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VDA President Wissmann sees German auto industry well positioned for automated driving (Photo: Claus Dick)

FRANKFURT -- The Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA) will in coming years focus even more strongly on the growing connections between the automotive and IT industries, VDA President Matthias Wissmann said Wednesday.

Wissmann, who heads Germany's auto industry association, said this year's IAA saw an expansion of the digital part of the exhibition, the New Mobility World. He said 250 companies participated and 7,000 people took part in three days of discussions there.

The VDA chief said the drive to a more digital IAA was triggered by the growing automotive importance of the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. That event, Wissmann said, has increasingly taken the wind out of the sails of the Detroit Auto Show, with many automakers showing new technologies there, instead of in Detroit. CES traditionally takes place in early January. The Detroit show follows one week later.

"That wasn't going to happen to us," Wissmann said at the carIT Congress here.

The VDA president noted that the German auto industry is well positioned to play a major role in the development of automated driving. He cited new statistics that show that 52 pc of all new patents in this area are held by German automakers and suppliers.

"We're not in this because we are in love with technical solutions," Wissmann said, "but because we believe that further digitalization can solve the big challenges we face."

The IAA isn't the only major auto show that is focusing more on digital transformation. The Detroit auto show also has added a new mobility program, as have Los Angeles and other major car exhibitions.

The carIT Congress, hosted by the automotiveIT Group, takes place every year during the Frankfurt Auto Show and Hanover commercial vehicles exhibition.

The VDA is the organizer of the Frankfurt Auto Show.