February 15, 2001

2001 Canadian International AutoShow officially opens

Toronto, Ontario – The 2001 Canadian International
AutoShow made its official O.I.C.A. sanctioned international debut on Wednesday with a spectacular multi-media dance and laser light extravaganza by a
young and energetic group of tap dancers known as The Next Step.

Mr. Ernst H. Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada spoke on behalf
of car manufacturers in Canada as he officially opened the show. He
stressed that the industry will constantly change and adapt to keep up with
changing markets and consumer expectations. The development of future cars
will be driven and shaped by the rapidly advancing information revolution;
the need for renewable energy and recyclable materials and the steadily
growing need for personal transportation.

Mr. Firoz Rasul, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems, was keynote
speaker of the opening ceremonies. In keeping with the “Going Green…” theme
of this year’s show, Mr. Rasul focused on the challenges and opportunities
presented by the development of new automotive technologies as governments,
auto makers, and companies such as Ballard strive to address one of the most
pressing problems of our time: global warming and air pollution. Fuel cell
vehicles offer the best long-term alternative while hybrid vehicles will
succeed as a half measure as we move towards the replacement of internal
combustion engines with pure electric systems.

Dr. Emilio di Camilo, president of the Organisation international des
constructeurs d’automobiles” (O.I.C.A.) attended the ceremonies and welcomed
Toronto and Canada to the elite group of world renowned auto shows such as
Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Geneva. 2001 Show President Gerd
Reisenecker summed up the excitement of the OICA accreditation stating, “The
Canadian International AutoShow will create its own niche in the world of
international shows. We will take a leadership position by executing on the
international stage what we have traditionally set out to do nationally:
present the “Total Automotive Experience”.

The 2001 Canadian International AutoShow opens to the public this Friday,
February 16th at 10:30 am and runs until Sunday, February 25th. Traditional
show favourites, the Wynn’s Classic Collection, featuring over 30 automotive
icons from other eras, and the 4×4 Test Track are back once again. So are
“AutoWorld,” now back in the SkyDome, which also hosts a spectacular
Bonneville Salt Flats display, and the “Art of the Automobile” exhibit in
the South MTCC.

Of course, the show floors feature almost every current car
and truck imaginable, as well as many that will be arriving at dealerships in
the near future. A host of further-out concept vehicles truly stretch the
imagination – as does the Michelin Design Centre and laser light show.

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