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Connected Vehicles Get Top Billing at European Motor Show

Sept. 4, 2015
Strong auto sales in Europe, as well as the United States, give the show some extra oomph.

FRANKFURT—The IAA auto show will unveil 210 world premieres at its 66th edition, scheduled to be held in Frankfurt staring September 19,  the German carmakers' association VDA said on Friday. 

The IAA, put on every two years alternating with the Paris motor show, is "the world's most important trade show for mobility," VDA president Matthias Wissmann told a webcast news conference. 

Among the key themes of this year's show were "connected and automated driving, as well as electric mobility and the further optimization of classical drive trains," namely gasoline and diesel, Wissmann said. 

Organizer VDA said that a total of 1,103 exhibitors from 39 countries would present their new developments on 230,000 square meters of exhibition floor space, equivalent to 33 standard soccer fields.

"This is the highest number of exhibitors since the turn of the century," VDA boasted. 

Of the exhibiting companies, 40% come from countries other than Germany, with China, South Korea, France, Britain and Italy the top five best-represented nations. 

Of the 210 world premieres--an increase of one third  compared with the previous IAA in 2013--there would be 26 European premieres and 30 German premieres, VDA said. 

Wissmann added that the IAA "also acts as a measure of how the automobile business is doing."

The economic situation in Europe was "good," he said, with the western European market projected to grow by nearly 6% to 12.8 million cars this year. 

The U.S. market was "also expanding, and in 2015 it will grow by 3% to nearly 16.9 million new light vehicles, the highest sales level for 10 years."

China remained the world's largest market, Wissmann continued, "but is shifting down a gear. For the year as a whole we now expect growth of 4% at most, to 19.1 million passenger cars."

But in the medium and long term the Chinese car market was "clearly still on a path of growth," he said. 

Following around 800,000 visitors in 2013, the IAA again expects similar crowds this year for the show, which runs to September 27. 

Around 12,000 journalists were expected to attend the press-only days on September 14 and 15, with auto industry professionals to attend on September 17 and 18, VDA said. 

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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