After the tired trade fairs of the 2010s and some local quarrels, the IAA moved from Frankfurt to Munich for the first time two years ago. It’s no secret that the metropolis on the Isar hasn’t really jumped at the fair – if only because the green-red city government is pushing back cars in the city center itself. The first Munich IAA in autumn 2021 showed two very different faces. The exhibition center itself was dead and in the empty halls there were mostly long faces. Numerous large car manufacturers didn’t even come and the number of innovations presented was more manageable than in previous decades. But despite the pandemic at the time, the so-called open spaces in downtown Munich looked completely different. Despite the obligation to wear masks, there was a great atmosphere thanks to the glorious late summer weather. Munich residents and tourists celebrated exuberantly and got a taste of the technology of the future from manufacturers and suppliers.

The second Munich edition, which starts on Monday, September 4th, could go in a similar direction. Numerous manufacturers avoid the fair as well as all other events in Europe and the right step to turn the event from a pure car to a mobility fair should hardly change the fact that most interest is again in Munich city center should play – if disruptive actions by environmental activists do not turn the venues into an inaccessible restricted zone. As with the previous International Motor Shows, this year’s edition is less about the most important innovations and more about the climate stickers, the bad mood in the car industry and a semiconductor and production crisis that is far from over. On the other hand, the organizer VDA – Association of the Automotive Industry – is fighting with all its strength and a lot of electric power from the exhibitors present. If the fair is not a success, it could have been the last of its kind.

The large German car manufacturers in particular want to show their strength at the IAA in 2023 and create enthusiasm for the mobility of tomorrow with new products and innovations. The Volkswagen Group is represented with some of its brands at the trade fair in Munich-Riem, as are Mercedes and home players BMW. But even from the Volkswagen Group, VW, Audi, Cupra or Porsche are exhibiting; Skoda is missing from the performance show, as are Seat, Bentley and Lamborghini. From the mighty Stellantis group, only the German offshoot Opel presents itself on the Isar. Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Peugeot or Jeep – all stay away from the former leading trade fair. Somewhat surprisingly, Renault and even Tesla are exhibiting, while brands such as Lucid, Rimac or Smart are primarily focusing on the areas in the city center. It looks thin with the renowned car manufacturers from Japan, the USA or Korea. According to the current status, the Japanese manufacturers Toyota, Mazda, Nissan or Mitsubishi are completely missing in Munich. Hyundai, Kia and Genesis are not represented either, because the powerful Hyundai group is only sending its supplier company Mobil to the exhibition center in the east of the city. In general, the range of suppliers seems wider than that of the car manufacturers, because the big manufacturers such as Magna, CATL, Bosch, Brose, Conti, Mahle, Denso or ZF are almost all represented here at the exhibition center. However, just in the past few weeks, some of the Chinese manufacturers have announced their presence in Munich – some like BYD or Ypeng at the trade fair itself – others in the city center.

As far as the news is concerned, most companies are still keeping a low profile shortly before the start of the fair. Opel has already unveiled the study of its Experimental in advance, while BMW and Mercedes want to wait until the trade fair with their future electric studies. Mini shows its new generation of Cooper and Countryman. Among other things, Volkswagen pulls the cloth from its Passat and the revised ID4 electric crossover and Audi shows the long-awaited Q6 Etron.