To quote Queen, when it comes to Canadian auto shows: Another one bites the dust

When writing about auto shows in Canada, it feels like I’m plagiarizing the epic rock band Queen:

Another one bites the dust.

And another one gone, and another one gone.

Another one bites the dust.

On Nov. 28, I made a LinkedIn post including a link to our story on Ford Canada pulling all corporate involvement in Canadian auto shows in 2023.

I wrote: “Let’s hope this isn’t the first of many dominoes.”

I was speaking specifically of automaker support.

But, in a way, it was the second domino. The Calgary International Auto and Truck Show and Vehicles & Violins charity gala were canceled just days before, for a myriad of reasons.

And then came news the Vancouver International Auto Show was also off, as well as the Ottawa-Gatineau International Auto Show.

That led to my next auto-show related LinkedIn post: “The dominoes are falling FAST, you guys. Another auto show in Canada bites the dust. This time? Vancouver.”

As someone covering the auto industry, it saddens me to see so many shows axed.

Live events of any kind are something special. A chance to connect with friends, customers and colleagues. But today, everything — and I mean everything — is online.

You date online. No more nightclubs needed. You watch movies online. Say good bye to the theatre. You shop online. And that’s the end of the auto show as we know it.

COVID-19 didn’t help, forcing us to be a little more comfortable staying home and a little more cautious about going out.

Pile on the global microchip crisis and subsequent vehicle inventory shortage — both ongoing — and it’s no wonder automakers are turning their backs on pricey in-person events.

Ford explained to Automotive News Canada why it chose to forgo the 2023 auto show season:

“As the auto industry experiences change at a pace never seen before, Ford of Canada is transforming every part of its business. The company is moving fast to lead the EV revolution and is learning how to connect with consumers in new ways. These challenges mean making some tough choices and one of those decisions is to discontinue corporate support of auto shows in 2023 for both the Ford and Lincoln brands.”

That leaves me worried for the 2023 Canadian International AutoShow, which, as I write these words, is still scheduled to go ahead in Toronto in February.

But as anyone who has watched dominoes topple, it happens fast. And there’s no stopping them once they start.

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