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More than 115,000 Thank You’s!

More than 115,000 Thank You’s!

April 4, 2019

By Blair Qualey
Published by PostMedia

Wrap Up of 99th Vancouver International Auto as Attention Now Turns to 100th Anniversary of Event

99th VIAS Wraps Up at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West)

 

The curtain has dropped on the 99th Vancouver International Auto Show and, once again, the people of British Columbia demonstrated their love of everything automotive. Over six-days, more than 115,000 converged on the Vancouver Convention Centre (West), marking it the third-best showing in the history of the event. In fact, final attendance was only shy of record numbers achieved in 2017 and 2018 and this year’s final tally was sparked by a turnout of more than 50,000 show-goers on Saturday and Sunday.

What became abundantly clear over the course of this year’s auto show was the fact that it truly had something for everyone – from the latest models coming to dealer showrooms, classics, modified supercars, or specialty one-off creations. However, there were also some specific features that proved to be especially popular, including: the eye-catching Jaguar I-Pace, which was honoured with the Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year; the all new Jeep Gladiator, which proved to be a magnet for people in attendance; the Canadian debut of Ken Block’s heavily-modified 1965 Mustang, otherwise dubbed the “Hoonicorn”, and; the Felino supercar, designed by former Canadian race car driver Antoine Bessette, who engaged fans throughout the week.

From an emotional perspective, nothing came close to the response received by the Van of Hope, the 1980 Ford Econoline van that supported Terry Fox during his 1980 Marathon of Hope. Whether it was people recalling where they were during that period of time or because they or family members have been touched by cancer, the van served as a source of reflection and symbol of hope for many.

A popular feature this year was the expanded Electric Vehicle Experience (EVE) test drives, presented by CEVforBC™, and charged up by FLO. The number of drivers who got behind the wheel to test drive a variety of clean energy vehicles through the EVE test drives and the Toyota and Lexus Hybrid Ride and Drive, totalled more than 2,700, the best participation level in history of the event. Approximately 2,500 drivers participated in 2018.

There are so many people that make this event a success. It’s tribute to the automakers, collectors, volunteers and most of all, you – the car and truck fans who travelled from throughout the province to celebrate everything that is automobile and what makes this annual event such as special occasion each year.

As our attention turns to next year’s auto centennial show, we are planning a number of special ways to both honour and to celebrate the Show’s 100-year milestone, and we also want your creative ideas and feedback. If you have a favourite British Columbian automotive experience, we invite you to share it through social media by using the following hashtag: #VanAutoShowTop100 – we will compile the top-100 automotive events, moments and experiences, to be shared in the lead up to the 2020 Auto Show, along with some special surprises!

The 2020 Vancouver International Auto Show will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West), March 24-29, 2020, so circle those dates on your calendar and check our website and social media for updates: www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com

We hope to see you there!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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