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109th Chicago Auto Show ends 10-day run

February 24, 2017
In the face of record February warmth, attendance at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show increased over last year, show organizers said when the when the show wrapped its 10-day run Feb. 20.
Taking center stage were more than 20 vehicles making their world debuts, including a new Chevrolet Redline special-edition trim; the Dodge Durango SRT; Ford Expedition; Hyundai Elantra GT; Mitsubishi Outlander Sport; Mopar ’17 Challenger; Nissan TITAN King Cab; Nissan Midnight Editions; Ram 1500 Cooper Sport and 2500/3500 Night; TRD Sport editions of the Toyota Tundra and Sequoia; Toyota RAV4 Adventure; Subaru Legacy; and Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition concept.
For the 12th consecutive year, consumer voters selected their favorites in five categories in "Best of Show" balloting. The Chicago Auto Show is the only major auto show that polls its attendees’ favorite vehicles and exhibit. From more than 5,000 votes cast, the winners were:
Best All-New Production Vehicle: 2018 Ford Mustang
Best Concept Vehicle: LEGO Batmobile from Chevrolet
Best Green Vehicle: 2018 BMW 530e
Best Exhibit: Chevrolet
Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway: 2018 Chevrolet Corvette
Len Donnells, a salesman at Joe Rizza Acura in Orland Park, won the show’s Award for Customer Excellence four times for outstanding salesmanship. Other repeat ACE winners this year: Guy McMillan, a salesman at Castle Chevrolet North, in Elk Grove Village, who won three times over two shifts; and two-time winners Alvaro Bello, from Advantage Chevrolet in Bolingbrook; Vince Nasti, of Bill Stasek Chevrolet, in Wheeling; and Christopher Williamson, from Marquardt of Barrington.
Ed Kucic, of Ettleson Cadillac-Buick-GMC in Hodgkins, marked his 40th year on the floor of the Chicago Auto Show with an ACE win. The cash prizes — $150 weekdays and $200 weekends — motivate salespeople from area dealerships to engage with visitors to their displays.
Industry experts regard the Chicago Auto Show as the "consumer auto show" for its ability to ignite car sales — not just regionally, but for the nation. Over the past two years, auto sales hit record highs each of the past two years; 2016 marked the eighth consecutive full-year increase following the Great Recession, with more than 17 million units sold.
"We’re extremely positive about the future of our auto show," said 2017 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Mike McGrath.  "As long as we continue to keep our focus on the consumer, we can only win."