The automotive response

Canadian International AutoShow a showcase for innovation

By Joe Knycha


It has been said that the only constant is change, and that nothing ever stays the same.
If that’s the case, it was inevitable that the bubble from which the global economic crisis has emerged was destined to burst eventually.


But who foresaw this?


The collapse of the house of cards that was Wall Street has within months confounded the global economy and thrown the experts into a state of uncertainty and confusion.

CIAS 2008

Photo: Tracey Savein

Related Link: Enhance the AutoShow experience


With the modern world so interconnected and tightly tied to trade, what might in earlier times have been more or less localized to North America has hobbled the economies of the world. Coupled with a sudden credit freeze that has stopped industries and commerce almost dead in their tracks, no one is immune to the effects of this perfect economic storm.


Automotive, an industry that actually builds wealth through the production of goods as opposed to ones that provide only services and low-paying ‘McJobs,’ is more global than most and therefore more profoundly affected by the crisis.


As consumers’ beliefs and desires change, and they demand something other than what has been the status quo, automakers are eager to rise to the challenge.


To see first-hand how the auto industry is adapting to these new realities – described in this year’s Canadian International AutoShow theme as “The New Era” — one need only take a stroll through this year’s displays.

CIAS 2008

CIAS 2008

Creative solutions abound to meet an entirely new set of criteria: new engine technologies, the next generation of hybrids, advanced fuel cells and electric plug-ins are all on offer this year, heralding a period of accelerated innovation and ingenuity as the industry finds new footing in the shifting sands of global economics.


“We have entered a new automotive era that will be characterized by innovation, experimentation and the introduction of new technologies at a breathtaking pace,” says AutoShow general manager Tom Tonks. “The future of the automobile is up for grabs, and it all starts here.”
The show has a 36-year tradition of celebrating Canada’s love of the automobile, providing a showcase for what’s new and what’s next.


“That will never be truer than in 2009,” Tonks says. “New concepts will leap off the drawing board onto the turntable, providing a stunning glimpse of where the industry is headed.”
Car companies have been invited by the AutoShow to “embrace, leverage and define the New Era” for the benefit of the more than 300,000 visitors expected to pour through the turnstiles this year, February 13-22.



Many people have unfairly criticized the automobile industry over the years for being part of the problem, said Tonks, adding that this year’s AutoShow will reveal the industry instead, “to be part of the solution.”


Doors open to the public at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13.

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