By Bennett Oghifo
The 67th International Motor Show (IAA) is underway in Frankfurt. Two days ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the IAA Cars 2017, which will, until September 24, provide fun-filled experiences to visitors, showing them the latest trends in cars and mobility.
The real deal starts from today, September 16, when the IAA will be open to the general public every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The slogan “Future now” focuses on the megatrends of connected and automated driving, electric mobility and the urban mobility concepts of tomorrow. A large number of world premieres and innovations will be unveiled. Visitors to the IAA can discover and experience yet more highlights, including passenger car demonstrations, activities to join in, test drives, an obstacle course (the “Parcours”), special shows, symposiums and congresses, plus famous racing drivers and other VIPs at the exhibitors’ stands – the IAA has something for everyone, according to a statement by the organisers, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
The IAA in figures
The IAA Cars is a superlative event every time. At the IAA Cars 2015 around 1,100 exhibitors from 39 countries presented their innovations on an area of 230,000 square meters. With 219 world premieres, it again enhanced its position as the leading international trade show for mobility. In all, nearly 932,000 visitors flooded onto the exhibition grounds in Frankfurt am Main. Their average age was 34. The main motivation for visiting the show was “seeing cars you don’t see anywhere else.”
Climb in, join in, experience cars
The IAA offers more than just looking at and sitting in new cars. Numerous brand new models from various makers will be available for test drives, including freeway driving and Frankfurt’s inner city. An expert will be present during each test drive to answer questions and give advice. The challenging off-road circuit will set visitors’ pulses racing as experienced professionals drive them over extreme inclines, lumps and bumps, and pot holes in off-road vehicles and SUVs.
The organisers said there would be many special shows, which would also centers on cars: “The Wild 70s” exhibition takes a journey through history and presents numerous classic cars. The popular model car collectors’ fair “Automania” on the first IAA weekend invites visitors into the fascinating world of miniature vehicles. It is regarded by enthusiasts and collectors of classic model cars throughout Europe as the number one fair of its kind. There will also be plenty to entertain the youngest visitors – including the children’s movie theater, a play area, and gripping competitions on the large serpentine Carrera model race track – so the IAA’s wide range of events provides lots of interest and fun for children and teenagers.
History of the IAA
The 67th IAA is not the 67th IAA in Frankfurt. Originally Berlin was the place where the public could see and admire new cars. The first German motor show was the “Auto-Revue” with precisely eight motor cars displayed at Berlin’s Hotel Bristol. Until 1911 there was an IAA almost every year – in 1905, 1906, and twice in 1907. The exhibitions were interrupted by the First World War. After the end of the war, the IAA was initially a purely national event but it included motorcycles for the first time. International motor shows then made a comeback – in Cologne, Leipzig, and Berlin, where the last show took place in 1939.