Tesla is set to make an unexpected appearance at this year’s IAA Mobility Show in Munich, Germany. The decision to attend the event, which will take place from September 4-8 at Munich’s Königsplatz, marks a departure from Tesla’s usual practice of avoiding auto shows. The news was confirmed by show organizers and Germany’s Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.

The IAA Mobility Show, formerly held in Frankfurt, relocated to Munich in 2021 with the aim of attracting a larger audience. Tesla’s participation in the event is a positive development for the show, as the presence of such a prominent EV manufacturer is expected to generate significant interest. However, it remains uncertain which Tesla models will be showcased at the IAA Mobility Show and whether test drives will be offered to attendees.

In terms of exhibition space, Tesla’s booth is expected to cover approximately 200 square meters (2,152 square feet). While this may appear relatively small for a car show, it is worth noting that Tesla often deviates from traditional auto show formats and instead opts for its own events and online platforms to unveil new models and technologies.

The decision to attend the IAA Mobility Show comes at a time when many automakers are seeking to reduce their marketing budgets. Notably, Stellantis has only confirmed the participation of its Opel brand at this year’s show. Tesla’s presence, therefore, underscores its commitment to engaging with industry events and potentially reaching a wider audience in Europe.

Historically, Tesla has been selective in its participation at auto shows, typically reserving its attendance for significant model debuts. The company’s first foray into the auto show circuit was at the 2006 San Francisco Auto Show, where it showcased its inaugural model, the Tesla Roadster. Another notable appearance was at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, where the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 made its auto show debut. Tesla was also among the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that exhibited at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, further emphasizing its interest in expanding its global presence.

Tesla’s preference for independent events and online unveilings allows the company to exercise greater control over the messaging surrounding its products and technologies. By bypassing traditional auto shows, Tesla can directly reach its target audience and enthusiasts through live-streamed events and digital platforms. This strategy has proven successful for the company, with its product launches often generating significant media coverage and public attention.

While Tesla’s decision to attend the IAA Mobility Show in Munich is unexpected, it remains to be seen whether this will be a one-time occurrence or a shift in the company’s overall approach to auto shows. As the EV market continues to grow, it is possible that Tesla may explore new avenues to connect with consumers and showcase its innovations. The IAA 2023 exhibition will serve as an intriguing test case to observe Tesla’s evolving strategy and its impact on the future of auto shows in the electric vehicle industry.