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13 Sep 2021, 13:53
Kerstine Appunn

Munich auto show IAA ends with large protests and 400,000 visitors

Clean Energy Wire / tagesschau.de

The first IAA mobility motor show held in Munich which closed on Sunday was deemed a success by industry association VDA. "Over 400,000 participants in just six days is a clear vote with the feet," said VDA president Hildegard Müller. Two thirds of visitors had been under 40 years old, the VDA said, indicating that the new concept of including all kinds of personal transport instead of just cars had paid off. Participation at the pre-Corona event of 2019 was at 560,000, tagesschau.de writes. During the closing weekend of the show, 13,500 people in Munich took to the streets or participated in a bicycle demonstration to criticise the lack of climate action from the car industry. They also object to the fact that the trade fair is organised solely by the VDA and still focuses too much on cars, tagesschau.de writes.

Only weeks before Germany's general election, the event shone a spotlight on the complicated transition to sustainable mobility. The fight against climate change is one of the core issues in the German election campaign, and the shift to zero-emission mobility has emerged as one of the most controversial topics. The IAA was moved from Frankfurt to Munich as part of a bid to keep up with changing times. The fair shifted its focus from cars alone to future low-emission mobility, including bikes and buses. The transition to green mobility is particularly sensitive in Germany because more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs directly depend on the car industry.

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