Start-up help for the automobile economy

The most important German auto show of the year is taking place in Leipzig: the Auto Mobil International

Leipzig. The organizers do not lack self-confidence: "We will not just be there for the forecast automotive upswing this spring, but we will make a major contribution to it," said Matthias Kober, project manager of the AMI Leipzig.

The Auto Mobil International is showing off with figures that seem to announce growth: auto makers are renting 5 percent more exhibition space this year. An extra hall (hall 4) will be used for additional presentations by some of the industry's leaders, DaimlerChrysler, BMW and Toyota.

Three brands are exhibiting for the first time in Saxony: Ferrari, Cadillac and Chevrolet. The show promises its visitors more than 100 national premieres.

The exhibition area for autos was increased to 80,000 square meters. On top of that, there are 50,000 square meters for light commercial vehicles, tuning, accessories and service providers.

This may be less space than at the IAA in Frankfurt (215,000 square meters of exhibition area) but, according to the organizers, "the exhibiting brands represent more than 99.9 percent of new registrations in Germany."

As many as 250,000 visitors are expected and a further 40,000 are projected to visit the AMITEC specialized exhibition that is taking place at the same time.

The organizers from Leipzig succeeded where their competitors Berlin, for example -- failed: they positioned the AMI as the national auto show behind the IAA. This provided an opportunity to take the lead every other year, when the IAA is not taking place.

"We are the most important national meeting place for the automobile industry during the first half of the year, which is usually when sales are higher," said Wolfgang Marzin, the new managing director of Messe Leipzig, the Leipzig fair. Leipzig wants to strengthen its role as the location for spring premieres during the next few years. One major bonus is that the new EU member states Poland and the Czech Republic are just on the doorstep.

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