It’s for browsing. It’s for ogling. It’s for getting ideas. It’s for asking questions and obtaining professional answers. It’s for being intrigued, impressed and dazzled by the latest features, comfort and design touches and technology.
And, yes, it is for bucket-list wishful thinking.
It is also one of Calgary’s biggest, most exciting and popular special events.
Although it takes about 11 months of planning, discussions, negotiations and tremendous co-ordination, Jim Gillespie, executive manager of the Calgary Motor Dealers Association (CMDA) and the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show, makes it seem easy. “The goal of the auto show is to provide a really good overview of the new automotive marketplace: the new models, the new technology and the latest cars.
“From the feedback we get, visitors consistently mention that the Calgary Auto and Truck Show (March 14-18, 2018 at the BMO Centre) is also a great place to comparison shop, learn about features and options, and a terrific showcase for the latest in automotive technology.”
With the current popularity of innovative tech options, this year’s Calgary International Auto and Truck Show will have more information and oohs and aahs than ever before.
Two of this year’s top attention-getting automotive features are in-car Wi-Fi and crash-avoidance technology (such as forward collision warning, autobrake, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, adaptive headlights and blind spot detection). While collision-avoidance systems are well documented for their safety, in-car Wi-Fi is gaining popularity with bigger and better antennas offering a stronger and more consistent signal than a smartphone and the ability to connect to multiple devices without sacrificing speed or draining the smartphone’s battery.
Gillespie highlights 40 new-vehicle manufacturers will be displaying more than 200 cars, from the latest models (and shades) of Acuras, Fords, Cadillacs and Hondas to polished and shiny Chryslers, Lincolns, Volkswagens, BMWs and more. And the exotic manufacturers – Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, McLaren, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce – are all together in Hall E.
In addition to chances to get into the front seat and have questions answered by manufacturers and local dealer experts, the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show is also a potent reflection of Calgary market consumer trends.
“Throughout North America, including the Calgary market, trucks are still very strong,” he notes. “There’s no doubt that (small, medium and large) SUVs are gaining market share and they are the most anticipated vehicles in most shows. Of course the stats vary for regions but, generally, more SUVs are sold than conventional passenger vehicles.”
According to a recent survey published in Forbes, SUV sales rose 12 per cent globally in 2017, outpacing the overall industry, which rose three per cent. The market shift is unmistakable, but for now, at least, small, economical sedans still outsell SUVs on a worldwide basis.
With so many established and innovative new automotive technologies, options, features and possibilities, more than 40 accessory exhibitors will also be on display. And reflecting the influential clout of the Calgary market and consumer, many manufacturers designate the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show as the opportunity to introduce new vehicles and features.
It will be exciting from March 14-18, as the Volvo XC40, the Lamborghini Urus and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will all have their western Canadian unveiling at the 2018 Calgary International Auto and Truck Show.
The detailed 2018 Auto and Truck Show layout map will show the specifics, but this year’s “stars of the show” will be:
- Acura RDX Prototype
- Alfa Romeo
- Audi A4, All Road, RS3, S5 Sportback, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS5, A7, A8
- Bentley Bentayga, Continental Supersport
- BMW Mini, X2, X3, M5, i8 Roadster
- Cadillac ATS-V, CTS-V, XT5
- Chrysler (new) Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Ram 1500
- Ferrari 488
- Maserati Levante, 2018 Ghibli, GranTurismo, Quattroporte
- Ford Mustang Bullitt (50th Anniversary), Edge ST, F150 Diesel, Expedition
- General Motors Silverado, Corvette ZR1, Tahoe RST, Buick Regal, Sportback, Enclave Avenir, GMC Terrain, GMC Sierra
- Genesis G70
- Honda Clarity (plug-in hybrid)
- Hyundai Kona
- Infiniti QX80, QX50
- Jaguar/Land Rover E Pace, I Pace concept
- Lamborghini Urus
- Lexus LS500, RXL
- Lincoln Nautilus, Navigator
- McLaren 720S Coupe, 570S Spider, 570S GT
- Mercedes-Benz GLC Hybrid, GTC, C300 Wagon, E63 Wagon, C43 Convertible
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Eclipse Cross
- Porsche E3 Cayenne
- Rolls-Royce Phantom
- Subaru Ascent
- Toyota Avalon, Mirai Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) Electric, updated Tundra
- Volkswagen 2019 Jetta, 2018 Passat GT
- Volvo XC40
In addition to the throngs of cost-comparing, info-gathering and selfie-taking browsers, the dynamic CMDA harnesses the popularity of the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show as a way to give back to the community.
“Through the show, the new Calgary Motor Dealers Charitable Foundation will donate 85 per cent of its proceeds to local charities. This year, it’s Ronald McDonald House Charities,” Gillespie points out. “We are very excited that, for the first time, the 2018 Vehicles and Violins gala is open to the public and 50 per cent of the $150 gala ticket is tax deductible.”