On September 15 one of the world's largest motor shows, the IAA, opens its doors in Frankfurt. Despite global economic turbulence, German carmakers are feeling good about their sector and the outlook for the future.Organizers of one of the world's leading automobile industry trade fairs, the IAA International Motor Show, are preparing to welcome more than 1,000 exhibitors from 32 countries to Frankfurt this week.As carmakers put the finishing touches on their technical presentations, insiders are feeling bullish about the car industry's prospects despite economic uncertainly around the world.Indeed, while the global economic situation and talk of a new recession has rattled many sectors, carmakers are riding out the turbulence fairly well, according to Matthias Wissmann, president of Germany's VDA automotive industry group.The global automobile market is expected to grow by 6 percent this year, and German carmakers in particular are confident that the upward trend will continue."We have a very robust starting position, and are gaining market share in all important regions," Wissmann said.While growth in the second part of this year could slow over the first six months, "we don't have any indications that we could experience an industry-wide recession," he added.In the first eight months of this year, German automakers exported just under 3 million passenger cars, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year and a new record. One third of those exports went to eurozone countries, 30 percent to other nations in Europe, 15 percent to the United States and 11 percent to China.In August alone, new passenger car registrations in Germany climbed 18 percent to 237,700 units. This year so far the figure has risen 11 percent to 2.1 million new vehicles. The VDA estimates new registrations will reach a total of 3.1 million in 2011.The mid-term outlook also looks good, according to Wissmann, who predicts sustained growth in developing countries."In China now, we have 30 vehicles per 1,000 people. In Germany, however, it's 500," he said, adding that there was plenty of room in the market.
Carmakers will unveil 89 world premieres at the 64th IAA in Frankfurt. Audi, Opel, BMW, Porsche and Daimler will all roll out new models. Mini, part of the BMW group, will showcase its fifth model, the Mini Coupe. It will also present its "Mini inspired by Goodwood” – an exclusive model created by the design team at Rolls Royce.Volkswagen will exhibit a total of 54 vehicles and premiere its new small car called the "up!", which aims to take a bit of the action from Daimler's successful Smart microcar, which is popular among eco-conscious drivers in areas where parking is a problem.One particular focus of the show this year will be on electric-powered mobility, although Wissmann believes it will be some time before this sector reaches maturity."We see it as a marathon rather than a sprint," he said. "It's not about who's first out of the starting gate, rather it's about who gets to the finish line first with a serious, economically feasible, efficient and environmentally conscious concept."The European Union's goals for carbon dioxide reduction are reachable, Wissmann said, especially given new developments in the auto industry. By the end of the decade, German carmakers will improve the performance of internal combustion engines by 20 to 25 percent he added."The world premieres at the IAA will showcase the continuing optimization of the transmission, alternative powertrains and lightweight construction. These developments make a key contribution to further reductions of CO2 emissions,” he said.