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Dealer's Voice: AutoShow Shines Spotlight on Big Changes

The show is an event where consumers can view and experience the leading-edge automotive developments in a stimulating environment.

  • BMW i8

For more than three decades, I have attended the Canadian International AutoShow to view what’s new and on the horizon in the automotive world. Each year, I come away better informed, educated and more energized about the industry.

The show is an event where consumers can view and experience the leading-edge automotive developments in a stimulating environment. It’s the largest consumer show in Canada in size (600,000 square feet) and attendance (over 300,000), and it attracts car enthusiasts of all ages.

This year?s show opens next Friday Feb. 14 and runs to Sunday, Feb. 23.

The far-reaching changes taking place in automobiles today represent a fitting theme for the show: Beyond Expectations. Automakers will be displaying hundreds of new models and concept vehicles, along with streaming media components, automated safety features and fuel-efficient technologies.

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, BMW i8, Ford Edge Concept, 2015 Honda Fit, 2015 Acura TLX and 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are among the Canadian premieres this year.

Car shoppers have high expectations for new cars today, and automakers are delivering (and exceeding) those expectations.

From in-car Internet connectivity, infotainment systems and electronic safety features to improved aerodynamics, better fuel economy and slicker chassis, cars have become smarter, safer and more efficient than ever.

Each year, the show introduces new features and interactive exhibits, and this year is no exception. New for 2014 is AutoConnect Showcase, which shines the spotlight on the connectivity features/options that are currently available, or soon will be.

With visual effects, interactive displays and realistic simulations, AutoConnect will demonstrate how convergent and autonomous technologies have revolutionized the automotive experience and provide clues to where all this connectivity is headed.

Also new for 2014 is the Distracted Driving Display, presented by the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, which will provide information about the disturbing trend of texting and driving. This display features a simulator, where visitors can experience first-hand the effect of distractions on their driving.

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.

Returning for 2014 is Sport Compact Evolution, a dynamic showcase of sport compact vehicles that reflect a lifestyle, and a Precision Model Garage Display of custom 1/24-scale models.

Auto Exotica returns with a focus on some of the world?s top exotic cars, such as the North American Car of the Year-winning Corvette Stingray, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati, and there will be a special presentation by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to celebrate Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows.

Another new exhibit is Muscle Car Alley, where Chargers, Challengers, Roadrunners, Darts and the legendary Richard Petty?s 1970, NASCAR-winning Blue Superbird, will be proudly displayed. That?s also where Cruise Nationals will present the best custom and restored cars and trucks in southern Ontario, built prior to 1975.

Family Day, on Monday, Feb. 17, will feature an exciting line-up of special guests, activities for the family and prize giveaways.

The AutoShow is a great venue to see the best the industry has to offer and to spend time with friends and family. If you?re in the market for a new car, the show is an essential venue for learning about the different makes and models.

A free bus shuttle offers continuous service throughout the 10-day event, transporting visitors between the convention centre?s North and South buildings, and wheelchair accessible shuttle services are also available.

Buy tickets at the AutoShow website and save 10 per cent, and avoid the lineups. Family admission passes, multi-day passes and group rates are available.

Ample parking is available nearby, and public transit is convenient and accessible from Union Station.

For more information, go to autoshow.ca.

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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