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Chicago Auto show revs engines for 98th edition, Feb. 10-19

November 18, 2010
"Make no little plans"—Daniel Burnham

The Chicago Auto Show, the world’s third-largest auto show and the largest on a continuous floor, opens Feb. 10 for a 10-day public run in the North and South halls of McCormick Place. Show-goers will have to cross 1.3 million square feet of display space to touch it all.


The displays of several manufacturers—General Motors, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Nissan and Infiniti—will be the largest exhibits those automakers erect anywhere in the world. 

"I can’t think of another venue anywhere that has this kind of flexibility. And with a business-friendly city like Chicago to support it, everyone comes up a winner," said 2006 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Arthur Kelly. "It’s what some might call an embarrassment of riches."


Chicago media coverage of the show will go bumper-to-bumper. Watch for a live 60-minute special from NBC5 Chicago at 6 p.m. Feb. 11, followed by an hour-long special on SuperStation WGN-TV. The WGN show will reach 65 million U.S. households, and an edited version of the NBC5 telecast subsequently will air in 13 other markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.


Superlatives about the show will not be limited to English; Telemundo Chicago will present a special tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 11, and Univisionreturns with a special airing a 9 a.m. Feb. 11.


The Spanish language specials acknowledge a Chicagoland Hispanic community that spends nearly $1 billion on vehicles annually. Said Ed Fernandez,Telemundo Chicago’s vice president and general manager, "¡Prepare para un programa magnífico!"


New to the show this year, and adding to the magnificence, is an opportunity for the public to vote for their favorites on the show floor in five categories: 

  • Best All-New Vehicle
  • Best Concept
  • Best Exhibit
  • Best Chicago "World Introduction"
  • Vehicle I most want to see in my driveway


A panel of industry and media experts will identify 10 finalists in the first four categories; the fifth category allows consumers to write in their favorites. 

"This show is renown for its consumer impact and its focus on the buying public, who express their opinions with their dollars in dealership showrooms," Kelly said. " ‘Best of Show’ will give the consumer a multitude of methods to express their opinions on the direction they see our industry going."


Voting will be conducted Feb. 10-18 at, at, and by calling a telephone number managed by U.S. Cellular, a sponsor of the show. 

The show’s public days actually are the Chicago Auto Show’s third segment, preceded by the Media Preview and the black-tie First Look for Charity event.


Watch for news of nearly 20 world and North American introductions during news conferences Feb. 8 and 9.  

First Look for Charity hopes to improve on the record $2.7 million raised in 2005 for 19 area charities. To order tickets, call 630-424-1636 or see


The Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) schools will staff two booths at this year’s show. In addition to the AYES booth, the group will again partner with the Chicagoland & northwest Indiana Chevrolet Dealers to host the Chevy Cobalt "Tuner" Booth.   

The high school and college-level students will install and remove "tuner" parts from the Chevy Cobalt and HHR series vehicles. All Snap-on tools used in the booth will be donated to the AYES schools at the conclusion of the Chicago Auto Show.


Look for the displays in the show’s North hall. For more information, call Jim Butcher at 630-424-6020.