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Frankfurt auto show aims to 'irritate and inspire'


File | Porsche presented a "Mission E" concept car for an electric sports vehicle at the last Frankfurt auto show in 2015.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN -  The head of Germany's powerful VDA automobile association promised Thursday a Frankfurt auto show that might "irritate" but aimed to "inspire" visitors, as the industry confronts massive digital disruption.

Set to open to the public on September 14, the biennial IAA show will address questions like automated and connected vehicles, electric-powered cars and urban mobility.

"It will be an unprecedented IAA that might irritate some visitors, but will certainly inspire and surprise the vast majority," VDA chief Matthias Wissmann said in a press conference streamed online.

"We'll be bringing together the Las Vegas electronics show with the Detroit auto show under one roof," Wissmann added.

This year's attendees exhibit marked differences from those of years past.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will open the fair alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Software giants Google and SAP, chipmaker Qualcomm and a slew of startups will also be on hand.

Other high-tech highlights among the thousand-odd participants include car-sharing platform BlaBlaCar, IBM, Kaspersky, Siemens and TomTom, as well as mobility providers like Daimler's Moovel, MyTaxi and Car2Go or Volkswagen's Moia.

And an open-air arena where visitors can test-ride a self-driving car could become one of the main attractions.

But a number of big-name staples are missing from this year's IAA lineup.

Renault will not be accompanied by partner Nissan, while Opel has been left to its own devices by new owner Peugeot.

Those were "individual" choices rather than the sign of a trend, Wissmann insisted, pointing out that Chinese automakers WEY and Chery would join for the first time, while UK-based McLaren is set for a return.

Germany's top auto industry lobbyist glossed over the diesel emissions cheating scandal that continues to reverberate through business and politics in Europe's largest economy, saying only that "the lessons of the past have been learned".



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Muslim Global: Frankfurt auto show aims to 'irritate and inspire'
Frankfurt auto show aims to 'irritate and inspire'
Muslim Global
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