AutoShow Ponders Online Presentation in ‘21 

The 2021 Canadian International AutoShow ain’t dead yet

By Norris McDonald Wheels.ca

Nov 20, 2020 3 min. read

Article was updated 3 years ago

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Although the AutoShow, Canada’s largest in-person consumer exhibition, announced last September that, in concert with all other auto shows on the continent, if not the world, that there would not be a show next February at the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre because of COVID-19, it held out hope that there would be some kind of virtual presentation to showcase every car and light truck on sale in new-car dealerships across Canada.

Because of cost, as well as a lack of interest on the part of some manufacturers doing business in Canada, the AutoShow has announced it will not continue with plans to present a virtual show – but that doesn’t mean it’s giving up.

Even as media releases were going out Friday announcing the virtual show idea was dead, AutoShow management was discussing as many as four proposals to publicize and promote the Canadian industry online, particularly at autoshow.ca, during the traditional 10 days in February when the AutoShow would normally be in full flight.

The AutoShow, presented by the Toronto Star and wheels.ca, hopes to be able to make an announcement about this in the near future.

“Our manufacturers, their teams and our dealers have had to adapt and adjust their business plans, lives and budgets in an unprecedented way over the past eight months,” said AutoShow General Manager Jason Campbell.

“What has been clear over the past few months in our discussions with our manufacturer partners is how much they all value our in-person live AutoShow event experience, and how hungry they all are for it to return, which we remain focused on doing for February 2022.”

“Every manufacturer has redoubled their team’s digital efforts to support what has become an ever more critical part of their operational plans during this pandemic,” said David McClean, Director of Marketing at the AutoShow.

“We are now focused on reimagining a dynamic online experience to support the many manufacturers and AutoShow partners that still want to engage with the enthusiastic audience that the AutoShow delivers. We are looking to provide our consumers with engaging content as they seek to learn more about the latest products available in the market and support the critical spring buying season for our dealers via presenting the Total Automotive Experience on AutoShow.ca.”

With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian International AutoShow attracted more than 334,000 visitors to the February 2020 event, and was the last major AutoShow to be held globally since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AutoShow has not only been the largest automotive expo in Canada, it has also been the country’s largest consumer show — a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive.




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