A 'Vision EQS' of the car manufacturer Mercedes is displayed at the IAA Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
INTERNATIONAL - Germany's International Motor Show (IAA) 2019 will open on Thursday in Frankfurt. Industry experts expected an intense discussion on the future of mobility amid challenges facing the auto sector worldwide.

Just a classical motor show is no longer able to live up to people's expectations, and the IAA is evolving into a comprehensive platform that attracts all relevant players in the field, including manufacturers, hi-tech companies, suppliers, mobility service providers and startups, according to Bernhard Mattes, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the IAA's organizer.

This year, around 800 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions have registered for the IAA Exhibition. China, with 79 companies attending the show, holds the first place among the international exhibitors.

Some 200 speakers will discuss the future of individual mobility solutions at the IAA Conference, including senior executives of IBM and Daimler. However, some of the industry heavyweights, such as Japan's Toyota, the US-based General Motors, and the Italian-American Fiat-Chrysler, will be absent from this year's IAA.

"We know that fewer brands of cars will be exhibiting at the IAA 2019," Mattes said in a statement prior to the event, noting that they regard this as a challenge and will overcome it by offering wide-ranging quality and diversity.

Experts have predicted that electric mobility and digitization will remain the focus of this year's IAA. Topics such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, the sharing economy and info-tainment will also be discussed in relation to the future of individual mobility.

Mattes said the exhibition will firmly focus on premieres with electric propulsion, ranging from the luxury segment to the compact class. According to reports, models such as Volkswagen's ID.3, MINI Cooper SE, Vision EQS by Mercedes-Benz and Porsche's Taycan will be in spotlight.

"The German automotive industry is determined to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement," Mattes said.

The auto sector worldwide has been facing considerable challenges this year, with some major industry players reporting declines in sales. Trade disputes as well as Brexit, have weighed down on the German automotive sector, according to Mattes.

The VDA president called on policymakers to strengthen Germany's industrial competitiveness. "The industry is adapting its structures to the changing conditions. Sometimes this necessary process can be painful," he said.

First launched in 1897, the IAA is a leading motor show in the world. The IAA 2019 will last until Sept. 22, with the exhibition open to the general public from Sept. 14.

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