The Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show punches above its floor space.
Some 300 new vehicles will be displayed across 150,000 square feet in the show taking place March 16-19 at the Shaw Centre, the glass-fronted convention centre overlooking the Rideau Canal.
“We’ve got double the density of cars that they have in Toronto,” says producer Peter Ginsberg. “We’re using virtually every available square foot at the Shaw Centre ... we could use another 50,000 square feet.”
Ginsberg is hopeful of matching or exceeding last year’s attendance total of 57,000, a record for the show he has produced since 1996.
Again the show will include every major manufacturer with a Canadian presence except Kia. Mark James, corporate communications manager for Kia Canada, says the company reviewed its marketing strategy and “decided to support our Ottawa business in other methods – advertising, incentives, etc.”
Unlike the big shows in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, in which the automakers supply the stands and vehicles, the Ottawa event is a combination of manufacturer and dealer displays. That and the tighter confines mean it lacks the latest concept vehicles and even some of the latest production models seen at the major shows.
Competing against Calgary