Friday, 29 september 2017 | Redacción CEU
Along with Geneve and Paris, Frankfurt hosts one of the most important European shows in the automotive sector. These types of events are more than a place where new prototypes can be discovered. They give us an overview of what the main automobile firms are concerned about, how they are working and where the motor world market is heading to. That is a complete entrance hall to the future that awaits on four wheels. What did we discover in the sixty-seventh Frankfurt edition?
A space with 230,000 square meters, hundreds of stands with representation from 39 countries, more than 1,000 accredited journalists and close to one million visitors. The International Frankfurt Motor Show, known in German as Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung –IAA–, annually alternates with Paris, the celebration of one of the most important and prestigious motor events in the world. Its early autumn date makes it a perfect setting for brands to make public the models that go on sale next year. Frankfurt is not only a space for showing the new trends to the press or making car lovers green with envy, it is the perfect place to take perspective and get to know what the automotive market wants and where it is heading to.
The Frankfurt Motor Show's lessons
Walking between the stands of the German event offers a panoramic view of the automotive sector condition. This is a summary of some of the important lessons that we learned in the German biennial:
The great absences
Alfa Romeo, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Infiniti, Peugeot and Volvo. These brands represent the 20% of car sales in Europe, they are also the firms that have decided not to attend the celebration of this new Frankfurt Motor Show edition. Last year, Paris also had notable absences: Ford, Volvo, Mazda, Lamborghini and Aston Martin. Do they not have new models to exhibit? Do they not like Frankfurt? Are the shows becoming obsolete? What can motivate to the disappearance of some brands in this event?
Some firms are beginning to question the return of investment of these international events. The costs that automobile companies assume when they come to these shows are very high. Increasingly, brands are considering to use other formulas for publicizing their new models. They have realized that they can improve their profitability by performing smaller and less expensive acts like calling the press to their own exhibitions or conducting digital campaigns to present their vehicles to the masses. In fact, the Internet is a great showcase to display the future cars to their potential customers.
While Las Vegas and Shanghai are competing as new car scenarios, the interest for attending to these automobile appointments is reduced. Some firms opt to choose between the exhibitions and only go to one of them to reduce the economic effort to face. Of course, behind the brand decisions to distance themselves of these events, other issues weigh, like the lack of prototypes to show, a bad financial situation, the restructuring they are carrying out or a different marketing strategy.