Whe colleagues from the Stern from Hamburg wrote so beautifully: “Now Munich has the problem fair on the cheek.” And in fact, Frankfurt and of course the entire Rhine-Main area can be happy that nobody abseiled from motorway bridges this week has brought morning rush hour traffic to a standstill. Not to mention the big demo on Saturday and other protests. The pain of having lost the fair to the Isar after 70 years on the Main seems to have vanished. And let’s be honest: The IAA is only a shadow of itself. Of course it was two years ago, its heyday is apparently over, the car manufacturers prefer and use other, often digital, concepts to bring their products closer to the customer. It is not for nothing that the organizing VDA, the Association of the Automotive Industry, is trying to reinvent the IAA. The addition “Mobility” has been added to it, and everything will supposedly be fine.
In fact, the concept of having the fair practically take place in two locations has something for itself. The open-air appearance in downtown Munich, spread over ten “Open Spaces”, is a win. Of course, especially when the weather cooperates, like on the first days of the IAA. We are no longer thinking about the contradiction of bringing the car into the city when large parts of politics want it out of the city or at least making life more and more difficult for him.
The crowd at the Mercedes-Benz and Smart stand, which literally creates a big wave in front of the Feldherrnhalle, is the best proof of how much the car is still loved by many people. How was that again with the catchphrase of the silent majority? The stands of Porsche and Audi on Wittelsbacherplatz, Cupra (Seat) on Odeonsplatz and Ford on Königsplatz are attractions, BMW, together with the motorcycle division and Mini, fills the entire Max-Joseph-Platz at the end of Maximilianstraße in front of the theater. But that was almost it. Kia, Dacia, VW and Polestar as well as the Chinese manufacturer Wey with subsidiary Ora are also represented in the open space, alongside other (supplier) companies from the industry. The good dozen bicycle manufacturers with their small boxes on Hofgartenstrasse have our sympathy. They should probably cover the “Mobility” claim.
The visitor also has to be mobile, if only to check out all of the open spaces. That adds up to a few kilometers. The 3-G rule is constantly being checked, the mask requirement is taken seriously. If you are not tired after strolling through the heart of Munich, you can still take the electric bus (or the U2) to the exhibition grounds around 15 kilometers away on the so-called Blue Lane, which is actually at best marked in yellow. Of course, 22 euros must be invested for this. There is the second part of the IAA, which initially feels like the Frankfurt supplier fair Automechanika, garnished with a few car manufacturers. There are also two bicycle halls in which there was a yawning emptiness, at least on the first two days. What the hall will do with oldtimers at a trade fair that is committed to the mobility of the future is not revealed.
The car fan can save himself a visit to Riem. The respective stands of the manufacturers are small with relatively few products, almost all car brands that participate are represented here and in the city, with the exception of Renault and VW. The financial outlay for the double appearance corresponds roughly to what has been paid for in Frankfurt so far, we were told. But it must not be forgotten that Munich will end this weekend. Without the press day, the Mobility-IAA only lasted six days, Frankfurt welcomed the guests for eleven days and had two press days.