Mark your calendars now, because the opening ceremony of the 2014 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) promises to be one of the highlight events of the auto industry year.
Chrysler Canada and the CIAS announced that Sergio Marchionne, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A. – one of the most sought-after speakers in the business world – will be the keynote speaker at the official opening ceremonies for CIAS 2014 in Toronto.
The ceremonies will take place as part of media preview day on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at the CIAS venue in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The show will open to the public on February 14 and run through February 23, 2014.
It will be something of a homecoming for Marchionne, who was born in Italy but grew up and went to school in Toronto and remains a dual-citizen of both Canada and Italy.
Marchionne is a barrister, solicitor and chartered accountant, having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Philosophy and minor in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto.
He also holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Windsor (Ontario).
Marchionne is best known, however, as the architect behind Fiat’s alliance with Chrysler and as a straight-talking executive.
His appearance in Toronto is certain to provide plenty of grist for the media mill.
“If there is a superstar in the global auto industry, Sergio Marchionne is it,” says Frank Romeo, president of the CIAS. “We are delighted to welcome him back to his hometown to officially open the 2014 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. It is truly our honour and we thank him and Chrysler Canada for hosting the opening ceremonies, on behalf of both the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and the Canadian International Auto Show.”
Each year, one automaker acts as the official host of the show, representing all the manufacturers and staging the opening ceremonies. For 2014, Chrysler Canada will fulfill that role.
The Canadian International Auto Show, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2013, is the largest and most important auto show in Canada, typically attracting more than 300,000 attendees and in excess of 1,000 accredited media representatives.