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German Green Innovation to Lead at the 2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show

753 exhibitors from 30 countries will be represented at the world’s most important trade fair for mobility, including 62 vehicle manufacturers. The 82 world premieres will provide the visitors with a glittering display of innovations. In particular the models from the German OEMs, whose 42 world premieres make up the lion’s share of the innovations, will show the way forward for future growth and a high level of environmental compatibility,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking at the IAA advance press conference in Frankfurt am Main. The IAA will be opened by the Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel on 17 September and continue until 27 September.

In the light of the latest official figures and statistics from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) Wissmann emphasized, “There is a fundamental turnaround taking place in the international environmental and climate protection discussion on CO² reduction. The new figures from the KBA show that the German brands are also ahead of the field when it comes to sustainability. We all know that prejudices can be persistent. There is only one way to tackle them, and that is with transparency and hard facts. And this is what we are presenting today.”

“If we take the new registrations in the first seven months and divide them up into the ten vehicle segments, from small cars to the luxury models, we see that in nine out of ten segments German group brands have lower CO² values than the importers,” Wissmann said. This applied to the microcars, compact class, medium class, upper medium class and luxury segment just as it did to the minivans, compact vans, sports cars and off-road vehicles. He added that the speed at which the German OEMs are generating innovations to bring down CO² had increased markedly in recent years – in 2006 the German brands were the leaders in only six out of ten segments.

In relation to the individual models, too, six German vehicles take first place in ten segments. This is the case in the microcar segment (Smart), the upper medium class (Audi A6), the luxury segment (BMW 6-Series), sports cars (Audi TT), minivans (Ford Focus C-Max) and the compact vans (Opel Zafira CNG). Furthermore, German models take second place in six segments and third place in eight of the ten segments. “So the winners, almost without exception, are German models,” Wissmann summarized.

“And also if we look at the ‘classical pollutants’ it is German brands that have achieved the greatest progress in making reductions. According to the KBA, 92 per cent of the 565,000 new vehicles registered in Germany in the period up to July that already meet the coming Euro 5 standard are German brands,” Wissmann said. And German brands made up all of the over 1,000 newly registered passenger cars already meeting the demanding Euro 6 standard, which will not come into force until 1 September 2014. “This means that one in three of the German vehicles newly registered in the current year is already a Euro 5 vehicle – or better,” Wissmann stressed.

“The figures show that the German automotive industry is now leading the world in environmental and climate protection. We will do everything we can to continue expanding that lead through high levels of investment in R&D, even in difficult times. The German automotive industry is consistently pursuing its course of ‘sustainable mobility’ and CO² reduction in all segments. We are not building things like individual ‘eco-cars’ to get short-term marketing benefits. Instead we are developing modern, economic, safe, fuel-efficient and climate-friendly vehicles right across the whole range of models,” the VDA president underscored. He added that a large proportion of the R&D investment – which came to around 19 bn euro last year alone – was being used for precisely this purpose, and over 100 models were already available that consumed less than 5 l to travel 100 km and whose CO² values were less than 130 g CO²/km.

The VDA president emphasized: “The IAA 2009 is being held in the right place at the right time. Consolidation can be seen on major automotive markets. Particularly in view of the current market trends in Germany and Western Europe we are more convinced than ever that some important markets have bottomed out or are even recovering.” This IAA will show “ways out of the crisis,” he said, and can therefore send a signal for a new start on the markets.

The number of world premieres this time is only just under the record level at the IAA 2007. They include the Audi A3 1.2 TFSI with a completely new, very economical 4-cylinder engine, the Audi A4 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro, the BMW X1, the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition emitting only 109 g CO²/km, the BMW 5-Series GT Gran Turismo, the BMW X6 Hybrid, the BMW Active Hybrid 7 with lithiumion batteries, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell with a fuel cell and an electric engine in a small series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class T Model with a whole range of new safety and driver-assistance systems, the Mercedes SLS AMG, which revives the myth of the “gullwing” car. Visitors can also catch their first glimpse of the electrified version of this new super-sports car.

The new Opel Astra, a compact car with the technical innovations of the Insignia, will be on display along with the Opel Astra EcoFlex with 109 g CO²/km and the Opel Ampera. Porsche is presenting the 911 GT3 RS, the 911 Turbo, the 911 Sport Classic in a special limited series of 250, and the Panamera, which will be available on the market from 12 September 2009. The Skoda Superb Combi is also celebrating its world premiere, as is the series version of the electric smart, the VW Polo (3-door) and the VW Polo BlueMotion 1.2 TDI with a 3-cylinder engine that at 87 g CO²/km is regarded as the cleanest 4-seater in the world and will go into production at the beginning of 2010. These models will be joined by the VW Golf BlueMotion 1.6 TDI at 99 g CO²/km, which will go into production in November 2009, as will the Passat BlueMotion 1.6 TDI at 114 g CO²/km. For the first time visitors to the IAA can view the new VW Golf Variant, the Golf R and the new VW T5 Multivan.

“These are just some of the new models that will already be on our roads in the coming months. And most of them feature surprisingly low fuel consumption and amazingly low CO² emissions,” Wissmann stated. They mean that this 63rd IAA Cars is consistently continuing the course taken by the IAA in 2007. They are fully directed towards sustainable mobility. Wissmann stressed, “Manufacturers and suppliers have kept their word,” adding that the slogan of this IAA stands for continuity: “A Moving Experience” (2009) follows “See What’s Driving the Future” (2007).

“Visitors to the IAA will be able to experience what is ensuring sustainable mobility today. And at the same time they will also see what is driving the automotive future,” Wissmann said, and pointed out “exciting studies and concept cars for the age of electrical mobility.” Audi is showing the concept car for a sports car with an electric powertrain, the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics is a full hybrid study generating less than 100 g CO²/km, and the Mini Concept Coupé and the Mini Concept Roadster will also be on display. Mercedes-Benz is presenting its E Cell Plus study with a range extender giving it a range of 600 km, 100 km of which are emissions-free; Porsche is presenting its Cayenne with hybrid drive and VW has two studies, one of which is a 1-liter car with an especially aerodynamic shape.

“This makes the IAA once again the world’s largest showcase for the automotive industry. Its new models are proof that the automotive industry is going on the offensive when it comes to the challenge of climate protection and vehicle safety. Here visitors can see the competition for the best technical solutions,” Wissmann underscored.

There is not going to be a “silver bullet,” but we are aiming for the consistent implementation of the “broad-based strategy.” This will include the continuing optimization of classical powertrains. The clean diesel and supercharged downsized gasoline engines with direct injection will be on show at the IAA, as will the advances in electrification of the transmission, ranging from the mild hybrid to passenger cars powered solely by electricity. In addition to further reductions in consumption and in CO² emissions, the focus will be on new types of driver-assistance systems that make driving even safer and more comfortable. Wissmann pointed out that “once again the German exhibitors – OEMs and suppliers alike – are the ones who are setting the pace of innovation.”

There will be 80 IAA press conferences, which is almost the same as the number at the IAA 2007; 55 press conferences will be held on the first Press Day alone. Wissmann said, “This also underscores the role of the IAA as the world’s most important platform for communication and innovation. Those who are not here will be missing a great opportunity.”

In view of the worldwide economic and financial crisis it would certainly be foolish, the VDA president said, to expect a similar number of visitors to the record figure seen at the IAA in 2007, when over 900,000 visitors came through the doors. Other automotive trade shows this year had also all recorded drops in visitor numbers in the high double-digit range, some of them losing over 40 percent of their visitors. In 1993, a comparable recession year, the IAA had attracted around 700,000 visitors. “We are optimistic that this year’s IAA will exceed that figure at any rate. We hope that on the last day of the IAA we will have counted at least 750,000 visitors. In these difficult times that would be a great success,” Wissmann stressed.

The occupied exhibition space at the IAA amounts to 185,000 sq m, which owing to additional bookings is 9 per cent up on the level in the early summer. A large number of specialist events and special activities – such as the off-road circuit, eco-training and the outdoor go-kart track – complement the main program. Then there are also the various “country days,” for instance focussing on India, Mexico, Latin America, Slovakia and Russia. Not only the Federal Chancellor but also politicians from various parties will attend numerous events at the IAA. They will include Federal Minister of Economics zu Guttenberg (CSU), Federal Minister for Environment Gabriel (SPD), Federal Minister of Labour Scholz (SPD), Member of the Bundestag Trittin (The Greens) and the state premiers Oettinger (Baden-Württemberg) and Koch (Hesse). The Hessian ministers Hahn (justice) and Posch (economy), both FDP, have also announced that they will be visiting the IAA.

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