The past few years have been rough for all large-scale events, auto shows included. We could be on the cusp of a rebound, but for big shows in Canada, that rebound might be shaky as Ford will no longer be part of the action.
That's the word from Ford Canada, according to Automotive News Canada. A spokesperson announced that Ford and Lincoln brands would end corporate support for shows in Canada for 2023. The phrasing is specific for next year, but it's not clear if this decision will reach into 2024 or beyond. A definitive reason wasn't given for the decision, aside from the company finding new ways to connect with customers during the transition to EVs.
Motor1.com has contacted Ford for additional information on auto show participation, including possible changes in 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 smidgen of normalcy. The North American International Auto Show debuted its new indoor/outdoor format this year, along with its new time slot in September versus January. In Germany, the annual show in Frankfurt moved to Munich. Most recently, the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show was host to several new vehicle debuts, feeling much like a pre-pandemic event.
However, automaker interest in auto shows was waning before COVID struck in 2020. Numerous companies stepped away from the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, including Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Audi also announced it would not attend the 2020 New York Auto Show long before the event was canceled. Though not often an automaker hotbed, automaker participation at SEMA has dropped as well.
Once a primary means of presenting new vehicles to the public, the effectiveness of auto shows in the age of high-speed internet has come into question. Now, many automakers hold debuts on their own terms, broadcasting the event live over streaming media. This eliminates costs associated with attending shows while still reaching millions of potential customers.
Get more content from the 2022 LA Auto Show in the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.