Creating an encounter rather than purely presenting vehicles: Mercedes-Benz is pressing forward with its dialogue-based and experiential brand presence at trade fairs. At the IAA MOBILITY from 7 to 12 September 2021 in Munich, the luxury automotive brand is taking advantage of all the opportunities offered by the new format of the International Motor Show (IAA). With a diverse array of themed experiences in the city centre, on the Blue Lane and at the exhibition centre, the car manufacturer is making its transition towards a zero-emissions, sustainable and digital future emotionally tangible. The central message is “Lead in Electric”. Mercedes-Benz is showcasing the entire breadth of its current and future electric mobility portfolio. Seven out of ten premieres are purely electric models. This clearly shows how electrification is gaining further momentum across all brands.
“The concept of the IAA MOBILITY 2021 draws on aspects of our appearances at the IAA 2017 and 2019 in Frankfurt, where we addressed new target groups with a dialogue-based and experiential format and focused on topics of social relevance. We therefore welcome the new IAA Mobility format,” says Bettina Fetzer, Vice President Communications & Marketing Mercedes-Benz AG. “In Munich, we are creating communal spaces where people can interact. We’re generating an all-encompassing and contemporary brand experience, and offering innovative, sustainable and digital solutions and services for the mobility of tomorrow.”
For Mercedes-Benz, trade fairs are an efficient marketing instrument, because they allow many people to come into contact with the brand in a short period of time. Visitors can experience products and services as well as speak directly to experts. At the IAA 2019, for example, more than 561,000 people came to the Mercedes-Benz stand over two weeks. However, customer needs are changing. In light of this, it’s important to Mercedes-Benz to continue developing the trade-fair format in keeping with the zeitgeist and current issues facing society. The new IAA concept achieves this with its clear focus on sustainability and future mobility, as well as its variety of presentation options with Open Space, Blue Lane and Summit.
Open Space: Comprehensive brand experience and lively art space at Odeonsplatz
The Open Space experience at Odeonsplatz in the city centre is all about Mercedes-Benz’s sustainable business strategy and goes beyond purely automotive topics. It combines the presentation of all current and future electric vehicles with an exhibition on sustainability topics, a work of art and a musical stage in the evening. “As a contemporary luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz is committed to sustainability,” says Bettina Fetzer. “Firstly, we are exclusively showing fully electric vehicles. Plus, as a company, we want to make a contribution to the social and cultural life of the city. We want to inspire the city’s visitors and residents beyond urban mobility and create a strong, forward-looking image of Mercedes-Benz.” The Open Space is open to all free of charge.
“Lead in Electric” – electric diversity with the star
Mercedes-Benz is showcasing the entire range of its electromobility portfolio at Odeonsplatz – from the compact model to the performance luxury saloon and the MPV. These include seven new vehicles: EQB 350 4MATIC(power consumption combined: 16.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined:0 g/km)1, EQE 350 (power consumption combined: 19.3-15.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissionscombined: 0 g/km)2, Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ (power consumption combined WLTP: 23.9-21.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissionscombined WLTP: 0 g/km)2, Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS, Concept Mercedes-Benz EQG, Concept EQT and smart Concept #1. Then come the current Mercedes-EQ models EQA 250(power consumption combined: 15.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissionscombined: 0 g/km)3, EQC 400 4MATIC (power consumption combined: 21.9‑19.4 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined:0 g/km)3, EQS 580 4MATIC(power consumption combined: 19.6-17.6 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissionscombined: 0 g/km)3, EQV 300 (combined electricity consumption: 27.1‑26.3 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)3 and smart EQ fortwo coupé (combined electricity consumption: 16.0-14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions:0 g/km)3 and smart EQ fortwo cabrio (combined electricity consumption: 16.3-14.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissionsNEDC: 0 g/km)3. Thus, Mercedes-Benz is creating a sustainable brand experience across all brands and underpinning the corporate strategy “Lead in Electric”.
The majority of the vehicles are on the ground floor of the building, which is open on all sides. Above it, a slab bent in the middle rises up in a shallow “V”, creating a roof over two visually distinct areas. On display in the Mercedes-EQ area are more than just vehicles. Visitors will find additional exhibits on driveline technology (EQS powertrain), the distinctive Mercedes-EQ design and convenient charging solutions. The design of this area is inspired by bionics and thus alludes to the close relationship between nature and technology. The second area is home to vehicles from the Mercedes-Maybach, Mercedes-AMG and smart brands. The individual brand presences are clearly highlighted and differentiated from one another through a reinterpretation of brand aesthetics. The term “urban roughness” was used as a guideline for this. The high quality of the design offers an appealing contrast to the simple structures that separate the brands and provide a frame for the overall space.
Walk-on roof with green space, floating art and neo-classical concerts
The bent slab above the ground floor forms a walk-on roof. Covered with park-like greenery, it offers an inviting space to take a walk. The path through the scenic ambience takes the form of a “green trail”, on which sustainability themes from the Mercedes-Benz business strategy are presented in an engaging manner. These include, for example, net zero (carbon neutrality), resource conservation and recycling.
The sculpture “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” by US artist Janet Echelman is suspended above the park-like landscape. The 24 by 21-metre work of art is in a constant state of flux due to the forces of nature, thus symbolising the dynamics of our ecosystem. The sculpture is made of recyclable high-tech fibres woven like a fishing net. Wind, rain and light constantly transform the shape and colour of the net. Coloured LED lights make the fluidly moving shapes glow in the dark. The artwork will grace Odeonsplatz until the beginning of October 2021.
The Open Space is also an evening concert venue, with musical production “Artificial Soul presented by Mercedes-Benz” taking place beneath the illuminated sculpture. Every evening from 7 to 11 September, there will be performances by renowned artists from the globally acclaimed neo-classical genre, which crosses the boundaries between electronic and acoustic music: Brandt Brauer Frick (7/9), Rival Consoles (8/9), Lisa Morgenstern (9/9), Stimming x Lambert (10/9) and Hania Rani (11/9). The interplay of architecture, visual art and music makes the Mercedes-Benz Open Space at Odeonsplatz a vibrant venue for the arts.
Summit: digital technologies and services for future mobility
At the Summit in exhibition hall B3, the focus is on software for future mobility. Various themed areas with diverse opportunities for dialogue showcase the holistic approach Mercedes-Benz takes to driving forward digitalisation. The exhibition stand is a physical network. Illuminated struts connect wall elements to form an open spatial structure that groups the four experiential sections around a central area.
“Automated Driving – The next level: DRIVE PILOT” provides information on driving assistance systems, parking assistants and the DRIVE PILOT for Level 3 highly automated driving, which is already a reality in the S-Class and EQS.
“Mobile Access – The digital ecosystem of Mercedes me” focuses on digital services such as Mercedes me, EQ ready or Mercedes me Green Charging as well as technologies such as the digital car key or Automated Valet Parking.
“Future Interfaces – The inspiring world of VISION AVTR” provides a comprehensive look at the future of mobility with the pioneering VISION AVTR concept car. In a first, it showcases how the user interface could be controlled using the power of thought (Brain Computer Interface technology). Plus, it presents the visual connection between passengers and the outside world through the curved display module instead of the conventional instrument panel. A further experience is the visualisation of the flow of energy and information with digital neurons, the biometric connection between vehicle and driver.
“Seamless Integration – The holistic assistance of MBUX” highlights, among other things, the MBUX multimedia system with artificial intelligence, the MBUX Hyperscreen, personalisation options, voice-controlled smart home integration and in-car office functions.
Displayed in the centre of the stand are some of the new highlight vehicles. In addition to the new all-electric EQEand Mercedes-AMG EQS, these include other models making their debut at the IAA – like the first performance hybrid from Affalterbach, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE (weighted, combined fuel consumption: 8.6 l/100 km; weighted, combined power consumption: 10.3 kWh/100 km; weighted, combined CO2 emissions:196 g/km)4 and the C-Class All-Terrain. Their presentation is framed by a graphics and media installation as well as a sound and light show. The G-Class and, for the first time, the new S 680 GUARD 4MATIC (fuel consumption combined: 19.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissionscombined: 442 g/km)5 are on display in an exclusive area on the upper floor.
Blue Lane: electric and automated test drives
The Blue Lane is the fastest way to experience electric driving and enjoy the thrill of climate-neutral mobility. 40 vehicles are available for test drives on the route between the exhibition grounds and the city centre: 31 fully electric models from Mercedes-EQ, Mercedes-Benz and smart (EQA, EQC, EQS, EQV and smart EQ fortwo coupé and cabrio) as well as nine Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid vehicles from the A-Class to the GLE. By driving these vehicles themselves and speaking to Mercedes-Benz experts, visitors to the IAA will be able to experience what is already possible in electric mobility. In addition, with its demonstrations of automated driving technology, the luxury car brand is providing the general public with a taste of the future. Depending on weather and traffic, partially or conditionally automated driving is possible on the Blue Lane with the DRIVE PILOT in the EQS. In the parking garage at the exhibition centre, Mercedes-Benz is also demonstrating how the S-Class can park and unpark fully automatically and without a driver via the INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT (Automated Valet Parking).
#MBIAA21 – experience all innovations and events digitally
Mercedes-Benz is providing comprehensive information on all new products, topics and events throughout the IAA on the website mercedes-benz.com and under the hashtag #MBIAA21. In addition, the luxury car maker is also represented in the VDA’s IAA app. Anyone with an IAA ticket can book their test drives on the Blue Lane via this app. For everyone else and for spontaneous test drives, booking is also possible directly at the test car stations. Another digital offering is the in-location app “EXOS Odeonsplatz”. It offers in-depth information on Mercedes-Benz at the Open Space and Summit as well as on a wide range of marketing topics. Thus, it makes the brand presence tangible even for people who cannot be in Munich. For visitors on-site, the app expands various touchpoints at the Open Space with exclusive digital content. By scanning NFC chips at the exhibits, they can obtain further information on the various topics in an engaging way and discover vehicle functions for themselves. In addition, users of the EXOS app can take part in competitions and win, for example, exclusive access (incl. drinks) to concerts at “Artificial Soul presented by Mercedes-Benz”.
According to NEDC. The electrical consumption has been determined on the basis of Commission (EC) Regulation 692/2008.
2Information on power consumption is provisional and was determined internally in accordance with the “WLTP test procedure” certification method. Neither confirmed values from TÜV nor an EC type approval nor a certificate of conformity with official values are available to date. Deviations between the data and the official values are possible.
According to NEDC. The electrical consumption has been determined on the basis of Commission (EC) Regulation 692/2008.
4According to WLTP. Technical data on fuel consumption, output, torque and performance in this publication are provisional and have been determined internally in accordance with the applicable certification method. Confirmed TÜV figures, EC type approval and certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.