestions for making the best use of it.
  • It is also remarkable to see the great commitment of the makers of trailers and bodies to driving digitization forward. There is an app for digital departure checks. That means the driver receives data from the trailer, and if necessary warnings, too.
  • At the beginning ofthis IAA we drew attention to platooning. This allows fuel savings of up to 10 percent and is just one of many examples of applications.
  • Here in Hannover the visitors even had a chance to ride into Hall 23 in the CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience), a driverless “ContiShuttle.” Automated driving cannot be separated from connected driving – these two innovation trends are accelerating each other.

We know that the appropriate regulatory conditions for this still have to be put in place – just think of 5G. The entire German industry sees this as an important area for policy-makers.

Urban logistics

Both electric mobility and digitization are pushing urban logistics forward. In view of the booming online trade, we need convincing solutions for transporting goods and products over the “last mile” up to the customer’s door: connected, electric, fast, with zero emissions and quiet! I am sure that it is the commercial vehicle industry and its partners that are redefining transport in towns and cities – with a high level of customer benefit both for the transport business and for consumers.

New Mobility World

As the organizers of the IAA we recognized these trends at an early stage, took them up and gave them an additional format at the New Mobility World – which we are strategically expanding.

The New Mobility World offers a platform where the automotive industry and new target groups such as technology firms, mobility providers, startups and digital businesses meet with one another and with high-ranking representatives from politics, academia and society for controversial discussion of the future of mobility, to present innovations, and to make the mobility of tomorrow something that can be experienced.

It had the event formats EXPO, FORUM and LIVE.

The fact that LIVE, the outdoor demonstration area, would be a crowd-puller was to be expected. A total of 19 exhibitors presented 16 demonstrations daily, with live transmissions from the vehicles to a large screen, showing trucks being put through their paces – axle weight distribution in long trucks, driver-assist systems, autonomous vehicles for the logistics of the future – to name but a few examples. Over 9,000 spectators experienced the LIVE stage in person.

The fact that EXPO in Pavilion 11, with its new brand worlds, startups, spin-offs and research institutes – alongside large and medium-sized enterprises – would arouse the curiosity of IAA visitors, was also something we were ready for.

But we are particularly delighted to see just how keen visitors’ interest is in the new FORUM format at the New Mobility World. For four days a large international conference took place, also in Pavilion 11, with 20 forums and panels and over 100 speakers. Wehave thus created acentral format with discussions of themobilityoftomorrowfromthe most varied perspectives – whichweconsciously did not restrict tothecommercial vehicle industry. From the very firstday, the public interest was so huge that weactually had to ask the audience not to place extra chairs in the escape routes – because there were not enough seats available.

The IAA in figures

The IAA has also lived up to its ambition of being the international trade show: 60 percent of the 2,174 exhibitors come from other countries.

The five countries sending the most exhibitors are headed by China (252 exhibitors). The majority of them are suppliers on shared stands, which use the IAA principally for making contacts with other companies. Among our Chinese exhibitors, too, the main focus is clearly on digitization and electric mobility. Furthermore, seven Chinese OEMs are represented here, including BYD and SAIC. That is also evidence of the attractiveness of the IAA – “Driving tomorrow.”

Second place goes to Italy (137), followed by the Netherlands (135), Turkey (126) and France (101).

We are delighted by the high level of visitor interest. Yet the decisive factor is actually a different one: whenever I have walked around the show, the exhibitors have stressedtheir satisfaction with the high quality of the visitors, and the intensity of their discussions with customers – this applies to manufacturers and suppliers alike.

More than ever, the IAA Commercial Vehicles is a professional trade fair for decision-makers. The proportion of trade visitors is 86 percent. What is more, eight out of ten trade visitors are decision-makers, and among foreign trade visitors the share is in fact even higher, i.e. nine out of ten. Our visitor surveys also reveal that the managers in this industry – both national and international – knowhow important the IAA is for their business.

Just like the exhibitors, the visitors too are becoming ever more international. One third of trade visitors come from abroad, and on peak days the figure is over 40 percent. Most of the foreign visitors come from China, followed by Japan and the Netherlands.

There is more good news: visitors’ willingness to invest increases after a walk around the IAA – and it is very high: 60 percent of trade visitors who have a say in purchasing decisions plan to invest in commercial vehicles during the next six to twelve months. A good half of trade visitors use their visit to the show to prepare for making investments, and among foreign guests the proportion is even higher (68 percent).

In addition, at this IAA obviously more purchasing agreements have been concluded than ever before. I’m unable to name any firms. But I can tell you one thing: here at the IAA one logistics company alone has bought 2,500 trucks from three manufacturers, and another 1,000 trailers.

The IAA Commercial Vehicles is also the mobility trade fair with the greatest media response. Over 2,100 journalists from 54 countries have been accredited. On the two Press Days we had over 80 press conferences, most of them at the stands and some in the CC. The new IAA concept for the Press Days, which we introduced initially in 2016, has once again proven very successful, especially with regard to using photos and videos.

The IAA also attracted a lot of online visits. There was much discussion of the IAA’s new developments and industry highlights in advance of the exhibition. In all, since the middle of August there have been over 75 million contacts worldwide, 60 million of them during the trade show itself. Half of the over 10,000 posts were written in English – which is more evidence of the international significance of the IAA. And more than 95 percent of posts and comments about the IAA are positive. The IAA istherefore a show that has established its regular place in the digital world!

Today we have very positive results. At this point we wish to thank the entire team at Deutsche Messe AG for their support, their professionalism, their exceptional attention to service, and for their close and smooth cooperation with everyone at the VDA.

After the IAA comes the IAA. One year from now, the 68th IAA Cars (Sept. 12 to 22, 2019) will open in Frankfurt am Main, and in 2020 we will meet again here in Hannover for the 68th IAA Commercial Vehicles (Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, 2020). We are looking forward to it!