‘We’re glad to be back’: Montreal auto show returns after pandemic hiatus

For the first time since the pandemic started, cars will be rolling back into the Palais des congrès for the start of the Montreal International Auto Show on Friday.
“Last year, we were very close, we had to cancel the show one month before,” said Luis Pereira, executive director of the auto show.

“But this year, we’re happy to be back, finally after two years, we’re glad to be back.”

This year’s edition is missing a major player in the car industry.

“Many carmakers have determined that they’re spending a lot of money on these shows and don’t perceive that they’re getting the return they wanted,” George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association.

“Other media like influencers, social media, virtual events were bringing in more people.”

This year’s show has a big focus on electric vehicles, but purchasing a brand-new car will likely bring long wait times.

“The wait times we have seen will range from three to four months — and that would be for many gasoline vehicles — to past 18 months for the most popular short-demand Toyota hybrids,” Iny said.

A shortage of microchips, assembly plants closing during the pandemic, shipping slowdowns, and ports getting clogged up have all contributed to long wait times, he said.

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