IAA Mobility started life as a trade event for the automotive industry, but has sinced evolved into a hub for the entire mobility industry. Director Christine von Breitenbuch and micromobility account manager Stefan Fischer explain how micromobility fits into the mix
IAA Mobility, also known as the International Motor Show Germany, may be better-known in the car industry than in the micromobility sector.
The historic show, first held in 1897, has developed into one of the largest trade fairs for the automotive industry, but in recent years the organisers have attempted to shift the focus towards a more sustainable future.
After the cancellation of the event due to Covid in 2019, IAA Cars was rebranded to IAA Mobility, amid a relocation from Frankfurt to Munich, in Germany.
This new name reflected a new direction for the show, as the event now aims to bring together the entire mobility and transport world, including micromobility.
MMB recently spoke with director Christine von Breitenbuch and micromobility account manager Stefan Fischer to hear about the decision behind the rebrand.
“Our goal is to build the mobility community,” said Von Breitenbuch.
“We want to integrate everyone and every industry that is part of the mobility industry. We have the car industry, the bike industry, the micromobility industry, the tech industry.
“Everyone has to work together to find a good solution for connected mobility for cities and remote areas, to find a way to develop sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions for everyone.”
The future of mobility
Previously held at the Messe Frankfurt venue (which also now hosts Eurobike), IAA Mobility has since relocated to Munich, owing to its transport connections, and the presence of industry leading companies including BMW, Apple and Google in the city.
For trade visitors, IAA will include the IAA Summit, an industry meeting for stakeholders across the mobility sectors, with more than 500 speakers featuring from September 5-8, 2023.
Included in the summit is the IAA Conference, which will also be a highlight for industry attendees, with keynotes, fireside chats, and discussions.
Fischer said: “The whole of micromobility is incredible and exciting for us, and we see great and positive developments in the industry.
“At the moment, it is maybe the fastest-changing industry.
“We are the only event that speaks to the whole mobility sector, not siloing into only cycling or only cars. We want to give everyone a feeling of what will happen in the future.”
Experience is key
A key feature of the micromobility aspect of the show will be the test course, located in one of the IAA Summit halls.
A number of micromobility brands and suppliers will be displaying their products, and attendees can utilise the 1,000 square-metre test tracks.
The test tracks are part of the IAA Open Space, which will be an exhibition area open to all, located in the centre of Munich.
Von Breitenbuch said: “The public space is free for everyone without a ticket, and there is a focus on getting to know the new solutions and to experience them.
“For people who don’t know about the solutions, the best way to help them accept new technology, new kinds of transport, is to give them a good experience.
“You can experience open space for the public in the inner city, but also we try to focus on the real future of mobility in the context of strategic decisions. So we have the professional space and summit, which is taking place in our exhibition halls, and where all of the decision-makers and also politicians, scientists and experts from the industry can come together and look for solutions.”
Opportunities and challenges
So with their focus on the whole of the mobility industries, what do the organisers see as the biggest issues and opportunities facing the micromobility sector?
“Micromobility is quite a young industry, compared to the car,” said Von Breitenbuch.
“It existed as the bike industry, and cycling, but the shared development of mobility depends on digital platforms.
“I think with new and interesting vehicles, like light electric vehicles, perception and legislation are most important.
“Now there are so many [transport] options that it’s very important for people to get to know their options and to learn to use them.
“It’s a big mix of things that will make the future of mobility, like a big connected system.”
IAA Mobility takes place from September 5-10 in Munich. Visit IAA-Mobility.com for more information.