The 2017 Canadian International AutoShow set a new attendance record, organizers say, as 339,590 people passed through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between Feb. 17 and 26, beating the 2016 record of 320,000 visitors.
Five consecutive days of record-setting crowds to open the show set the pace for what officials called “one of the strongest shows in the 44-year history of Toronto’s automotive exposition.”
More than 47,000 people came through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on the final Saturday alone.
“The Canadian International AutoShow has grown into a diverse event that is not only about the newest cars on the market, and future automotive trends,” AutoShow General Manager Jason Campbell said in a news release.
“With several unique and exciting features as part of our show, we have been able to attract new and diverse crowds, which has helped make it both a great social and shopping experience.
“It is truly a lifestyle show, the largest consumer show in Canada, exploring all facets of the automotive world past and present.”
The record-breaking attendance doesn’t surprise auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.
“It was just a really good show,” he said.
DesRosiers said an increased number of luxury car displays and other high-end displays helped increase attendance. “I think that drew a lot of curiosity seekers,” he said.
DesRosiers said attendance likely “had more to do with the weather than people’s proclivity for buying vehicles.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily equate a bigger attendance to a better sales year,” he said. “But there is still a high interest in terms of vehicle demand.”
DesRosiers predicts total Canadian sales will be down 30,000-40,0000 units in 2017.
“But it also wouldn’t surprise us at all if we were up 30,000 to 40,000 units,” he said. “Anything above 1.6 million or 1.7 million units is spectacular and we should be in the 1.9-million range. We may not get to two million units sold, but it’s going to be a damn good year.”
A total of 41 Canadian car, truck and concept vehicles were unveiled at the Toronto show. They included the global premier of the 2018 Hyundai Accent, the North American reveal of the Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport and the North American debut of the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 hypercar concept, for which Canadian company Multimatic supplies the low-slung supercar’s carbon-fibre tub.
The inaugural and sold-out Automotive News Canada Congress was held over media and Industry Days on Feb. 16 and 17, bringing an international roster of speakers to discuss key trends in Canada’s automotive ecosystem. Complete coverage of the event is on Automotive News Canada’s website (http://canada.autonews.com).
Also as part of the show, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada awarded Canadian Car of the Year to the Volkswagen Golf AllTrack and the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year to the Subaru Forester.
The Canadian International AutoShow will return to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Feb.16-25, 2018.