This week, Munich is hosting IAA Mobility, a reinvention of the car show that for seven decades occurred annually in Frankfurt, until the Covid-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020.
Set amid environmental protests that shut down roadways and the buildup to a September 26 election that will see German Chancellor Angela Merkel replaced after 16 years, IAA has been rebranded to a “mobility” showcase of electric scooters and e-bikes, electric buses and trams, transportation pods, and — oh, yes — some cars, too.
It was the first major automotive show to be held since pandemic cancellations brought Germany’s trade show industry a $47 billion loss, according to the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry. Auto brands were already questioning the relevance of car shows before the novel coronavirus arrived.
Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren, and Bentley opted to skip this one, too. But several major manufacturers thought it worth their while to be a part of the confab, which was staged at Munich’s gargantuan convention hall and some of the city’s most significant and beautiful historical sites, including the Bayerische Staatsoper opera house .
Volkswagen showcases its ID.5 GTX crossover coupe
The MINI Vision Urbanaut concept car at a BMW event
A Mercedes-Maybach luxury SUV seen ahead of the IAA Mobility
Hyundai shows off its all-electric Ioniq 6 concept car
The German-Israeli development City Transformer electric car
A Mercedes-Benz scooter