The decision regarding the location of the IAA International Motor Show in the next few years will likely be made on Tuesday. Three candidates are still in the race – and they all have good chances.
After a long race, it is now time to cross the finish line. The Automobile Industry Association (VDA) is expected to decide on the future location of the International Motor Show (IAA) on Tuesday.
Initially, it is only the IAA in the fall of next year, but the decision will probably also apply to the two dates 2023 and 2025. The three largest German cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Munich are still in the race. Hanover, Cologne, Stuttgart and former host Frankfurt am Main were eliminated in the first round.
Everyone thinks there are good opportunities
The three cities have entered the VDA in Berlin several times over the past few weeks to explain their concepts in detail – and representatives of the association have traveled to Munich and Hamburg to explore the possibilities there.
The association is strictly neutral in advance and shows no preference. “This race is open,” said VDA President Hildegard Müller a few days ago. All three cities are convinced of their advantages and have a good chance.
Berlin is a favorite of experts
Berlin is the favorite of experts outside the key bodies. Christian Göke, director of the show, wants to make the fan-mile between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column a central location for the IAA. There have already been many events with millions of visitors that have gone smoothly, from New Years Eve to Unity Anniversary celebration.
The cars can be seen in the exhibition halls of the radio tower, other parts of the program on the nearby Avus and on the Tempelhofer Feld. A loophole for Berlin could be the incomplete support of the city government. Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) is playing drums for the IAA, but the co-governing Greens have yet to be convinced. Economic Senator Ramona Pop is silent.
Hamburg wants to score points over short distances
In Hamburg, on the other hand, politics are united behind the idea of showing new paths in mobility. During the visit of the representatives of the association last Wednesday, it was Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) himself who presented the advantages of the Hanseatic city on the television tower.
Short distances between the exhibition halls and the Heiligengeistfeld, where the external program is planned, a direct connection to the city center and a variety of innovative transport projects that have already been implemented or are underway.
As part of the World Congress of Intelligent Transport Systems, which will take place in time for the IAA in Hamburg, Hamburg is trying a lot – from autonomous driving of cars and buses to electromobility. Disadvantage of the city: It is a bit narrow, the smallest fairground among the candidates.
Munich wants to inject millions into infrastructure
Munich has planned the Riem Exhibition Center and the Olympic Park as locations for the IAA. The Bavarian government – unlike Berlin and Hamburg – wants to spend around 15 million euros on the IAA, which would go to infrastructure. Trade fair patron Klaus Dittrich refers to the safety of visitors and organizers, the experience of major events, the international reputation, the airport and the high-tech location of Munich.
Downside to the city: It’s hard for competitors to imagine the IAA taking place in the Olympic Park in the shadow of the BMW towers. And the two places hardly meet the criterion of presenting new forms of mobility as close as possible to the city center.
“Entirely new IAA, with a completely new concept”
The orientation of the IAA is very attractive for cities; that’s a triple-digit turnover of millions of euros for the city’s hotel, restaurant and retail sectors. Even if we do not know how many visitors an IAA would attract, which is no longer primarily a PS fair but an innovative exhibition for the mobility of tomorrow.
“It will be a whole new IAA, with a completely new concept,” said Müller. “It is also clear that the IAA remains an event of the VDA and will not become a concept of extended mobility for cities.” The show will continue to have an international claim and will also attract the start-up scene. “It will remain a public exhibition, but it will also be the active place for discussion.”