The past few weeks have seen confirmation that the first two auto shows of the year, to be held in Canada, Montreal and Toronto in January and February respectively, are taking place for the first time since the novel coronavirus struck. in March 2020.
When we broke the good news, we also recommended plenty of finger crosses. Indeed, the last two weeks have seen the emergence of the Omicron variant. It is spreading rapidly and is causing concern around the world. And, unsurprisingly, the organizers of the two auto shows are keeping a close eye on developments. For now, there is no change in the schedule and both shows are still in progress. There is also cautious optimism that neither event will be affected by further measures that may be deemed necessary.
Scientists are still working to determine how much more contagious the Omicron is than previous variants. So far, it appears to be fairly easily transmitted, but testing is still needed to determine how much. The variant appears to be more resistant to the vaccine, but also less virulent. The next week or two should tell us more.
The Montreal Auto Show is scheduled for January 21-30, while the Toronto event is scheduled for February 18-27. Here is where the organizers are at this stage:
“Obviously, like any event, we are keeping an eye on the whole situation, but for now, with all the precautions we take with the masking and vaccine passports required, we don’t see a problem at this time. We all hope that everything will stay the way it is because people are coming back for events like hockey games and we think there will be a large number of people who will want to come back to AutoShow.
– Jason Campbell, Executive Director of the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS)
Luis Pereira, general manager of the Montreal Auto Show, said similar protocols were in place for his event. “We’re not worried about this at this time,” he told Automotive News Canada.
There’s another element to watch out for, of course, and that’s what automakers choose to do. How many will be officially present? The full lists of participants in both events are not yet known, but even before the latest wave of Covid, several had already indicated that they would be absent. This does not prevent the presence of vehicles of these brands, the dealers being able to take over. There will also be new companies, such as VinFast, which plans to offer its first electric models to Canadian consumers soon.