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Toronto and Montreal scrap even their virtual new-car shows for 2021

Toronto and Montreal scrap even their virtual new-car shows for 2021
Autos
There won’t be any new-car shows in any form in Toronto or Montreal for 2021, after plans to take the annual events online have fallen through.

Both shows went ahead as usual in 2020 — the Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS) in January, and Toronto’s Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in February, prior to COVID-19 shutdowns in both cities. CIAS is Canada’s largest new-vehicle show, drawing around 360,000 spectators, and including antique car displays, vendors, children’s activities, and gaming centres.

Both intended to try hosting digital events for the public in 2021, but have now confirmed these plans have been scrapped — mostly due to lack of automakers wanting to participate, according to Automotive News Canada. The digital versions were planned for the same weeks in January and February as the regular shows.

CIAS general manager Jason Campbell told the publication auto companies that declined to take part are instead spending their money on their own projects, and “would really rather wait until we can do something live.” While some manufacturers were willing to take part in a digital version, that smaller number of participants meant the show wouldn’t be financially viable.

 

In its press release, the MIAS organizers said they had been working with other Canadian shows to create a single platform for all to use, which would “help reduce the cost of content creation for exhibitors.” The event would have included augmented reality and been “a first of its kind in North America.”

Barring any pandemic restrictions still in place at the time, both shows are already planning to return to live events in 2022.
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