by Elisabeth Klock and Dr. Rudolf Müller
The time has come again in 2019. Under the motto “Driving Tomorrow”, the automotive world will gather for eleven days in September for the 68th Passenger Car IAA in Frankfurt am Main. But even the world’s largest automobile trade fair is probably setting its sights a little lower this year. Cancellations by well-known manufacturers such as Renault, Fiat, Toyota or Volvo are naturally eating away at the so far excellent reputation of the show. But what had already emerged at the exhibitions in Detroit, Paris and Geneva has probably consolidated into a general trend. The importance of large trade fairs is dwindling – but not only in the automotive sector.
However, to want to see this as a further indication of a crisis in the global automotive industry looming on the horizon is certainly wrong. Obviously, in times of tight budgets and dramatically increased development costs for new technologies, the high costs associated with trade fair participation are an important motivator for manufacturers to reduce their marketing expenses at least temporarily.
On the other hand, the creeping loss of significance of automotive trade fairs also reflects the current shift in value-added processes – away from classic mechanical automotive components towards more electronic components. Events such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona or the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are gaining in importance for OEMs, as they can demonstrate their capabilities in comparison to companies such as Google, Microsoft or Amazon, all of which are themselves penetrating the automotive market.
But despite all the new trends and prophecies of doom, the IAA is and will remain the showcase for the German automotive and supplier industries in 2019. The German OEMs will use this stage to present their latest models or even model families, especially in the field of electric vehicles.
But of course the IAA is more than just a presentation forum for new limousines, estate cars or SUVs. It is the international platform for the mobility turnaround and the associated technologies in areas of the future such as autonomous driving, e-mobility or connectivity. Other forums will address urban and digital mobility concepts.
The numerous suppliers, with their broad range of services, make particular use of this. The development of new, alternative drive technologies and thus also vehicle concepts as well as all components required for autonomous driving exceeds the existing development capacities of the OEMs by far. They are forced to outsource developments to suppliers, commit themselves to them and form development partnerships.
The German supplier industry uses this enormous business potential as an innovative and above all flexible partner for OEMs. And from large Tier 1 suppliers to small start-ups, there will be impressive evidence of the capabilities of the supplier industry.
Precisely these aspects are also reflected in the articles in the current issue of OEM&Supplier. European companies and their service partners are not only presenting their latest developments, technologies, processes, innovations and products in print, but also cross-media.
By using interactions, links and networking with web content and social media we open the opportunity for our readers to receive significantly more background and additional information than is possible in purely printed articles.
Our thanks go to all of the authors, interviewees and advertisers for their excellent and trusted cooperation. You are invited to submit your contributions, advertisements and interviews for the next issue, which will be published in spring 2020.
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