„The overall mood was fantastic!“15.03.2019
RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART, the world's largest trade fair for driving culture, closed its doors on Sunday evening after recording another increase in the number of visitors. Between 7 and 10 March over 90,000 lovers and collectors of historic and classic cars flocked to the exhibition halls at Messe Stuttgart, which had long been fully booked up, in order to admire the cars, talk shop and make purchases. A large number of exhibits changed hands. "The positive overall result was all the more pleasing because it bucks the current trend," said Karl Ulrich Herrmann, Managing Shareholder of the organiser RETRO Messen GmbH. "The halls have never been so full, the overall mood was fantastic! The importance of the trade fair is increasing continuously. This proves that we are right to focus on the trade rather than leisure aspects.“ More than 4,000 automobiles from every era of mobility history were presented on an area of 140,000 square metres. Two-wheel enthusiasts also certainly got their money's worth: great names such as BMW or Indian made the hearts of every "biker" beat faster.
Interest in historic and classic cars remains undiminished
The figures back up the statements by Herrmann who created RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART almost two decades ago: during a survey just under two thirds of visitors said they owned at least one historic or classic car while 34 per cent had already purchased or ordered something. 20 per cent of visitors were planning to increase their own vehicle fleet at the trade fair while 5 per cent were aiming to invest a sum of more than €100,000. In terms of figures, demand was therefore greater than supply.
NEO CLASSICS® as a growth segment
The visitors, who included a stable proportion of trade visitors at 33 per cent, were primarily interested in the international parts market and the vehicle selling market (27 per cent each), followed by the topics of BMW motorsport (27%), the exhibition "Passione Italiana“ (26%), American cars (22%) and, finally, the NEO CLASSICS® section which once again clearly proved to be a growth segment in which 21 per cent of visitors were interested. Visitors spent an average of five and a half hours at the trade fair.
International profile continuing to increase
The high international profile of RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART was ultimately indicated by the origin of the guests who literally travelled from all parts of the world to Stuttgart – from Switzerland, Austria and France, but also from the USA, Singapore, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar and the Philippines. The highest increases were from Italy and the Czech Republic.
The exhibitors were delighted with both the expertise and propensity to purchase shown by visitors: "The trade fair was very well-attended and the visitors were interested and extremely knowledgeable," said Günther Irmscher, Managing Director of Irmscher Classic. "Many visitors came very specifically to our stand. We conducted a large number of good discussions and recorded positive sales – which is ultimately the objective of participation in every trade fair!" Klaus Kienle, Managing Director of Kienle Automobiltechnik GmbH, expressed a similar opinion: "There was a great deal going on right from the very first day. The interest shown in our offers was higher than last year, and I believe that we had twice as many customers on our stand." "RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART is an important trade fair for us," concurred Oliver Reger, Managing Director of OM-Automobile GmbH. "You can buy reasonable goods here at a good price."
Good marks awarded by the visitors
The visitors also rated their experience at the trade fair as extremely positive: for example, 84 per cent of them rated the programme as almost complete. Nine out of ten visitors said they would recommend the trade fair to other people. Overall, the 19th RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART was awarded the mark 1.8.
The 20th anniversary edition of RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART will be held at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 27 February to 1 March 2020.
Comments by exhibitors:
Ralf Reller, Managing Director, Reller Automobile GmbH:
"It was my impression that RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART was once again extremely well-attended. There was a positive mood, the customers were interested and the selection of vehicles was generally very good. In the first three days we sold five cars directly at the trade fair. That's really something. People are still definitely interested in automobiles.“
Simon-Markus Loh, proprietor, SML Car Group:
"We drew very positive conclusions from the trade fair: our stand was very busy with interesting contacts to potential customers. We also held first-rate discussions with other exhibitors regarding cooperation possibilities. We were delighted to receive the award 'Best Exhibition Stand 2019' from the organiser - although we took part in the trade fair here in Stuttgart for the first time!“
Radek Pokorný, proprietor, Engine Prague s.r.o:
"RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART is one of the best trade fairs which we attend in Europe. The visitors, the atmosphere and the organisation are much better than at other events. We will be back again next year − with a larger stand. We are very satisfied!“
Christof Gerhard, proprietor, Christof Gerhard:
"We came to Stuttgart for the first time after our positive experiences at RETRO CLASSICS® COLOGNE. We sold and delivered a car right at the start: a woman fell in love with an Alfa Romeo Spyder and took it away immediately. We also established a large number of valuable contacts. Here in Stuttgart we met people who wanted to purchase cars!“
Gerald Burgdorff, Managing Director and proprietor, Burgdorff Cars:
"Creating a separate section for NEO CLASSICS® was a very good idea because the market is developing in this direction. I am firmly convinced that this segment will become well-established in future. On every day of the trade fair serious customers expressed keen interest in our vehicles. I am therefore expecting good business after the event and believe that we will also take part again in the next RETRO CLASSICS®.“
Thomas Steppe, Managing Director, Autohaus Steppe GmbH:
"The clientèle at RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART is a good match for our company. A large number of owners of historic automobiles are looking for an appealing new car. Here in Stuttgart we are seeing growing interest in American vehicles; sales in this segment are generally very good. We received a positive response to our participation and are therefore expecting good business after the event."
Christian Silberhorn, proprietor, Silberhorn Classics:
"The reason why we took part in the trade fair was the creation of a separate BMW hall at RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART, here in the home of Daimler and Porsche. We got to know many new interesting people and hope that we were able to enhance the trade fair with some unusual exhibits. A representative of BMW even came to our stand and asked: "Why don't we have this car?" The contacts which we made at RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART have helped our company.“
Wolfgang Deutinger, Managing Director, C. F. Mirbach GmbH & Co KG:
"RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART was definitely a successful event for our company: we held some very good discussions and concluded several sales contracts. It was my impression that the proportion of trade visitors had increased still further. A large number of extremely well-informed people came to our stand, people with a real passion for Italian and British brands. We would like to come back to the next 'Retro'."
Klaus Kienle, Managing Director, Kienle Automobiltechnik GmbH:
"There was a great deal going on right from the very first day. The interest shown in our offers was higher than last year, and I believe that we had twice as many customers on our stand. People are also still willing to pay a good price for high-quality automobiles. We were very satisfied with the demand. The date at the beginning of March was also a good choice. We will come back to the next Retro Classics®."
Oliver Reger, Managing Director, OM-Automobile GmbH:
"Stuttgart is a strong economic region while Austria and Switzerland are also practically on the doorstep. RETRO CLASSICS® STUTTGART is therefore an important trade fair for our company, something which was also reaffirmed this year. "You can buy reasonable goods here at a good price. It was also noticeable that a large number of foreign visitors came to our stand. We were satisfied with the outcome of the trade fair and would like to come back again."