A New Era for Automobile Barcelona

Enrique Lacalle, chairman of Automobile Barcelona, has presented the latest updates on this year’s show, which will be taking place from 11-21 May at Fira de Barcelona. He emphasised the great economic state of the industry, with Spain being second to Germany in vehicle manufacture in Europe according to OICA. Registrations have grown a 12.6% during March according to figures from ANFAC and exports from this sector have seen a 3.3% increase during the first two months of the year.
Lacalle said: “what we first launched last November as a much-studied project from Fira de Barcelona, is now a brilliant reality”. Together with the latest developments in the industry, Automobile Barcelona adds a great forum around the newest paradigm for the sector deriving from new connectivity technologies, the connected car, intelligent and sustainable mobility and the digitalisation of the industry. He added: “Automobile Barcelona ensures the future of the International Motor Show and makes it a global point of reference” He also highlighted: “Automobile Barcelona is a new concept and a new philosophy when it comes to motor shows. We’ve reinvented ourselves. Barcelona and Fira de Barcelona, as always, one step ahead”.
With this new approach, Automobile Barcelona follows the steps of other international benchmark events taking place in Barcelona and also related to digital developments such as GSMA Mobile World Congress, IoT Solutions or Smart City Expo World Congress. It constitutes a step forward on the commitment of Fira de Barcelona and the city itself for the promotion of shows that address the social, economic and industrial impact of digitalisation. In fact, vehicles with connectivity systems or associated with mobile devices will reach around 50 million manufactured units in 2017, with figures growing to 700 million of ‘intelligent’ vehicles in 2022.
The chairman explained that: “the combination of the traditional Motor Show with the technological platform resulted in the involvement of a higher sum of companies and the biggest international approach so far”. Apart from the main companies across the sector, key bodies for the digital transformation industry such as Google (through Waze), Facebook, IBM, Ericsson, Orange, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, etc; or brands like Tesla, making its debut in Barcelona, will also attend the show. Lacalle said that “this motor and technology mix has caused an overbooking of companies and internationalisation”.
Finally he stated: “We’ve never offered this much before”: the traditional Show with the launches of ‘MotorShow’ brands; the Inspiration Arena congress with more than 70 speakers from all over the world; the Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place at the same time in Montmeló; meetings with the industry; live car-testing; an experience demo area in Plaza del Univers; 25 start-ups at the Innovation Square – thanks to the collaboration of Mobile World Capital Barcelona – and the ‘Nit de l’Automobile’. “All this, – Lacalle summed up – makes us the best business platform of the year, the best place to buy a car with the best conditions. With 98 years of history, we’ve been able to reinvent a show almost to its centenary. We want to make the city of Barcelona fall in love with the new Show. Barcelona is a unique city that cherishes the Show as part of its history”.
Connected Hub is the platform that will showcase the future of the industry with key digital transformation brands. The event represents this new approach of Automobile Barcelona, will boast two areas. The Inspiration Arena as a debate forum where more than 70 speakers from all around the world will attend, allocated in 25 sessions and structured across 12 themed areas. This space will include outstanding speakers such as Luca de Meo (SEAT Executive Committee Chairman), Andreu Veà (appointed EU ‘Digital Champion for Spain’), Juan Ignacio Zoido (Spanish Minister of Interior), Massimo Cavazzini (Oracle EMEA Director of ‘Digital Experience’), and Frank Leveque (Partner of ‘Mobility Team’ at Frost & Sullivan), among others.
The second professional space of Connected Hub, the Innovation Square, will bring together manufacturers and the entrepreneurial system of the digital world.  This space, built in conjunction with 4YFN, the business platform for entrepreneurs, investors and large corporations powered by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, will host 25 digital start-ups developing innovative connectivity and mobility solutions associated with the motoring sphere.
Automobile Barcelona will also include the Connected Street, a space aimed for the visitor to ‘experience’ all the developments from the sector. At the demonstration area, located at Plaza del Univers, the brands will be able to showcase the main digital breakthroughs of the industry to the public. This global scale pioneering approach, will make the visitor take part in the trends that will shape the future of the industry across four main areas: “Autonomous Driving”, “Emobility”, “Connected Car” and “Virtual Reality”.
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