Whenever major automakers are conspicuously absent from major international auto shows, questions arise about the relevancy and future of the auto-show tradition.
But events such as the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), Feb. 17-26, are not dying. They simply have to adjust to new realities.
“Auto shows used to be the absolute central means of bringing a car to market, but the world has moved on,” says Mathew Clarke, general manager, marketing and communications, Aston Martin the Americas.
He said that auto-show participation comes with major costs and certain limitations. And with the growing number of alternative marketing and promotion methods available, online and otherwise, Aston Martin now looks at auto-show participation on a case by case basis.
While the boutique automaker supports dealer partners regionally at many auto shows around the world, full corporate participation has lately been restricted to the events in Geneva, Switzerland and Beijing, China.
But lo and behold, Aston Martin will have the full corporate presence at the CIAS and bring its exotic AM-RB 001 concept. While shown in private and dealer settings, and online, the Toronto visit marks its global debut at a proper auto show.
“The planets just aligned,” says Clarke.
Additionally, the new DB11 is just landing in Canada, a market in which Aston Martin wants more exposure.
“The other consideration is that we have a very active and strong dealer in the city (Grand Touring Automobiles in Toronto). We would hope that all of our partners in Canada can benefit from our presence, but for the team in Toronto we hope it translates into some direct (sales) traction.”