The study, conducted by Detroit-based Foresight Research, showed that CIAS draws generally high-income, highly educated consumers, many of whom are in the market for a new vehicle. CIAS General Manager Jason Campbell pointed to the report as independent proof of the event’s relevance to carmakers that spend millions of dollars on displays at the 10-day February event, which drew 357,745 potential customers this year, missing the all-time record by just 1,000 visitors.
The report also highlighted display features that appealed to attendees, data that would prove invaluable to show exhibitors, said Campbell.
Acutely aware that the industry is undergoing dramatic change, CIAS has chosen “Transformative Times” as the theme for the 2020 show. The three pillars will focus on new technology, the evolving relationship between consumer and car, and the impact millennials and Generation Z will have on future market trends.
“What we are experiencing now is a complete disruption in the technology and approach of the automotive industry,” David McClean, CIAS director of marketing, said in a statement. Until recently, CIAS appeared to be immune to the virus infecting auto shows across the globe that were losing more and more car makers to digital or small, invitation-only media events for product unveilings.
As Bissonnette noted, “rather than time our car launch around an existing event, we’ll do it the other way around.”
Said Aubert: “Mercedes-Benz Canada is hard at work preparing a series of programs in 2020 that will showcase our exceptional vehicle lineup and excite Mercedes-Benz fans.”
Just as technology has upended traditional media, and introduced disrupters, such as Netflix, giving consumers choice as to when and what programs they want to watch, it has empowered automakers to abandon age-old marketing events that used to enjoy a monopoly on new-vehicle unveilings.
How CIAS responds to the growing challenge o keeping automakers in the auto show fold will determine whether the virus is temporary or fatal.