For the 10th year as executive manager of the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show, Jim Gillespie is walking the floor of the BMO Centre.
He’s stopped about five times for handshakes and quick conversations from the time he goes through the main entrance to the time he stops by the Ferraris.
He passes by Mike Graham, eyeing the McLaren 720.
“I’m amazed at how much they’ve changed over the years,” Graham said of the vehicles.
The show provides a bit of a history lesson, as it includes the tiny and ropped off 1969 Subaru 360 to the massive 2019 Ram 3500.
Gillespie said regardless of the manufacturer, technology is the major star.
“Technology in general is just taking leaps and bounds forward,” he said, adding there’s now fully electric vehicles at different price ranges.
“We have the BMW I8, so you can buy an electric vehicle that is $200,000 and you can buy an electric vehicle perhaps from Mitsubishi that’s $30,000 to $40,000,” he said. “Electric vehicles are certainly starting to come into their own.”
Along with the I8, the Lamborghini Uris is also making its western premiere, at a hefty $200,000.
“It is a big deal for auto shows to have premieres, obviously you want as many vehicles as you can have here that consumers have never seen,” he said.
Despite some of the jaw-dropping price tags, Gillespie said about 50 percent of attendees are interested in buying a new car, looking for eco-friendly options and new family vehicles.
The show runs until Sunday at 6 p.m.