Review: Retro Classics 2018

Despite a scheduling conflict with a market accompanist in NRW – Germany, Stuttgart had hardly any decrease in visitor numbers compared to last year.

Organizers, exhibitors and visitors agreed: The 18th edition of the Stuttgart Retro Classics was a complete success! Although the world’s largest vintage car fair coincided with another event in the Western part of Germanyhub, this was reflected only slightly in the number of visitors: About 87 000 vintage fans were counted at the hubs, only two percent less than last year. The reason for the deadline was urgent structural measures on the part of the market companion.

Karl Ulrich Herrmann, Managing Partner of all Retro Messen GmbH, sees the steady good trade fair visit as a sign of a sustainable consolidation of the classic market: “It’s no longer worth speculating with garage gold, this hype is over. Classic automobiles are increasingly becoming an asset for enthusiasts who value driving pleasure and individuality more than the return on paper. “This development was already noticeable at the Retro Night on Thursday evening, which experienced a veritable rush of visitors.

International Audience

The catchment area of ​​Retro Classics has once again expanded: this time, not only guests from neighboring European countries were welcomed, but also from Australia or Singapore. Overall, the “retro” is becoming more international: about 15 percent of visitors came from abroad, an increase of 25 percent over the previous year. Most of the guests came from Switzerland, followed by Austria, France and Italy. The largest increase came from the Alpine republic.

In addition to the vehicle sales market (31%) and the parts market (30%), the focus was on the topic of “Passione Italiana” (24%), the special show BMW (24%), US cars (22%), historic commercial vehicles and buses (21%) and not least the Neo Classics (20%) – that was the result of a representative survey. Herrmann is particularly pleased about the latter value: “This product segment has become very well established in recent years. With a scene developing more and more to a broad driving culture, it represents a significant growth market. ”

A saturation of the classic market can hardly be noticed anyway: Although a large proportion of retro visitors already own one or more vehicles, 18 percent of respondents said they wanted to expand their stock and buy one or more vintage cars at the show , A strong third of them (36%) had already bought or ordered something at the time of the survey, again six percent from this group invested more than 100,000 euros. Once again, it became clear that the Retro Classics is not just a trade fair for private collectors: at 33 percent, the proportion of trade visitors was at about the same level as in the previous year.

Good buying mood, satisfied exhibitors

Accordingly, exhibitors expressed satisfaction: “Retro Classics is an great experience every year,” said Helmut Rehm, Managing Director of Herzog-Rehm Handels GmbH. “Here, we meet  a very complex, open-minded audience with increased buying interest. By now, classics are no longer just an investment object, they are also a fun mobile. Everything was very well organized; We were professionally helped at every request at all times. We are very satisfied and will be back in 2019. “Heinz Eberhart, owner of the Swiss provider Eberhart Classic, agreed to that:” Here in Stuttgart, you meet a purchasing-loving audience. This was our first time at Retro Classics and we are very satisfied. The demand was good, the sale as well. On top of that, we were able to make many contacts. Here in the country of Mercedes and Porsche, we want to present the subject of BMW even more in the future. Next year we’ll be back – with a bigger stand! “There was also positive feedback from the visitors, who spent an average of almost five and a half hours in the halls and on the squares: for 82 percent, the Retro Classics offer is almost complete, nine out of ten want to recommend the show. Overall, the Retro Classics achieved a consistently good overall grade of 1.8. The next issues of Retro Classics in Stuttgart (without scheduling conflicts with competitors) will take place from 7th to 10th of March 2019 and from 27th February to 1st of March 2020.

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