2023 Canadian auto shows: Who goes?

Nissan Canada is also gearing up for what it says will be a stellar year for attendance. Marketing Director Ken Hearn said the company is rolling out new two halo products — vehicles that signify the best a brand can offer — at the Toronto show.

“Most brands are lucky if they can present one halo vehicle, and we’ve got two,” Hearn said.

Jason Campbell, general manager of CIAS, said all of the manufacturers who committed to the cancelled 2022 show have returned and he has had conversations with eight more, with a Sept. 30 deadline for them to sign up. He said the 2022 show would have included 70 per cent of carmakers, and “I’m confident that this percentage will be considerably higher in 2023.

“Live events are back, festivals and such, and are busy, so we’re very excited about coming back, getting the auto sector re-engaged,” Campbell said. “We could have done a show last year with the number of brands we had and be successful, so with even more manufacturers coming in this year, we’re absolutely certain it will be a successful show.”

Gate revenue — the last show in 2020 drew 335,000 people — is the largest revenue source, Campbell said, followed by manufacturer floor rental and sponsorships.

Luis Pereira, general manager of the Montreal show, is “finally excited to move forward and talk about cars instead of the number of [COVID-19] cases.”

Pereira is unsure what to expect for attendance, though he foresees a drop from the usual 200,000 attendees, and doesn’t expect a full slate of brands.

“We acknowledge that product availability and chip shortages affecting supply will influence some [automakers] to not participate in the 2023 auto show circuit,” he said.

“This, too, may influence some visitors looking for a particular model to skip a year. But Quebec has a lot of passionate car enthusiasts, as demonstrated over the last 77 [shows]. We will do everything we can to present as many brands as possible while the industry works its way out of this crisis.”

Barring a significant COVID-19 outbreak, Pereira doesn’t anticipate the show’s cancellation in 2023.

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