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2010 Chicago Auto Show: It's a wrap

November 10, 2010
The weather cooperated, and throngs of consumers populated McCormick Place in February to behold the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, which area dealers regard as the launch for their spring selling season.

Enthusiastic, multilingual media coverage contributed to an excitement for what awaited on the show floor, which highlighted lots of hybrids and safety technology and other features.

‘Best of Show’ winners

Consumer voters identified their favorite vehicles in five categories, in the auto show’s fifth annual "Best of Show" balloting.

Winners in the contest’s five categories were:

• Best All-New Production Vehicle: Ford Focus (29 percent of vote) 
• Best Concept Vehicle: Cadillac XTS Platinum (28 percent of vote) 
• Best Green Vehicle: Chevrolet Volt (25 percent of vote) 
• Best Exhibit: Ford (41 percent of vote) 
• "Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway": Ford Shelby GT500 

"These are tough competitions that make a win really meaningful for our manufacturers and exhibitors," said show chairman John Phelan. "In a year when our attendance was about level with 2009, we’re thrilled that everyone worked so hard to bring their best displays, concepts and production vehicles to a public whose optimism is returning."

Each of the first four winners beat out seven competitors. In the fifth category, "Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway," voters could choose from any of the nearly 1,000 vehicles on the show floor.

The Focus win marked the second straight year that Ford took the top spot in the all-new production category; the Taurus took honors in 2009. General Motors also repeated for best concept, following last year’s win by the Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.

Also for the second year in a row, Ford grabbed the honors for best exhibit, with four in 10 voters giving the nod to that display.

Food drive

Since the inception 15 years ago of the auto show’s food drive, attendees have donated more than 300,000 pounds of food for the city’s homeless in exchange for discounted admission.

The food drive, which benefited Chicago’s A Safe Haven Foundation/CCIL homeless shelter, was sponsored by Chrysler Group LLC. This year, more than 40 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brand dealerships in the Chicago area helped the drive by collecting food donations beginning Feb. 1.

Show goes ‘red’ to help women

Flashes of scarlet accented the convention center’s Grand Concourse lobby Feb. 16, when red Dodge, Jeep, Ford, Chevrolet and Audi vehicles helped promote the "Go Red for Women" program of the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in America. In fact, more women die of cardiovascular disease than the next five leading causes of death combined-including cancer. The auto show’s annual Women’s Day, likewise, was Feb. 16.

Charity benefit raises $1.7 million

Eighteen area charities on Feb. 11 shared in $1.7 million raised by the 2010 Chicago Auto Show’s benevolent event, First Look for Charity, and one lucky winner left with the keys to a brand-new Chevrolet Equinox.

About 7,000 people attended First Look for Charity, helping to raise $1,701,012. The event is held the evening before the annual auto show opens its 10-day public run.

A highlight of the evening this year was the drawing for a grand prize vehicle: a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover. This year’s event awarded the Equinox to Curt Lundquist of Arlington Heights.

Proceeds of Lundquist’s ticket benefited Clearbrook. The ticket purchaser is on the organization’s board of directors. In all, 18 charities profited from the event.