Auto shows are More Popular and Relevant than ever
These shows continue to attract huge audiences, as manufacturers embrace new technologies shaping the auto industry, Larry Lantz writes.
As President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, I have the privilege of attending auto shows and industry functions in other countries.
These trips have broadened my understanding of the automobile industry and given me a greater appreciation for how important the industry is to the Canadian (and global) economies.
They have also reinforced my belief in the relevancy of auto shows in general. For passionate car enthusiasts and consumers with a casual interest in automobiles, there is no better place to learn about the latest in automotive developments and to view, up close, the newest models, concepts, and technologies.
We live in an era in which technology has revolutionized practically all aspects of how we live, learn, interact, communicate, and conduct business. A decade ago, it was rumoured that auto shows could eventually be phased out because of online technologies.
Well, the opposite has happened: auto shows have become more relevant than ever, for auto manufacturers, suppliers, auto dealers, and consumers.
These shows, worldwide, continue to attract huge audiences. The Canadian International AutoShow has attracted record audiences over the past four years, including a best-ever attendance in 2017.
Every week, auto manufacturers are embracing the new technologies shaping the automobile industry, whether it’s a development of advanced electronics, hybrid power, electric, hydrogen fuel-cell or autonomous innovations. Consumers are eager to hear more about these new developments, and auto shows are a great place to learn from the experts.
For automakers, auto shows offer ideal venues to introduce new production models, concept vehicles, and new technologies, and to share their visions with journalists and consumers.
Consumers get to see and feel the current production models and learn about the newest features and accessories, some of which can’t be learned from a website or a video. They get to speak in person with knowledgeable product advisers.
Whether you’re in the market for an SUV, crossover, pickup, sports coupe, minivan or luxury sedan, evaluating and comparing different models up close helps to narrow your choices and to clarify your car-buying decision.
Many people asked about an expanded focus on electric cars for 2018, and so the CIAS has responded. There will be a total of 14 different electric vehicles that will be available for consumers to test drive directly from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Although a great majority of attendees at auto shows intend to purchase a vehicle, many attend because they simply love cars and car culture, and they want to see and buy automotive accessories and other related services. In other words, they want to be part of a total automotive experience.
Attendance figures and press coverage are important metrics for measuring the value of auto shows. However, a lesser-known metric is just as powerful — it’s the ‘dream factor.’ Whether it’s a Bugatti or a Clarity, when consumers attend auto shows, they often see dream cars that they aspire to own one day.
One of the keys to CIAS’s success is the diversity of its content, offering something for all. One of the many new features for this year will be a celebration of Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary! Over the next few weeks, organizers of CIAS will be adding more information to its website about the 2018 Auto Show, which takes place Feb. 16-25.
Buy tickets online at www.autoshow.ca and save 25 per cent up until Jan. 15, and then 10 per cent up until the day the show opens, and avoid the lineups. Family admission passes and group rates are available, along with a special online Super Tuesday ticket, giving access to the show on Tuesday, Feb. 20 for just $14.
This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to tada.ca. Larry Lantz is president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and is a new-car dealer in Hanover, Ont.
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