The last few years have been difficult for all large-scale events, including auto shows. We may be on the verge of a rebound, but for the big show in Canada, that rebound may falter as Ford is no longer part of the action.
That’s the word from Ford Canada, according to Canadian Automotive News. A spokesperson announced that the Ford and Lincoln brands will end the company’s support for shows in Canada in 2023. The phrase is specific to next year, but it’s unclear whether this decision will extend into 2024 or beyond. An exact reason wasn’t given for the decision, other than the company finding new ways to connect with customers during the transition to EV.
Motor1.com has reached out to Ford for additional information about auto show participation, including possible changes to plans for US-based shows. We will update this article with new information as it becomes available.
Nearly every major auto show around the world was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many shows were canceled again in 2021, with 2022 finally seeing at least a bit of normalcy. The North American International Auto Show is debuting a new indoor/outdoor format this year, along with a new time slot in September versus January. In Germany, the annual Frankfurt show was moved to Munich. Most recently, the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show played host to several new vehicle debuts, which feel like a pre-pandemic event.
However, automaker interest in auto shows waned before COVID hit in 2020. Many companies withdrew from the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Audi also announced it would not be attending the 2020 New York Auto Show long before the event was cancelled. While not often a hotbed for automakers, automaker participation in SEMA has also declined.
Once the main vehicle for presenting new vehicles to the public, the effectiveness of auto shows in the age of high-speed internet has been questioned. Now, many automakers are making their debut on their own terms, broadcasting the event live via media streaming. This eliminates the costs associated with attending shows while still reaching millions of potential customers.
Get more content from the 2022 LA Auto Show on the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.