Volvo and Audi join Mercedes-Benz in bailing out from Montreal Auto Show
|driving.ca 22 Oct 2019 at 16:29|
The Detroit auto show – also known as the North American International Auto Show – will, in 2020, leave behind its traditional still-hung-over-from-New-Year’s January time slot for a new it’s-not-freezing-any-more date in June.
That’ll make LeSalon International de Montréal – a.k.a. the SIAM, still hosted in January – the first major North American auto show of the year.
Does that mean that, three months before its doors open to the public, the 2020 Montreal International Auto Show will see even more concepts cars, world premières or more firecrackers, rock bands and other fanfare?
It doesn’t seem like it. In fact, the latest news is two more manufacturers are bailing out of the Quebec rendezvous.
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The organizers, the Corporation des concessionnaires d’automobiles de Montréal, learned a few days ago Audi and Volvo won’t show their new vehicles at the downtown Palais des Congrès during the show’s January 17 to 26 run for 2020.
That implies Polestar, Volvo’s new electric-performance brand, which won’t catch any of the eyes of the metropole’s Auto Show 200,000 visitors.
These two absentees join an already-not-coming Mercedes-Benz; corporate in Germany announced last September the best-selling luxury brand in Canada and the U.S. would be a no-show at all North American exhibitions this year.
But, in Montreal, though Mercedes-Benz won’t be represented as a manufacturer, local dealerships have accepted the show’s offer of a small area outside the main floor, where they’ll display their latest products, says SIAM vice-president Denis Dessureault.
It’s not the first time Montreal’s automotive rendezvous has to deal with AWOL manufacturers. Most notably, at the turn of this century, a bunch of luxury brands decided to skip the Montreal Auto Show, then held at the Olympic Stadium, over its crashed roof , and organized their own annual event at Place Bonaventure. It lasted only two years.
More recently, we saw Porsche drop out of the SIAM picture from 2012 to 2014; it came back in 2015, though Volvo didn’t participate that year, nor in 2016.
What about the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), scheduled for its 47th run at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from February 14 to 24 next year? Well, there’s good news and bad news.
Yes, Audi will show its new products in la Ville-Reine, confirms spokesperson Cort Nielsen, adding the Montreal “no-show” decision “was taken by the Montreal dealers.”
The bad news? Volvo won’t participate in Toronto’s CIAS, despite the auto show being the biggest in Canada – with 350,000 visitors – and despite Ontario’s market registering 42 per cent of all new cars sold each year in the country.
For now, only Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are out of the CIAS, though. “That brings us to a total of 38 brands for this 2020 edition,” general manager Jason Campbell told Driving.ca. He quietly added that the floor space vacated by Benz was quickly grabbed up by competitor BMW-Mini.
When it comes to the Vancouver International Auto Show, an event celebrating its 100th anniversary in March, nothing is confirmed, or not confirmed — “We don’t secure our dealers that quickly,” executive director Jason Heard told us.
That said, Vancouver’s automotive rendezvous already dealt with an absent Mercedes-Benz last year, as did Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, New York, Chicago—
And it could be so much worst. The 2019 NAIAS, the last North American International Auto Show held in Detroit in its usual January slot, had to deal with a much longer list of absentees. Audi, BMW-Mini, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Porsche and Volvo all skipped that show.