Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

The 2013 IAA (Frankfurt Auto Show) is open from September 14th to 22nd. I put together the above presentation and this article to give you my impressions and to help you decide if you'd like to go check it out and to help you see some of the changes in the Auto Industry in the past couple of years.

This is now the 5th IAA that I have been to, and prior to this I attended half a dozen of the NAIS (Detroit Auto Show), so I've been watching the evolution of cars and trucks for more than dozen years now.

Who has the funnest display at the IAA?  This would be Mini, in my opinion.  The have a two level display.  The second level has a bid slide that you can ride (and I did see a few people riding it!) There is a big television screen where you can paint a Mini in all the colors of the rainbow, anyway pattern that you want, WII style.  On the second level there is a driving simulation as well as a trampoline where you can look at the people below as you jump. By the way, did I mention that there are also lots of Minis there as well?

 One of the spokeswoman at Rolls Royce informed me that the The Alpine Trial Centenary Collection is celebrating 100 years of the Alpine Trial. This edition of the Ghost is in the same color as the Ghosts that did the trails 100 years ago.  It is also interesting to note that the world famous Rolls Royce emblem on the Wraith is made of Swarovski crystal. 

Smart had its "fourjoy" concept featured prominently in its exhibit. There were a few electric Smarts and some interesting customizations.  A lot can be done to make a Smart unique and stand out from others and Brabus has become very good at this.

I got to the BMW exhibit as they started their press conference and I wasn't able to get a good view of the press conference so I decided to look at their exhibit while everyone else was busy with the press conference. I could still see new BMW i8 was still hidden, waiting to be unveiled to the world. They had a few "BMW i3"s, one of their electric vehicles on display.  I also noticed the "BMW C Evolution" motorcycle on display.

Porsche is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 911. They also world premiered the 918 Spyder.  I saw a Panamera S E-Hybrid plugged in.

Over at Opel, I saw a few the new "Adam"s on display.  The is a cute little car with a lot of color combinations and possibilities for further customization. Their Monza concept was on display as well as the revamped Insignia.

VW had a whole lot of "up!", moving the "up!" model that they introduced in the 2011 show into new models like the "e -up!", the "groove- up!", and "cross -up!".  I really enjoyed the model city that they displayed to highlight some of their "blue" (or low emissions) offerings.

It seemed to me that Renault premiered more concept and new vehicles than most of the other manufacturers and you should definitely check out their display. It was also nice to see that their Twizy (which I first saw at the 2011 IAA) has made it into production and I have even seen one parked at a local shopping center. 

When I was going through the Toyota exhibit I was struck by a sign that they had posted, announcing that they had sold over 5 million hybrids.  I was reminded of the Kevin Costner movie "Field of Dreams", where his character is told "if you build it, they will come", as he builds a baseball diamond in a corn field.  Toyota has shown that there is a market for hybrids.

I was really impressed with the Evos concept from Ford at the 2011 IAA and this time Ford had a Social Media team working at the IAA. The Social Media Evangelist in me is curious to see what the results of Ford's social media will be.  The team even sent me a tweet while I was there. 

Over the last few IAAs I have really seen the development of hybrids take off.  Almost every manufacturer is offering (or planning to offer) something other than gas or diesel powered vehicles.  I noticed that some of the car companies are even getting into hybrid racing.  There is still a lot of work to be done here before a hybrid can be seriously considered by your average consumer but it is encouraging to see the progress and some of the exciting vehicles being offered.

I planned to take a lot of pictures and after changing batteries in my camera a couple of times, my camera just died on me.  I thought that maybe my memory was full, so I deleted some pictures, but I still couldn't take more pictures. I then started taking pictures with my iPad, over 600 of them in fact. 

It almost goes without saying but I really enjoyed myself.  There are so many things that I didn't touch upon, so why not go check it out.


I've posted several pictures on Flickr already and will post more in the coming days (look for more albums). I started a pinboard on Pinterest that I will be populating as well. You can also check out my past posts about the IAA (2011 and 2009).

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