Organizers of the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) are planning “an exciting” comeback for 2022 despite a reduced automaker presence and concerns about consumer attendance.
“Yes, there won’t be as many manufacturers as we enjoyed in 2020,” said CIAS General Manager Jason Campbell. “But ... we can bring some really new, exciting features to the main show floor, which we didn’t have an opportunity to do before, and give more profile to brands we couldn’t do before.”
CIAS, set for Feb. 18-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, is Canada’s largest annual consumer show, with more than 650,000 square feet (60,386 metres) and crowds averaging 330,000 to 360,000. Two years ago, the show drew about 335,000 people. The 2021 show was cancelled because of COVID-19.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t have more than 300,000 [for 2022],” Campbell said. “The audience has been starved for this type of event,
and there’s still going to be great content.”
The show will expand its emphasis on electric vehicles and has generated interest from a number of new EV makers, Campbell said. Tesla, which has attended the past four shows, is looking to move its display to a more prominent location, he said.
Popular attractions such as Auto Exotica, featuring some of the most powerful and exclusive cars on the market, will move onto the main floor from their previous locations.
THE COST IS WORTH THE RISK
Campbell said, as of Nov. 8, returning brands have booked about 65 per cent of the main show floor. Automakers have until the end of November to confirm attendance.