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Canada's auto shows have been cancelled

FILE - At the Vancouver International Auto Show 2019. (Richard Dettman, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Canada’s largest auto show hard with health concerns and a lack of automakers’ participation.

With large gatherings off the table, Toronto and Montreal planned online events but cancelled them this week.

Montreal’s organizers say it’s due to “the non-participation of a large number of car manufacturers,” who are “seeking to limit their expenses.”

In Canada, automakers traditionally follow a show circuit from east to west, so cancelling the Central Canada shows has a knock-on effect.

RELATED: 100th Vancouver International Auto Show postponed due to COVID-19

Backers of the Vancouver show vaguely hope an event will be possible sometime in 2021, but it would be hard to pull off without the usual caravan of new vehicles from the other shows.

Major international auto shows have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but the sector was seeing manufacturers withdraw long before the pandemic.