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110th Chicago Auto Show ends 10-day run at McCormick Place

February 23, 2018
February weather in Chicago this year acted like, well, February, challenging some consumers to reach McCormick Place to see the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Those who did attend delighted with three indoor test tracks on the show floor, seven outdoor test drives, and plenty more sights and sounds across 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space.
More than a dozen vehicles made their global or North America debuts during the show’s Media Preview, including the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon; Subaru 50th anniversary special edition vehicles; Nissan Armada Snow Patrol concept; Nissan 370Zki concept; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid; Toyota TRD Pro Package; 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon; Fiat 500; and the Slingshot Grand Touring Limited Edition.
An array of concept cars also displayed included the Acura RDX Prototype, Cadillac Escala, Honda Insight Prototype, Infiniti Q Inspiration, Lexus LF-1 Limitless and the Toyota FT-4X.
For the 13th 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 Jeep Wrangler
Best Concept Vehicle: Cadillac Escala
Best Green Vehicle: 2019 BMW i8
Best Exhibit: Jeep
Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway: 2018 Ford GT
"We think of our attendees as an enormous focus group that we can leverage to analyze data and assess trends," said Dave Sloan, the Chicago Auto Show’s general manager. "Best of Show voting has become a benchmark measure of what the public deems the most exciting, impressive and innovative on the show floor."
Two salespeople won the show’s won the show’s Award for Customer Excellence four times for outstanding salesmanship: Len Donnells, who works at Joe Rizza Acura, in Orland Park, and Mimi Nofal, of South Suburban Mitsubishi, in Matteson.
Two-time ACE winners this year were Rob Bates, of Roesch Ford, in Bensenville; Janice Burdette, of Mercedes-Benz of Naperville; and Taylor Rogers, of Mercedes-Benz of St. Charles. 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.
"We’re extremely positive about the future of our auto show," said 2018 Chicago Auto Show Chairman John Hennessy. "As long as we continue to keep our focus on the consumer, we can only win."