MSN Autos Canada Brings the 2003 Canadian International Auto Show To Homes and Offices From Coast to Coast

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2003 — Even for those who can’t attend this year’s Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), MSN®
Autos will help ensure they are able to experience all the excitement from Toronto later this month. For the third consecutive year, MSN Autos Canada is the official online consumer home of Canada’s premier auto show. Through its Web site, , MSN Autos will provide consumers with instant access to new production vehicle launches and concept models as they are unveiled, along with independent reviews, surround and streaming video and photography, and in-depth coverage of the World Automotive Design Competition, direct from the show floor.

“MSN Autos is extremely proud to again be the official consumer Web site of the Canadian International Auto Show,”
said Ruth D’Souza, general manager of MSN Autos Canada.
“By creating a rich, vibrant, interactive site, complete with extensive video footage and photography, we are giving Canadians from coast to coast a backstage pass to all the action at Canada’s premier auto show.”

MSN Autos’ direct, on-site coverage from Toronto begins Feb. 12, 2003, during the show’s Media Days, Feb. 12 and 13. Those two days are closed to the public, so visitors to MSN Autos will have exclusive advance access to the news and action as auto manufacturers unveil new production vehicles and take the wraps off the latest concept cars and trucks. The show officially opens Friday, Feb. 14, and runs until Sunday, Feb. 23.

What Visitors Will Find on the Site

  • Streaming video and photo gallery bring CIAS to the viewer’s desktop. MSN Autos brings the 2003 CIAS to life on visitors’ desktops with extensive video and photo footage. By visiting the Virtual Show Floor, users can access streaming and surround video of manufacturers’ displays and vehicle unveilings. MSN Autos’ cameras will take online visitors live to the show’s Media Days for major vehicle introductions; footage will be archived on the site. MSN Autos will also capture each manufacturer’s display in surround video, along with interior and exterior tours of many of the show’s most exciting vehicles, offering site visitors a complete tour of everything participating automakers have to offer. An extensive gallery of still photos complements the video footage.

  • Daily news tells visitors what’s hot at the CIAS. MSN Autos Editor Marc Lachapelle will file daily stories from the CIAS, including articles about the latest and greatest new vehicles introduced at the show, as well as reviews and other stories surrounding the action in Toronto.

  • World Automotive Design Competition. MSN Autos also will provide coverage of the 2003 World Automotive Design Competition at the CIAS. The annual competition features 13 internationally recognized design schools from around the world. This year, students have been invited to create an innovative, economical,
    transportation vehicle that meets the realistic needs and mobility challenges of the city or country where they live and study. Students from Canada, China, England, France, India, Italy, Korea, Japan, the United States and Sweden will show off their interpretations of how an
    vehicle can be fun and emotionally satisfying as well as economical and practical. Winners will be announced Feb. 13 during the show’s third annual Design Forum.

Largest Consumer Show in Canada

The CIAS is the largest consumer show of any kind in Canada. Last year, 295,000 people attended the show in Toronto, while nearly three times as many people visited the MSN Autos CIAS Web site. The site enjoyed 785,000 unique visitors and close to 1.3 million total page views over the course of the show.

“The MSN Autos CIAS site is an invaluable tool not only for those who are unable to physically make it to the show, but also those who do attend and then visit the site to do further research,”
D’Souza said.
“This year promises to be the most exciting show yet, and we know Canadians from coast to coast will enjoy the most in-depth coverage available anywhere through MSN Autos.”

About MSN Autos Canada

Launched in September 2000, Toronto-based MSN Autos Canada is the most visited online automotive site in Canada, with more than 800,000 unique monthly visitors. The fully bilingual site is an independent, all-makes, all-models resource that provides consumers with the broadest range of services to find a car they love at a price they can afford. With information from product reviews and surround videos to new- and used-car-buying services, visitors can research, compare cars, select or configure the car they want to purchase, and receive detailed information from the MSN Autos network of Canadian dealers across the nation.

About MSN.CA

MSN.CA is a leading Canadian Web portal with 9.6 million* unique monthly visitors. Its suite of online services delivers news, information, entertainment, and a variety of communication tools including the MSN network of Internet services, the Hotmail®
Web-based e-mail service and MSN Search. MSN.CA also provides such high-quality interactive services as MSN Messenger, MSN Extra Storage, MSN Shopping and MSN Web Communities. More information is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* comScore Media Metrix Canada, Home/Work combined, November 2002. Unique Visitors: The estimated number of different individuals within a designated demographic that access the content of a specific site from among the total number of projected individuals (only counted once, even if they visit the same site more than once).

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