GIANT GERMAN SHOW ADDS ANOTHER VENUE
Retro Classics’ organiser explains why a buoyant classic market is hungry for events
Following 17 consecutive successful Retro Classics at Stuttgart, the show’s organisers have revealed plans to increase the size and breadth of its appeal – by branching out into other cities.
Retro Classics opened its second show in Nuremberg last year, and will house its first event in Cologne on 24-26 November. Both of these shows are much smaller than the Stuttgart based affair, which now welcomes close to 90,000 visitors, whereas Nuremberg’s first show attracted 26,544 and organisers believe that Cologne will house around 40,000.
Karl-Ulrich Herrmann, managing partner of Retro Classics, attributes the growth in his business to the growth in the classic scene. He says: ‘ We would be fully justified in saying that there is currently a boom. The historic and classic cars market has grown steadily over the last 17 years since the first show opened its doors in Stuttgart.’
And it would appear that Herrmann is right – the number of registered historic and classic cars has increased significantly in Germany in recent years. The total number of moving vehicles in the country is now around 700,000 and there are another 400,000 non-registered historic and classic cars. Of the registered vehicles, approximately 350,000 vehicles have a registration number.
Erwin Mayer, head of BMW branch in Stuttgart, thinks that manufacturer participation is here to stay. He says: ‘ We did Stuttgart for the first time in 2017. It’s a great way to showcase what we do. We’re in intense co-operation with BMW in Munich, and we have access to more than 50,000 parts.’
The classic car scene is changing culturally, as well as in size. Modern classics hold the largest share in the German market, something that is obvious from Retro Classics Stuttgart. Some 17 years ago, pre-war cars comprisedf around 50 per cent of the show. In 2017, it accounted for just five per cent.
Karl-Ulrich Herrmann adds: ‘ Young historic and classic cars, cars which I myself bought as new vehicles in the 1970s and 1980s, now represent the largest share of the market. And so it’s clear that the term ‘classic car’ is also changing. Whereas two decades ago only pre-war models were considered to be historic and classic cars, now Youngtimers are very much on the rise and we clearly must adapt to that.’