The Montreal International Auto Show – Unique like Quebec

There are car shows everywhere. In the Province of Quebec, for example, apart from the one in Montreal, there are shows in Quebec City and Sherbrooke as well.

Montreal’s big-city status attracts the big companies, who take the opportunity to hold Canadian "premieres," often of vehicles made in tiny quantities, but even so.

The Montreal show is one of the biggest in the world in terms of French-speaking visitors. It is somewhat unusual to see slogans in French alongside those in English. 

The clientele is unusual, too: events where members of the province’s two main language groups come together do not happen every day. 

Apart from that appealing aspect, there is something else that’s special about the Montreal show. Ask any of the auto journalists who go to car shows all over the world: in every one, the emphasis is on sales and promotion. While the Montreal show is no stranger to the mercantile spirit, it has a higher proportion of people who love cars. Most of them are car nuts who come to see the latest products, not to shop for a new SUV.

As one of the smaller "big" cities and certainly far from the most wealthy, Montreal nevertheless attracts many of the luxury brands: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin will all be represented, whereas in Los Angeles, the world capital of Hollywood glitz and glam, you will find no trace of them.

Yet the dealers who induce these carriage-trade brands to come to Montreal know that they are not going to sell a Lamborghini to the first guy through the door: they do it to give pleasure to all and sundry.