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The 2023 Montreal Auto Show Is Confirmed, but the Canadian Auto Show Circuit Is on Shaky Ground

The Calgary show has been cancelled for 2023 due to lack of automaker interest Automotive columnist: , Updated:

•    The Montreal Auto Show will return in 2023, along with the Toronto, Vancouver and Quebec City shows.

•    Organizers of the Calgary event are taking a year off, however.

•    Ford, Lincoln, Honda and Mitsubishi, as well as German manufacturers, will not be present in Montreal.

•    Only dealerships that decide to group together to present models can make up for the official absence of their banner.

Since Covid-19 hit in March 2020, the auto show landscape has completely changed. Many of the changes had actually started to show before then, of course, as some manufacturers had started to drop out of certain events, especially when they had nothing major to show.

As the pandemic enters a new, less invasive phase and life returns to something closer to normal, the auto shows are slowly coming back. But attendance is down, as is the participation of the automakers. In September, the Detroit show went on for the first time in three years and the manufacturers' presence was meager. In Los Angeles in November, there was more activity, but that activity cam largely courtesy of all Asian manufacturers. 

As 2023 nears, attention is turning to what's in store for the next year, especially in Canada. Later in the year than usual, announcements are starting to come in from show organizers about whether their event will or will not go ahead, and which automakers will participate or not.

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Car show at the Palais des congrès
Car show at the Palais des congrès

The traditional first event of the year, the Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS), the Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation (MADC), will go ahead, at the city’s Palais des congrès from January 20 to 29. 

MIAS General Manager Luis Pereira stated in a press release: “To date, the Show will feature between 70% and 75% of the makes and models in the top 10 sales in Quebec. We are aware that the automotive industry is going through a period of upheaval, but we are convinced that we will present a Show that is worth the detour! The shortage and lack of inventory due to generalized problems in the supply chain are affecting the entire industry and also our Show. So some manufacturers will be absent, but those who will be with us are very excited to showcase their products to enthusiasts.”

Unlike in previous years, that event will be held on Level 2 of the Palais only, meaning it will take up only two-thirds of the space occupied in 2020. 

After the announcement of the show's return, Ford and Lincoln confirmed that they will not participate in any Canadian shows in 2023. In Montreal, German manufacturers will be absent, as will Mazda, Mitsubishi and Honda. That’s a high rate of absenteeism.

Elsewhere in the country, Calgary has announced that it will skip a year. That leaves Vancouver and Quebec City in March, if we look at what usually happens in the first three months of the year. Both arr still on, officially.

That may change with further cancellations. If so, we will update this news to reflect the situation.