05.03.2020 - 08:31

RETRO CLASSICS® 2020: exhibitors with extremely positive response

No panic among historic and classic car fans: good atmosphere, visitors with high spending power and satisfied exhibitors at the world's largest trade fair for driving culture

"Suitable account taken of the health situation"

"The worry over the coronavirus certainly affected the trade fair to some extent," concluded Karl Ulrich Herrmann, managing shareholder of RETRO Messen GmbH, at the end of the trade fair on Sunday evening. "However, thanks to continuous and sensitive cooperation with the responsible authorities, we took suitable account of the health situation and were therefore able to open the trade fair as scheduled."

High proportion of trade visitors, long period of time spent at the event

In the end, however, some classic car fans stayed away from the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. In short, the number of visitors at RETRO CLASSICS® was around one third lower than in 2019. "In view of the public discussion in the media, this decrease can nonetheless be regarded as rather low," said K.U. Herrmann, "especially since the structure of the visitors was, as usual, excellent." This was confirmed by a computer-aided representative survey among the trade fair participants: just under one third of the respondents (63%) own at least one historic or classic car while 33 per cent had already purchased or ordered something at the time of the survey – 5 per cent invested a sum of more than €100,000. On average, the guests spent 5.4 hours at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. More than one third of them were trade visitors.

International public

The international stature of RETRO CLASSICS® was demonstrated on the exhibition stands: although a large number of Italian visitors stayed away, the proportion of foreign visitors reached 11 per cent again. Top spot among the 42 countries of origin of the visitors was Switzerland (25%), followed by France (21%) and Austria (14%). Around 1,000 journalists from 29 countries were welcomed in the Press Centre.

Impressive programme featuring numerous highlights

"The extremely positive feedback proves that visitors were once again impressed by our programme," said Andreas Herrmann, who will take over from his father as Managing Director of RETRO Messen GmbH on 1 April 2020. "Many of the highlights proved incredibly popular, especially among younger visitors." His estimation was borne out by the results of the visitor survey: US cars (27%), NEO CLASSICS® (22%) and a visit to the exhibition "ROFGO Gulf Heritage Collection" (18%) – the "young" topics in the trade fair – were mentioned as centres of interest to an increasing extent. 85 per cent of the respondents in the visitor survey said that the programme was almost complete. "The large parts market, the much bigger vehicle selling market and the première of the "Beginners' Market" proved extremely popular among visitors to the trade fair," said Andreas Herrmann. In his capacity as President of the organisation RetroClassicCultur e.V. (RCC), he said he was ultimately pleased about the success of RETRO CLASSICS® for EDUCATION, a youth initiative supported by the RCC and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Education. This offer was taken up by a large number of vocational schools.

Exhibitors praise the good buying mood

A large number of exhibitors can look back on a successful trade fair in Stuttgart: "We met first-rate trade visitors here," said Mathias Leitner, Managing Director of C.F. Mirbach GmbH & Co KG. "Up until Sunday morning alone, we sold seven vehicles and received so many inquiries that we will have enough to do up until next February. We achieved our trade fair targets and are already looking forward to 2021!" Klaus Kienle, the owner and Managing Director of Kienle Automobile GmbH concurred: "We have been coming to RETRO CLASSICS® for many years and were very satisfied again – also in regard to the number of visitors. The trade fair was a great success, we had the best possible position and managed to sell a surprisingly high number of cars. We certainly did not feel any direct effects of the coronavirus." Kris Rosenberger, Managing Director and owner of Rosenberger Classics, was delighted with the extremely positive response. "We attended Retro Classics® for the first time and attracted a great deal of interest here. Our portfolio proved very popular among visitors. The number of visitors on our stand was more than adequate. Everything was fantastic!"

Visitors again award a "one" in front of the decimal point

In the overall assessment by visitors, RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART 2020 stood out with a one in front of the decimal point (1.7). 90 per cent of visitors said they would recommend the trade fair to friends, acquaintances and work colleagues.


The next RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART will be held at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 18 to 21 March 2021.


Further information and photos relating to RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART can be found in the Internet at: www.retro-classics.de


Comments by exhibitors:

Roald F. Goethe, collector/proprietor, ROFGO Gulf Heritage Collection:
"I felt that I was on holiday here: cars are my passion, my leisure activity, my hobby. In my opinion, RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART 2020 was a huge success, especially under these circumstances! This was due to the good medial support and first-class organisation. It was a great honour for me to contribute towards this successful anniversary event. I am totally happy!"

Hartmut Schürg, Brand and Design Director, Recaro Holding GmbH:
"We saw here that our brand and products attracted a great deal of attention. Our employees conducted good, interesting discussions at a high level and were always busy. A large number of customers were pleased to see that the trade fair took place in spite of the coronavirus. The topic was communicated proactively and handled in an exemplary way."

Alexander Müller, Managing Shareholder, Autohaus Müller GmbH:
"It was a wonderful experience for us to meet so many people who shared our vision and animated our 'Meet the Mechanic' offer. Our actions proved very popular and our stand was always well-attended. We are very satisfied and are already looking forward to 2021!"

Ralf Reller, Managing Director, Reller Automobile GmbH:
"We were worried that the trade fair would not actually take place. Despite the virus warning and contrary to expectations, the number of visitors at times was very good. We sold four cars and purchased two magnificent vehicles. The trade fair therefore proved worthwhile for our company. We will definitely come back again."

Michael Dietrich, Mercedes-Benz R129 SL-Club Deutschland e.V.:
"This year, we had a larger area on which we could present our exhibits in a fantastic way. The trade fair went extremely well: over the four days we recorded almost the same number of visitors as in 2019. "Our 'transparent SL' was a real eye-catcher. We acquired a large number of new members, and the contact between the clubs was very positive!"

Jens Kombartzky, Managing Director, Wagen12 GmbH:
"We fulfilled all our expectations: we made two direct sales during the trade fair and also received some specific inquiries. Our attendance was certainly worthwhile. We exhibited here for the first time. I believe that we will come back again in 2021."

Norbert Wollner, Managing Director, Classic & Racing Cars GbR:
"RETRO CLASSICS® is the best trade fair in its segment in terms of the programme and organisation: close attention is paid to service here! In light of the current situation, the trade fair was astonishingly busy and we managed to sell two vehicles directly here. We have been coming to RETRO CLASSICS® for many years. I am pleased that I could switch on my spotlights this February in Stuttgart!"

Christoph Schlagenhauf, Managing Director, Boxer Motor GmbH:
"Taking part in a trade fair always involves a great deal of time and expense. We are therefore pleased that RETRO CLASSICS® took place and that the effort paid off in the end. We were able to present our company in an ideal light and are looking forward to good business after the event."


Picture caption: 

RC20_PM17_RETRO-CLASSICS-2020-Extreme-Positive-Resonance_1: RETRO CLASSICS 2020 showed new and old models. Picture credits: RETRO Messen GmbH

RC20_PM17_RETRO-CLASSICS-2020-Extreme-Positive-Resonance_2: Very good atmosphere at RETRO CLASSICS 2020. picture credits: RETRO Messen GmbH

RC20_PM17_RETRO-CLASSICS-2020-Extreme-Positive-Resonance_3: The highlight of the show - The ROFGO Gulf Heritage Collection. Picture credits: RETRO Messen GmbH

RC20_PM17_RETRO-CLASSICS-2020-Extreme-Positive-Resonance_4: The popular Classicbid auction at RETRO CLASSICS 2020. picture credits: RETRO Messen GmbH

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