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

Close observation from abroad

The focus for passenger cars was on low-cost maintenance, and for trucks on pneumatic tires. At the 1924 fair Benz exhibited a diesel truck with a pre-chamber engine for the first time. “Minor faults and teething problems still need to be rectified in these engines”, the Swiss newspaper "Der Motorlastwagen" commented. “However, it is certain that these engines have finally sounded the death-knell of the oil carburetor, which was only recently thought to have a promising future.“

Since German products were still barred from international exhibitions, no foreign exhibitors were permitted to attend the Berlin fair in 1924. Only Austria was represented. The English publication "The Automobile Engineer" considered the German automobile industry to be “in a precarious position, and it has without doubt fallen behind. No more than half a dozen really modern designs reflecting the latest developments were to be seen. These are usually companies which also enjoy a high reputation abroad, such as Mercedes and Benz.”

In 1925 the automobile exhibition was still a national event held in three large halls, as a report from Untertürkheim informs us. Apparently a building belonging to the radio industry was added to the existing halls to accommodate the motorcycles. “The old German brands have now come closer to general international design principles, and indeed the example of Mercedes with its supercharged engine shows that they have in some measure stolen a march on the entire international competition.“

Commercial vehicles: Displayed on the Daimler stand at the 1925 International Motor Show in Berlin.

Mercedes and Benz, who had entered into a cooperative arrangement in 1924, occupied joint stands for both cars and commercial vehicles at the German Automobile Fair in 1925. A decision had been taken not to present new designs: in line with the rest of the German motor industry, Mercedes-Benz did not wish to make production processes more expensive with frequent model changes, preferring to specialize in just a few models for a number of years and reduce production costs to a minimum, as an internal exhibition report states.

Accordingly there was an overall drop in the number of exhibitors and models during the 1920s: while there were no less than 86 companies exhibiting 146 different car models in 1924, the number had fallen to just 30 companies and 42 models by 1926. “Daimler-Benz, whose stand has probably enjoyed the largest influx of visitors, declares that it is fully satisfied with the level of sales”, the newspaper "Hamburger Nachrichten" reported on the fair, which attracted some 300,000 visitors.

The 1926 Automobile and Motorcycle Fair in Berlin was the last purely national event of this kind during the 1920s. At the end of that year the "German Automobile Association" (RDA) was accepted by the international umbrella organization, which meant that German companies were once again invited to attend fairs abroad, and international fairs were permitted to be held in Germany.

Poster of the IAA 1926

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