Canadian International Auto Show highlights


The 2010 Canadian International Auto Show kicked off with media day yesterday as the industry's players gathered for its annual preview for the automotive year to come.

The show, much smaller and more compact than in previous years, filled the north and south hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and did not spill into the nearby Rogers Centre.

This tight format made it a lot easier to move around and take in the shiny wears from all the booths.

One of the big early attention grabbers was Chrysler’s unveiling of the Fiat 500 – the first time the model was showcased in Canada.

Chrysler president and CEO Reid Bigland said the 500 will be sold in Canada within a year. He added that the subcompact is the perfect fit when combined with the Jeep and Ram segments.

“The Fiat 500 exemplifies the product strength that results from the combination of the Fiat and Chrysler alliance,” he said yesterday.

Also making Toronto debuts were, among others, Mercedes-Benz’s SLS AMG and E-Class Cabriolet, Volkswagen’s New Compact Coupe (NCC) and Infiniti’s all-new M luxury sedan.

Despite having a rather hum-drum display, General Motors made headlines when it announced its plans to add a second shift at its Oshawa, Ont. assembly plant before the end of this year.

GM vice-president Marc Comeau made the announcement shortly before revealing the 2011 Buick Regal to the Canadian media.

- stay tuned for more coverage from the Canadian International Auto Show -