IAA here we come

Wondering why our global CTO Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch is particularly looking forward to the IAA this year and why he believes trade shows are important for us even in times of digitalization? An interview with his perspective, conducted by Global EVP Communication & Marketing Andreas Heine, can be found below.

Andreas Heine: There are only a few days left until the world's leading automotive trade show, the IAA, opens its doors again. But this year, a lot is different. Thorsten, we will no longer be exhibiting in Frankfurt, but in Munich, and the event’s name is also new, IAA Mobility. Does the new name bring anything new?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: Absolutely, Mobility stands for new mobility, and by that we mean everything that people use to move around and that moves people. At the trade show, this also means bicycles, for example.

Andreas Heine: Doesn't that weaken the IAA as the world's leading trade show for automobiles?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: Not at all. We want to show that we see ourselves as part of tomorrow's mobility and are not against new forms of mobility. Quite the opposite, in cities it makes sense in many situations to leave the car behind and ride a bike. But if you do need a car, it will be emissions-free in the future and contribute to cleaner air in the city. In the countryside, the car is still indispensable in most cases.

Andreas Heine: What does the new location entail?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: We will be exhibiting in really beautiful, new exhibition halls. The whole team is looking forward to it. This time there will be a colorful mix of manufacturers and suppliers who will no longer be separated. For example, VW will be exhibiting in Hall B2, as will a new Chinese car manufacturer. In addition, there are many places in the city where you can touch and test this new mobility - everything from e-vehicles to e-bikes and much more.

Andreas Heine: What will we be presenting?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: We will be showing our share of this new mobility as we are already supplying many parts in electric vehicles and more and more are coming. An example of that would be our battery housing for the large batteries in the Volkswagen Group's current e-models. We have commissioned a completely new laser welding system in Iserlohn specifically for this purpose. In addition, we will also present world’s firsts for future vehicles, including fully laser-welded bumpers made of galvanized steel.

Andreas Heine: Why is this trade show still so important for us, when today it is increasingly possible to exchange information digitally?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: That's true, but it doesn't replace personal contact. Our business is based on long-standing partnerships with manufacturers and their trust in our ability to develop the best parts for them and find the most optimal body-in-white solutions for their challenges. That is still done best by sitting down together and looking each other in the eye.

Andreas Heine: How can employees get an impression of the trade show?

Dr. Thorsten Gaitzsch: The trade show only lasts a week this year, which means that by Friday our booth will hopefully be full of customers. For the weekend, we will raffle tickets to our employees via K>NET; and for those who can’t travel all the way to Munich, we will offer a live stream through K>LIVE on Wednesday from 5 to 6 pm local time. There, you Andreas will show the booth and certainly also conduct interesting interviews around the IAA.

Andreas Heine: That's right, we will be sending out the access data to everyone. Thank you very much Thorsten for this insight into the IAA, and in one way or another we will all see each other there.

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