Auto industry hopes vision will help rebound from tough year - Metro US

Auto industry hopes vision will help rebound from tough year

Fuelled by bankruptcies, massive recalls, and drastically lowered sales numbers, the past year has been an interesting time in the auto industry.

All signs in 2009 pointed toward turmoil, both in North America and the rest of the world. However, now that we’re firmly into 2010, things have stabilized somewhat, and in most cases, automakers are pushing forward with new products and renewed vigour.

It’s fitting then that the theme for the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) — which kicks off this Friday in Toronto — is Vision. Whether that references the ability to predict the turmoil of the last year and ride it out successfully, or describes a grand plan to the Promised Land depends on which manufacturer you’re discussing.

David McClean, CIAS director of marketing services, believes the upcoming show is well positioned to reflect current trends.

“In developing the program for this year, we wanted to reflect the industry’s thinking. There is now a much more serious commitment to alternative fuels and about good design. The whole industry now has a feeling of cautious optimism.”

“There continues to be growing customer confidence and excitement for our newest vehicles from our four core brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac,” says Marc Comeau, GM of Canada’s vice-president of sales, service and marketing.

One of the only manufacturers to buck the general downward trend in 2009 — Hyundai Canada — is also upbeat about the possibilities for this year.

“We have a lot to be proud of at Hyundai right now,” said Steve Kelleher, president and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “We’ve just come off our best year ever, and things look very promising for 2010 as well.”

This year’s show is positioning itself as a total automotive experience. Beyond the glut of new vehicles, there is the classic car display, a tribute to the legendary Carroll Shelby and a whole host of other family friendly events.

New for this year is Test Drive 2010 where members of the public can drive various GM, Subaru and Mercedes-Benz models on a surface street route.

For more information, visit autoshow.ca.

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