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'02 Chicago Auto Show ready to roll

November 24, 2010

When the turnstiles to the nation's biggest auto show spin Feb. 8-17 at McCormick Place, the eyes of show patrons will be fixed on beautiful vehicles and dazzling displays, and the eyes of market analysts will be fixed on the patrons.

Manufacturers are coming off the second most successful year in automotive history, selling just shy of 17 million units. With the recent end of some highly successful factory incentives, the industry is waiting to see what will happen in showrooms across the country.

"We've said for years that the Chicago Auto Show is the driving force for the spring market," said Greg Webb, chairman of the 2002 Chicago Auto Show. "Perhaps this year, that role will be more important than ever. I'm confident that this show will generate plenty of excitement to help keep the ball rolling."

More than 15 vehicles make their world debut at this month's Chicago Auto Show. Those introductions, coupled with at least 40 more that took their initial bows in Europe, Japan and North America, will trumpet what is new today in showrooms and what might be in store for customers in the future.

Also new this year, three "eye in the sky" cameras have been placed in the McCormick Place rafters. Using the Chicago Auto Show Web site,, viewers can see real-time images of events on the show floor.

Dealers give back to the community on Feb. 7, before the show's public opening, with First Look for Charity. The 2001 event raised more than $1.8 million for 17 area charities. One lucky attendee this year will win a special edition Ford Thunderbird, compliments of Ford Motor Co. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased at the door.

Concern for others also is shown by the auto show's Food Drive, Feb. 13-15. Patrons who bring two cans of food receive a $3 discount off the show's $8 admission price. The food is donated to the Chicago Christian Industrial League. Show hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, except opening day, when the hours are noon to 10 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for pre-teens or free when they accompany a paying parent; and senior citizens, $5.