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Five Things you need to do to get the most out of the AutoShow

Published January 30, 2014

The 2014 Canadian International AutoShow opens in two weeks (Feb. 14-23), and already car fans are making plans to descend upon the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to indulge their passion for all things automotive.

If there is one auto-related event each year that brings people from all walks of life together, it’s the AutoShow. For many die-hard car enthusiasts, the show is a must-attend event, a place to view, first-hand, all of the latest models and learn about the latest industry developments.

Many visitors also enjoy the social aspect of the show, where they can spend time with friends and family. I’m always amazed at the diversity of visitors in terms of age, from young toddlers and teenagers to middle-aged and seniors.

Of course, the show’s organizers and sponsors hope (as do I) that everyone who attends is delighted with what they see and experience.

For those who are planning to attend this year’s show, I’ve come up with a checklist to help visitors get the most out of the experience.

1. Comparison shop. The AutoShow features the latest makes, models and concepts from all of the world’s automakers under one roof. If you are shopping for a midsize sedan, sports coupe, pickup, crossover or SUV, there is no better place to compare body styles, fuel efficiency, safety ratings, horsepower and prices about the vehicle you want to buy.

2. Learn from the pros. Who better to answer your automotive questions than the brand representatives? The brand reps aren’t there to pressure visitors to buy; rather, they are there to provide information about the vehicles on display. They know their products inside out and are happy to answer your questions.

3. Enter to win. The AutoShow has several contests and giveaways visitors can enter. The TADA/Toronto Star 40K Giveaway offers a chance to win $40,000 towards the purchase of a new vehicle at any dealer-member of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association. At the autotrader.ca exhibit, you could win $10,000 towards the purchase of any car listed on its website, or you could win one of three $500 gas cards from Allstate Insurance. There is also a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt and a YouTube Auto Challenge.

4. Make it an event. Plan to attend the show with friends, colleagues or family members and make it an occasion. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours browsing through the North and South buildings. There is much to see and do, with dozens of excellent restaurants, pubs and bistros nearby. The show is easily accessible by public transit and plenty of parking is available nearby.

5. Prepare your visit. When you arrive, plan to pick up your Official Show Guide and map so that you know where everything is. This makes is easier to navigate your way through the spacious buildings so that you don’t miss anything. Visit autoshow.ca for more information, including descriptions of the features, exhibits and promotions; and save 10 per cent by purchasing tickets online.

The show celebrates what’s new and innovative in the automotive world, and it also commemorates the vintage automobiles of yesteryear.

Muscle Car Alley and Cruise Nationals are two of this year’s exhibits that showcase the history of the automobile in North America. There will be a special presentation by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to celebrate Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows.

Plus, the TADA booth (located in the South Building, 800 Level) will provide information and resources for those interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry.

In next week’s column, I’ll provide detailed information about the main features and attractions at the 2014 Canadian International AutoShow.

This column represents the views of TADA. Email president@tada.ca or visit tada.ca. Benny Leung, president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, is a new-car dealer in the GTA

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