Final Report: Essen Motor Show Crowns the Car Year with a Strong Fair Result

The Essen Motor Show has crossed the finishing line successfully: Around 360.000 enthusiastic fans visited the automobile fair from November 25 to December 4. Over 500 highly satisfied exhibitors showed numerous innovations and premieres at the performance festival at Messe Essen: On the generously dimensioned booth of BMW, the new M Performance Parts for the BMW M4 gave their European premiere. Ford-Werke presented the new Ford Kuga and the current racing version of the GT. Skoda started its SUV offensive with the German premiere of the Kodiaq. It was possible to see further performance vehicles from, amongst other manufacturers, Mini, Peugeot, Porsche Motorsport and Renault Sport Deutschland.

"The Essen Motor Show has impressively proven its exceptional position amongst the worldwide automobile fairs: Here, performance vehicles and makes are veritably celebrated. That was strongly noticeable this year, too," Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, summarised the positive mood in the halls. "The enthusiasm for performance series vehicles and motorsports becomes tangible in Essen, not least due to highlights such as the special exhibition on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Ferrari. I am already looking forward to 2017. Then, the ideal sponsorship of ADAC and the Essen Motor Show will celebrate its 30th birthday," according to Hermann Tomczyk, Sports President of the General German Automobile Club (ADAC).

"The Essen Motor Show is Something Different, an Experience."

Numerous exhibitors took the chance and have already registered for the Essen Motor Show in the coming year. Asked about the reasons for their visits, the majority of the visitors answered: "The Essen Motor Show is something different for once, an experience." Moreover, about a third visited the fair in order to see innovations and premieres. In the popularity ranking of the special shows, the tuningXperience was right in front in the favour of the fans, followed by the DMAX Motorsports Arena and the DTM World.

More than half of the visitors to the fair were interested in automobile tuning in particular. 46 percent were enticed to Essen by motorsports which were able to grow strongest in comparison with the previous year (in 2015: 39 percent). The minor places were occupied by automobile accessories as well as automobiles and new cars. The purchasing activities of the visitors were on the accustomed high level. 88 percent were very satisfied or satisfied with their visits to the fair. Thus, the value was above that in the previous year. There has also been a corresponding rise in the willingness to visit the Essen Motor Show next year: 89 percent of the fans are now already planning to visit the 50th Essen Motor Show in 2017.

The Fair Trend: Tuning Becomes Lifestyle

At the Essen Motor Show, hip tuning forges and fashion labels showed that tuning is being perceived and lived ever more strongly as lifestyle. Exhibitors such as JP Performance, Liberty Walk, Sidney Industries, Simon Motorsport, Vossen Wheels and Z Performance were amongst the stars of the fair. There were also around 50 companies from the Association of Automobile Tuners which presented innovations and premieres at the Essen Motor Show: amongst other exhibits, Abt Sportsline showed its new Audi A4; AC Schnitzer displayed the ACL2 with reduced weight and enormous power; and Brabus scored points, for example, with the world premiere of the Brabus 850 XL Widestar on the basis of the top model of the new Mercedes-Benz GLS Class.

In the past days, the Essen Motor Show has broken another record on Facebook: The performance festival in Essen is registering over 200,000 fans in the social network. Thus, the Essen Motor Show is occupying the pole position ahead of all the other automobile fairs in Europe. Outstanding prerequisites for the anniversary in the coming year: From December 2 to 10, 2017 (December 1: Preview Day), the Essen Motor Show will take place for the 50th time. Founded as the International Sports and Racing Car Exhibition Essen in 1968, the performance festival today unites performance series vehicles, tuning, motorsports and classic cars into a unique range on offer for automobile and tuning fans from all over Europe.

Exhibitors' Opinions

Giorgio Vinciguerra, Brand Country Manager, Fiat/Abarth:

"With our current model range, we have demonstrated at the Essen Motor Show this year that performance continues to be one of the most important values of the Abarth make. Not only the 595 Competizione but also the new Abarth 124 Spider have aroused enthusiasm. And our Abarth 695 Biposto has shown that, even with the smallest car, you can keep up with the really big ones. Without exception, we have received positive feedback about our appearance and are very satisfied with the result."

Hermann Tomczyk, Sports President, General German Automobile Club (ADAC):

"This year, too, the Essen Motor Show was an important meeting place for the motorsports sector and, for ADAC, the optimum platform in order to present to the visitors the diverse world of ADAC motorsports and ADAC classic vehicles. The enthusiasm for perfomance series vehicles and motorsports becomes tangible in Essen, not least due to highlights such as the special exhibition on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Ferrari. I am already looking forward to 2017. Then, the ideal sponsorship of ADAC and the Essen Motor Show will celebrate its 30th birthday."

Christian Scheppach, Aftersales and Marketing Manager for Germany, BMW Group:

"We are very pleased that, on the occasion of the Essen Motor Show 2016, we once again had the possibility of presenting M Performance Parts and John Cooper Works Pro accessories to our interested public. This time, particular highlights were the European premiere of the new M Performance Parts for the BMW M4, the JCW Bluetooth flap-type silencer system as well as the central online shop for accessories, spare parts and lifestyle articles which was presented for the first time. In the meantime, M Performance Parts and JCW Pro accessories are available for nearly all model series. We were able to prove that by exhibiting a representative selection of show vehicles. Autograph sessions with the BMW works drivers Martin Tomczyk and Marco Wittmann as well as our DTM M4 racing simulator proved to be absolute crowd pullers."

Henry Siemons, Head of Tuning EMEA, Continental Reifen Deutschland:

"As the leading fair for tuning and performance vehicles in Europe, the Essen Motor Show possesses international radiance with its diverse range of information and shows on offer - with corresponding effects on the composition of the public. In Essen, we as an innovation and technology leader in the tuning segment encounter a public which is interested in vehicles and vehicle accessories and has high quality demands. The products of Continental meet these quality demands in a particular way. The best example is the SportContact 6 for super sports cars and tuned vehicles, an innovative high-performance product for which the technicians have, so to speak, reinvented the chemical composition of the tread, the tread design as well as the tyre construction. We provided proof of this, amongst other ways, also by presenting the world's best tuners in Essen - integrated into our joint booth concept."

Dr. Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn, President, German Sports Drivers Circle:

"Everybody who is important in the motorsports landscape is represented at the Essen Motor Show. For the German Sports Drivers Circle, the fair is therefore not only a fantastic conclusion to the season but also the perfect platform in order to enter into dialogue with all the participants, the people responsible, the active sportsmen and sportswomen and the fans. Safety is the top priority at DSK. We want to make suggestions, provide information and hold discussions. The Essen Motor Show with its captivating concept is offering us the best possible setting for this purpose. DSK is proud and happy about the intensive partnership with this event which is unique in Europe."

Ralph Caba, Public Relations Director, Ford-Werke:

"For Ford, the Essen Motor Show was, once again, a complete success. Performance and emotion are important elements of our make's DNA and, here in Essen, we encounter an enthusiastic and knowledgeable public. The premieres of the new Kuga, the ST Line models and, of course, the Ford GT WEC Racecar were real highlights and have received very positive feedback."

Stefan Beha, Project Manager for Events & Exhibitions, Hankook Reifen Deutschland:

"In 2016, too, we were very satisfied as an exhibitor at the Essen Motor Show. It is one of the most important fairs in Germany and, just like Hankook, a performance-based, dynamic make. In Essen, we find precisely the right target public since the visitors are very motorsports-oriented. That has once again been illustrated by the strong demand for and positive feedback about our premium tyres. In addition, we attracted a lot of attention with numerous events relating to all aspects of our sponsoring activities and achieved a genuine value added for the visitors. Now, we are already looking forward to the anniversary of the '50th Essen Motor Show' in the coming year."

Hartwig von der Brake, Head of Sales, H&R Spezialfedern:

"We are very satisfied with how the fair has gone. The Essen Motor Show has once again proven that, in its segment, it is the leading fair in Germany. The organisation has done a top job and we are guaranteed to come again. Moreover, we certainly do not want to miss the 50th Essen Motor Show."

Florian Zitzlsperger, Chairman, International Touring Car Races (ITR):

"We are very satisfied with the response at the Essen Motor Show. On our booth, the automobile fans enthusiastic about motorsports were able to admire the current cars of the three DTM manufacturers and to stock up on the new merchandising collection. We have set great store by addressing the visitors to the fair in person and maintaining the contact to the fans. This feedback is important to us and is incorporated into the planning of the coming season."

Jean Pierre Kraemer, Managing Director, JP Performance:

"It is nice to observe how EMS is developing back to the old strength. The distance to the American market can hardly be registered now. The tuning scene in Germany is on a very good path and is developing in a rosy way. I am already very much looking forward to next year!"

Wataru Kato, President, Liberty Walk:

“The enthusiasm of the European tuning community to the Liberty Walk brand went beyond our expectations, especially the response to our brand from the younger car tuning generation. We invested significantly in our presence at the Essen Motor Show so that professionals and enthusiasts all over Europe were able to see and experience the Liberty Walk brand. The fact that everyone enjoyed our cars and products gives us even more energy to invest in the European market.”

Ulrich Bethscheider, Press and Public Relations Manager, Peugeot Deutschland:

"At the Essen Motor Show, Peugeot was able to present its performance GT and GTi models to a particularly interested public with a high affinity for them. We are pleased about the strong interest in our new compact SUV, the Peugeot 3008, which has attracted a lot of attention at the fair, too. Both our rally vehicles were genuine attractions for motorsports fans: the 208 T16, the runner-up in the German Rally Championship in 2016, and the historic 205 Turbo 16. Both stand for Peugeot's motorsports know-how which is as strong as a lion."

Roy Bolks, Potomac-Classics:

"Amongst the countless visitors to S.I.H.A.'s Classic & Prestige Salon, there are very many who are looking for rarities and are nevertheless thinking in a price-conscious way. Therefore, I have immediately sold my small Messerschmitt, too, which I have showed together with the Heinkel Kabine and a FIAT 500 Weinsberg from 1951. However, the visitors also loved the Ferrari 400 with automatic, the Amphicar amphibious car and all my 20 classic vehicles."

Andreas Gross, Rosier Classic-Sterne:

"I have not yet experienced a fair with such a great onrush. We have succeeded in making young people who are now perhaps still thinking of private tuning enthusiastic about the raciness and beauty of classic automobiles. The SL which was one of the vehicles sold and the classic saloon are proving to us that the vintage vehicle customers of the future are out and about in the Classic & Prestige Salon at the Essen Motor Show."

Andreas Leue, Corporate Communication, Team Leader for Motorsports and Tradition, Skoda Auto Deutschland:

"For many years, the Essen Motor Show has been a permanent fixture in the national fair calendar of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland. We have quite deliberately selected it for the very successful German premiere of our new SUV ŠKODA KODIAQ, supplemented by further current models. However, the already traditional presentation of our rally activities (in 2016, crowned by winning the German Rally Championship) also belongs precisely at this fair. Here is the right public for the fascinating mixture of sports, shows and automobiles."

Aron Krumm, Assistant Manager Marketing Europe, Toyo Tire Europe:

"Toyo Tires was once again more than satisfied with the Essen Motor Show. We see the fair as an ideal platform for product launches and in order to keep in direct touch with our target group from tuning and motorsports. This year, we have thus staged the world premiere of our new UHP tyre called 'Proxes Sport' exclusively in Essen and were able to make a wideranging public familiar with it."

Harald Schmidtke, Managing Director, Association of Automobile Tuners:

"This year's EMS with over 350,000 visitors once again is a good template for next year's 50th anniversary event. We are looking forward to that."