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English   A historical review: The International Automobile Show (IAA) and Mercedes-Benz
18.09.2010 von admin

Cancellation of the 1971 IAA owing to poor economic conditions

Longer delivery times were also a topic of discussion at the IAA again – the economic downturn of 1967 seemed to be over, and the German automobile industry enjoyed something like an Indian summer. The relief did not last for long, however: in 1971 the IAA had to be cancelled owing to the unfavorable development of costs and profitability in the automobile industry. Neither did it enter into the count, as the 44th IAA was held in 1973.

In the mid-1970s Daimler-Benz launched new commercial vehicles in the market, presenting the “New Generation” with gross vehicle weights of 16 to 26 tonnes at the IAA in 1973. In 1975 a new medium-class range of trucks with gross vehicle weights of ten, twelve and fourteen tonnes was added to the heavyweights, and the
Mercedes-Benz 2032 S semitrailer tractor with two steered front axles and a driven planetary rear axle was presented. All the heavy trucks were also equipped with an air-sprung rear axle.

The 1970s were not easy for the automobile sector: the car came in for criticism, the oil crisis made fuel more expensive and small, inexpensive and economical cars began to arrive from Asia. While the industry as a whole was battling against falling production, employment and profitability on a worldwide basis during the mid-70s, Daimler-Benz basically weathered the crisis undamaged. “Since we last came together at the IAA in 1973, the world economic picture and particularly the situation of the international automobile industry has fundamentally changed”, Daimler-Benz Chairman Joachim Zahn commented at the press conference for the 46th IAA in September 1975. “The events of recent years have left deep wounds in the automobile sector.”
Poster of the IAA 1973

Accordingly the Daimler-Benz Chairman advised the industry to learn lessons for the future – including that of the IAA in particular: “One of the most important conclusions in these times must be that when planning a vehicle range for the long term, producing new products for the sake of newness is outdated thinking. Putting on a ‘show in chrome and shining paintwork’ is increasingly a thing of the past. In accordance with the motto of this year’s IAA – ‘Living more easily with the car’ – the primary aim today must be to portray the automobile as a durable, safe and environmentally friendly product which meets an essential need and is able to integrate itself into the social environment.”

The motto of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car display in 1975 was “Mercedes-Benz – better drive safely”. The highlight was the 450 SEL 6.9, and Joachim Zahn made a point of emphasizing that the major attributes of this muscle-car were not so much the engine displacement and corresponding top speed, but rather “the overall conceptual interpretation”.

Proudly presented: The commercial vehicles of Mercedes-Benz at the 1973 International Motor Show.

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