IAA mobility show the green ambitions of the mobility sector

It’s September, and in-person events are slowly returning to Europe. This week saw the return of the IAA fair. It moved from Frankfurt to Munich, and its new rebrand is the IAA Mobility. It’s an opportunity for car makers to show off their latest designs and concept vehicles, but it’s also an event struggling to show its relevance.

Is IAA show still relevant?

Do people still visit car shows to look for their next purchase or aspirational car? COVID made car makers pivot sharply to online sales. Online vendors such as Tesla and Carvana, have shown there’s another way. Many brands are focusing on lifestyle integration.


An example is Lexus Intersect, where you can visit their coworking spaces, restaurants, cafes, and creative precincts without ever seeing a car. Most people don’t need a car show to convince them to buy — they’re online doing their own research.

It’s possible that, as with events like MWC and IFA here in Europe, plenty of business goes on behind the scenes at IAA. Stallholders hold meetings with each other to talk trade and partnerships.

If nothing else, many people are suffering from Zoom fatigue. An opportunity, therefore, to fist bump and hand sanitize with a few thousand people while drinking cheap beer is a legitimate enough reason for such as event.

However, the Stellantis group (Peugeot-Fiat-Chrysler), Toyota, and Tesla are notably absent. Instead, the show has a hall of vintage vehicles and toy cars, suggesting a struggle to fill conference floor gaps.

There’s a bounty of alternative vehicles at IAA