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Automotive Industries spoke to Claus Hähnel and Wieland Kniffka, managing directors of H & K Messe

driveIT a convention and top-class specialist event in order to provide comprehensive information on emerging technologies

Reflecting the growing importance of automotive electronics and software in todays vehicles, the first ever international trade fair for these two sectors will be held between November 4th and 6th, 2008 in Stuttgart, Germany. driveIT is being pitched not just as a trade fair but also a convention and top-class specialist event in order to provide comprehensive information on emerging technologies.

Some of the key areas driveIT expects to focus on include innovations dealing with cutting fuel consumption, emissions as well as increasing safety and comfort levels in automobiles. “Luxury vehicles today already contain around 70 different control devices that control the engine, chassis, safety functions and driver assistance systems. And this is just the beginning – according to a study by management consultancy Oliver Wyman in 2007, electrics and electronics will remain the major driving force for innovation in cars until 2015 and beyond. Software, semiconductors, displays and drive control are the most successful technologies with an annual growth rate of eight percent and more. At the same time, even this large growth market has to develop and manufacture in a cost-effective way,” says a press release from the show’s organizers – H & K Messe GmbH & Co.

“With driveIT, we are creating an industry meeting point, which receives specialist support from leading figures and institutes from the automotive software and electronics sector”, says Claus Hähnel, managing director of H & K Messe GmbH & Co. KG.

The driveIT trade fair promises to offer manufacturers, service providers and research outfits a forum in which they can discover the latest technological developments. The exhibition portfolio includes software and hardware tools, content, engineering, process and quality management and business consulting. This is expected to be of interest to OEMs, designers, and other professionals.

Alongside the specialist trade fair, driveIT will have a convention which will host speakers from the automotive industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, software companies and research institutes.

H & K Messe GmbH & Co, driveIT’s organizers, specialized in niche interest trade fairs. In June this year, the company organized euroLITE, a specialist trade fair dealing with the design and serial production of lightweight components. 128 exhibitors participated in the exhibition that was held between June 26th and 28th in Salzburg, Austria. The show attracted over 1500 visitors from eight countries – the bulk of them were from the automotive industry. Other industries represented included the railway, commercial vehicle and aerospace industries. All these industries are interested in reducing weight when developing new products.

“We were surprised by the quality of the visitors and the number of valuable contacts we were able to make during euroLITE. We are particularly pleased to have received a large quotation request as a direct result of these contacts“, said Andreas C. Schmitz, key account manager at Sapa Aluminium Profile GmbH.

Birgit Mayer, managing director at WF Wabenfabrik GmbH, shared a similar opinion: “For us, it was definitely worth participating in euroLITE. For example, our stand was visited by well-known automobile manufacturers like Porsche, DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Mazda, and we were also able to establish some very interesting contacts with company representatives from other industries. For this reason, we will certainly exhibit again at euroLITE”.

The second euroLITE will be held from June 24 to June 26, 2008, in Salzburg.

Automotive Industries spoke to Claus Hähnel and Wieland Kniffka, managing directors of H & K Messe GmbH & Co.

AI: Please tell us what factors prompted the conceptualization of driveIT?

“Software and electronics are the key factors of future innovations in the automotive industry. Despite this importance, there had been none international platform offering a comprehensive overview about latest technologies, new developments and trends. So we decided to create driveIT as a specialist trade fair, convention and top class event, which offers presentation, communication, purchasing and information at the most advanced level. And Stuttgart (Germany) with its great tradition and importance in car manufacturing is a perfect location for this event”, says Wieland Kniffka.

AI: What role do you think software and electronics will play in the vehicles of tomorrow?

“Reducing fuel consumption and emissions and fulfilling the increasing customer demands for safety and comfort will only be possible with innovative developments in the field of software and electronics. Of course these solutions have to be developed and manufactured in a cost-effective way”, says Claus Hähnel

AI: What was the thinking behind euroLITE? Why is it important to have such highly specialized trade fairs?

“Reducing carbon dioxide emissions, saving resources and increasing profitability – these are some of the many reasons which make lightweight construction a key factor for ensuring future performance and competitiveness across the automotive and other industries and technologies. So the concept of a specialist trade fair which covers the entire scope of lightweight design, from initial ideas right up to series production, is arousing great interest among suppliers and users. It is the same with software and electronics. For that reason it is necessary to have highly specialist trade fairs, which give manufacturers, service providers, organisations and research institutes as well as attendants a forum for presentation and information without wastage”, says Claus Hähnel.

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