New Car Dealers Association of BC

The Vancouver International Auto Show is like Christmas for car lovers. If next year’s show is anything like the one just held at the Vancouver Convention Centre at the end of March, there’s a lot to look forward to.

The 2014 Vancouver International Auto Show featured more than 400 vehicles from 30

companies around the world. From luxury sports cars to family SUVs, the 94th annual show held March 25-30 had a vehicle for each and every guest to explore and covet.

And there were a lot of guests cruising the oor this year. Attendance for the six-day event reached 4,50people, a ve per cent increase from last year’s show. It’s not surprising given how much the Auto Show had to offer, which included the return of the popular "Green Ride and Drive," which gave guests the opportunity to test-drive some of the industry’s leading ecofriendly vehicles. There were also collector cars, concept vehicles, and a number of prizes and contests.

In an informal poll being conducted on the Auto Show website (www.vancouverinternationalautoshow.com) guests listed the chance to shop all the latest factory models as among the most enjoyable reasons to head to the show. (If you attended the Auto Show, there’s still a chance to vote about what you found most fun about the event).

Another factor behind the increased attendance is the number of people purchasing new cars lately. Industry data shows Canadian auto sales reached a record 1.74 million vehicles last year. This is only the second time the retail market has surpassed 1.7 million units in Canada, and breaks the old record set in 2002.

Now that spring is here, we’re seeing more people entering our showrooms looking at the latest makes and models. For many drivers, it’s the ideal season to purchase a new vehicle, especially now that the days are longer, the grass is greener and the driving conditions friendlier.

If it’s your rst time buying a new car, or you haven’t purchased one for a few years, here are some tips from our members across B.C. to help prepare you: Do your homework: Like any major purchase, you need to do a little research and ask yourself a few key questions: What type of car are you looking for? Do you need two doors or four? A hatchback or a trunk? Would a sport utility vehicle be a better t for your lifestyle? Make a checklist of what you need (and want) in a vehicle. Think about what you would use your vehicle for 80 percent of the time.

Gas consumption: Fuel efciency is also a big factor for buyers today. We all want to save money on gas and do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are a number of vehicles to choose from to achieve these goals.

Set a budget: Once you’ve decided what you want and need in a vehicle, decide how you’ll pay for it. If you can’t pay for the entire vehicle up front (and many of us can’t), there are great nancing and leasing options available. With today’s low interest rates, there’s rarely been a better time to take advantage of these opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our more than 350 dealerships across the province, and at next year’s Auto Show March 24 -29, 2015.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. Email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

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