Optimism. It’s not a word that has been associated closely with the auto industry much lately, but the enthusiasm seen at the recent Detroit Auto Show is still percolating as the Canadian International Auto Show gets set to open next month at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

In Detroit, reporters from around the world spoke and wrote about the rejuvenated industry and its hopeful future. In the words of one CBC reporter, “Motown has its mojo back.” Promising words for a show that had appeared to stagnate over the past decade.

So what brought about this change and why so much enthusiasm for the future?


To start with, sales are up across the board.

But the buzz among industry insiders and consumers alike is how electric vehicles and alternative propulsion systems are not just concept cars on a turntable behind velvet ropes or some quirky design study anymore, but vehicles available to the consumer for purchase.

They were front and centre in Detroit and likewise will be featured attractions in Toronto. Many manufacturers are profiling a number of models in a variety of propulsion configurations, but the common theme is that the auto industry is going green as a major part of its future success.

As technology improves and the cost of fossil fuels increases, consumer acceptance continues to grow and the industry is responding in a big way.

The Detroit show had everything on display, from purely electric vehicles to hybrids, and cars with alternative fuels.

There were economy cars, minivans, sports cars, a hybrid race car, a purely electric supercar and even a hybrid Ferrari. Imagine that.

And, if mainstream acceptance was in doubt, the choice of an electric plug-in as car of the year certainly showed that these vehicles are rapidly gaining popularity.

Not long ago, hybrids or purely electric vehicles at the Canadian International Auto Show were more of a novelty than anything else.

Each year they are becoming more visible and widespread.

We expect consumer interest to continue to climb as manufacturers have more to offer.

This year in Toronto the alternatives to pure gasoline engines will likely attract the most attention.

Sure, the luxury cars and super sports car will still command a lot of stares and envious smiles, but the forward-thinking car buyer will be focused on the new technologies as the price at the pump continues its steep ascent.

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