Though the attendance numbers for the 2023 Quebec International Auto Show (QIAS) won’t be known until it closes on Sunday afternoon, the organizers of the event have already deemed it a success.
QIAS General Manager Charles Drouin told Canadian auto dealer that the number of attendees is tracking similar to 2020, which totalled about 70,000. The show was done online the last two years because of COVID.
This is the 40th anniversary of the QIAS show and it was done under a hybrid dealer/manufacturer model. The show has the most manufacturers of all shows in Canada because of a strong relationship with their dealers, who are providing the cars and the displays.
Because of a lack of manufacturers, the auto shows in western Canada were forced to cancel this year.
“Just to have a show, we are really proud of that,” said Drouin. “We are happy to have most of the brands. I want to wait until the show (is over) to give you my satisfaction, but as of this moment it’s really more (than expected). It’s more than good.”
QIAS President Louis Desmeules, who is the General Manager of Porsche Quebec, credited all the dealers for getting together to ensure as many brands as possible were represented.
“We knew all the manufacturers weren’t able to be there compared to other years, and we wanted to make a difference,” said Desmeules. “All the dealers that had manufacturers’ approval (have cars at the show). The participation of all the manufacturers was the big challenge and the dealers made the difference.”
Drouin said the dealers have been rewarded for their efforts.
“Around 30 percent of the people that come to the show do it to buy a car, so my dealers are really happy because they see car lovers on the floor,” said Drouin. “It’s not just a show to present (new cars). One out of 10 people in Quebec City come to the show. Around 32% come to the show to buy a car and 73 percent said the show had an impact on their next purchase.”
That information was gleaned from two surveys the QIAS did last year from 2,500 respondents.
The event is sponsored by the Mobilis Corporation, the association representing 145 car and heavy trucks dealerships in the region. Drouin said the V.I.P. night earlier in the week, which the Mobilis Corporation puts on to raise money for charity, attracted a crowd of more than 900. He said that was 200 more than expected and helped to raise about $155,000, which is close to the record of $160,000. Major donations came from various groups and some manufacturers.
“We had a nice event and everyone was glad to have something special in the industry after almost three years with nothing,” said Desmeules. “Everyone answered positively with donations.”
Drouin said more than 100 interviews were done on the media day, which Drouin said is a record for the show, and allowed the industry to spread the message to young people that there are various jobs that can be pursued beyond just being a salesperson or technician.