German IAA Auto Show Announces it Will Officially Open Tuesday

After a disappointing edition in 2019, marred by environmental protests, poor visitor numbers and no-shows from major automakers, the IAA biennial event has reinvented itself as a "mobility fair" with a spotlight on electric cars, scooters and even bicycles.

Historically held in Frankfurt, the IAA will for the first time take place in the Bavarian city of Munich as part of efforts to revive the event.

The six-day fair will be one of the biggest exhibitions since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, coming just as Germany grapples with a fourth wave.

To reduce the infection risk, daily visitor numbers are capped at 80,000 and guests must show proof of vaccination, recovery or a recent negative test before entering.

Confirming a trend seen at auto shows around the world, many well-known brands will again skip the showcase, chief among them the Stellantis group (Peugeot-Fiat Chrysler) and Japan's Toyota.

Also absent will be leading electric car-maker Tesla, leaving IAA organisers to hope that this year's more than 70 bicycle exhibitors will keep audiences satisfied -- and attract new ones.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is bowing out of politics after a general election on September 26, will give a speech on Tuesday when the fair opens to trade visitors.

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