Today is Saturday and thus weekend. Me and some colleagues from Syzygy decided to visit the IAA in Fraknfurt today to get a hands-on impression of what’s new in the automotive industry. Working on automobile accounts, this visit was mandatory. On my way to the fair I wondered what the must-sees of this year were. And although firm in the automotive sector, there was no groundbreaking innovation I could think of. Maybe I might find out at site…
We got to the Messe Frankfurt quite early which made the visit of the Mercedes-Benz exhibition fairly pleasant. Not too many people. I will drop a few lines to the brands we visited:
-Mercedes: smaller than in previous years due to the fact that they did not use an entire level. The E-Class T-model and the B-Class F-Cell were among the major attractions. not to forget the SLS in red. As always, there was a good light show, a big screen but no ‚runwalk‘ this time. Interactive surface table were rather boring. Except for the one by Smart which was really quick.
-VW had all its cars displayed which barely leaves space for entertainment. All Cars were in white just as the Audis. Bmw did the same two years ago. As to the cars: the Multivan got a new more mean looking front. The Golf Variant was there with a minor facelift. The star may probably have been the new Polo which might cannibalize big brother Golf.
The Phaeton was praised as luxury car but no one really cared if you ask me.
-Seat: also present in the same hall as the rest of the VW family. Some sporty vehicles such as the Cupra versions and the new Exeo / former AF4. But in my eyes those Seats often look somewhat tiny when the tires are too small.
-Skoda: Nice Yetis running around.
The Yeti attracted young families as did the other affordable Skodas.
-Fiat: nice playful exhibition. Similar to sister Lancia which other than Fiat used more darker colors to support a touch of premium.
-Alfa-Romeo: a comparably large exhibition for this niche brand. All vehicles in alfa romeo red and the construction resembling children construction kits. Great job!
-Ferrari: much too crowded to get a peak at the new Ferrari
-Maserati: see above
-Hyundai: Hello ladies! I must admit, i have no clue whether the small Hyundai was a show car or regular model but the hostess presenting it surely received more looks than the car. In general, the exhibition was fairly big and loud. Sales in Europe are on the rise…
-Opel: new dynamics at Opel! Aside from the current turmoil about the future of Opel, the exhibition was well populated. The new Insignia Sports Tourer OPC was presented as well as the new Opel Astra. Big hopes lie on this car. From my point of view, it comes with modern design, efficient engines and decent quality. We’ll see how it performs vs. the Golf VI.
-BMW: Well well well! I did not believe when I read it, but BMW did in fact increase its budget for the 2009 IAA. No longer situated in the Agora, BMW Group’s brands BMW, Mini, and RR were now displayed in probably the newest building of the Frankfurt fair. Like a carrera round course, BMWs were driving on the first level while the vehicles were presented on the ground level.
The new Active Hybrid X6 and 7series were displayed as well as the new X1. In the center of attention was the new Efficient Dynamics show car.
BMW also presented BMW Performance, a new special equipment line which can be ordered aside from the M packages.
Mini, still the most fashionable of auto brands brought along its own DJs to celebrate its anniversary. Giant letters in black and white decorated the Mini area. The attraction here: the Mini Coupe show car! And simply the ambiente that also sets the Mini drivers apart from they rest: it is premium, it is stylish it is different.