By Veeno Dewan
The 98th International Auto Show has proved to be the most successful on record. Despite a shortened schedule that fell during a holiday long-weekend, the 2018 event achieved the strongest attendance in its 98-year history.
Total attendance for this year’s five-day edition of the Vancouver Auto Show surpassed 120,500– almost five-thousand more than last year’s record-setting total of 115,600 that occurred over six days. Single day attendance approached 31,600 on Friday and more than 20,500 on Sunday – both single-day records.
“The success of this event is a tribute to the automakers, collectors, volunteers but most of all the car ethusiasts who make their way the Auto Show each year to see what is vintage, what is new and what is next – and make this such a wonderful experience to be a part of,” said Blair Qualey, President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, which owns and hosts the Auto Show. “And while this event has proven to be one of the most significant Auto Shows in memory, our attention and planning now turns to the 2019 event which will be the prelude to our 100th anniversary celebration in 2020.”
“There was significant momentum associated with this event, and we are pleased to see that translate into a record level of attendance,” said Jason Heard, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Auto Show. “This event signals the strength of the auto sector in British Columbia and consumers in this region desire to research their automotive purchases in an auto show environment.”
In total, more than 450 new vehicles and some of the most exciting, fastest and flashiest cars were part of the 2018 event. Not surprisingly, one of the true show-stoppers of the event was the Koenisegg Agera RS, the fastest production car on the planet and owner of five current world speed records, courtesy of Weissach Group and Koenigsegg Canada. This year included a record number of debuts from the world’s leading automakers, including the North American debut of the BMW X4 and Canadian debuts of the Hyundai Kona electric and Toyota Corolla hatchback.
Another popular feature at the Vancouver International Auto Show proved to be the Electric Vehicle Experience – Test Drives. A record number of people – approximately 2,500 – took an EV or hybrid test drive as part of the clean energy vehicles, presented by CEVforBC™ and the Toyota Lexus Hybrid Ride and Drive.