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Chicago Auto Show wraps February return

March 4, 2022
The 2022 Chicago Auto Show concluded its 10-day run at McCormick Place on Presidents Day. Despite facing ongoing hurdles of producing a show in the midst of a global pandemic and vehicle inventory shortages, show organizers were able to bring back First Look for Charity, host a successful Media Preview and safely welcome hundreds of thousands of people to the public show. 
Eager attendees traveled to McCormick Place to get a look at the latest cars, trucks, SUVs and EVs, including on an indoor electric vehicle test track featuring a variety of new models.
"Over a two-year stretch when auto shows were canceled more often than opened, the Chicago Auto Show has been able to navigate the turbulent times and open our doors to the public each year during the pandemic," said ’22 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Bill Haggerty. "It’s not all due to luck or chance; we’ve worked strategically and side-by-side with city and state officials on plans A, B and C in order to safely hold our show, even if it meant moving the event from its traditional February timeframe to an indoor/outdoor hybrid show model last July."
The 2021 Chicago Auto Show was the first public event to reopen McCormick Place and revive conventions for the city since the onset of the pandemic. The ’22 show marked this year’s largest event held at McCormick Place. Organizers reported an attendance of 200,000 visitors, double the number of people who attended last summer’s special edition.
"We are proud of what we were able to pull off this February, even though it was impacted by these difficult challenges," Haggerty added. "Do we hope to return to a more ‘normal’ show in the future? Of course we do. However, considering what the world has faced with the pandemic, not to mention the severe inventory challenges in the auto industry, we know our attendees appreciate the variety of ways this show delivered." 
Chicago Auto Show General Manager Dave Sloan said, "While we experienced lower attendance than in a typical year, in part due to Covid restrictions being in flux and the difficulty communicating a clear message regarding safety protocols, we’re proud to have found a way to bring the auto industry’s latest to our loyal fans."
The show featured an array of vehicles that made their global, national or auto show debut, including:
• 2023 BMW ixM60
• 2022 BMW xDrive50
• 2022 BMW i4 M50
• 2023 Chevrolet Blazer
• 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
• 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
• Ford 1978 F-100 Eluminator EV Concept
• 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
• 2022 Ford Bronco Everglades
• Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition
• 2022 GMC Hummer EV
• 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5
• 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV
• 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
• 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited Black Package
• 2022 Kia EV6
• 2024 Kia EV9 Concept
• 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV
• Lexus IS 500 SEMA Build
• 2022 Lexus LX 600
• 2022 Lexus NX
• Lincoln Aviator Shinola Concept
• 2023 Nissan Ariya
• Nissan Frontier Trio of Concepts: Frontier Project 72X, Frontier Project Hardbody, Frontier Project Adventure
• Nissan Rebelle Rally Frontier
• 2023 Nissan Z
• Ram 1500 "Built to Serve" Edition
• 2023 Subaru Solterra
• 2023 Subaru WRX
• 2023 Toyota bZ4X
• 2023 Toyota Sequoia and Sequoia Capstone
• Toyota Tacozilla Tacoma Camper
• 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone
Whether it’s having fun with an off-road experience, learning about the capabilities of a pickup truck or taking an EV for a test drive for the first time, the show offered the environment for consumers to shop, learn and play.
Fan favorites returned, including Camp Jeep (which marked its 18th year at the show), Ram Truck Territory and Subaru’s popular National Parks immersive exhibit and dog adoption. More than a dozen dogs were adopted from the display. New attractions this year featured an indoor 2022 Toyota Tundra test track and Ford’s two new indoor tracks to highlight its Bronco family of vehicles and its latest EVs, the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E.
"These last two shows really illustrate the importance of in-person interaction with the vehicle," said Sloan. "During our July special edition show, nearly 40% of attendees experienced a test track or test drive, a number we hoped to better this year with three outdoor test drives and six indoor test tracks-more indoor test tracks than we’ve ever offered before!"
Automakers reported hitting their test track and test drive number goals this year, which were on pace with years preceding the pandemic, despite the smaller show.
"This is an extremely valuable metric for our exhibitors, as research shows experiential opportunities like these translate directly to vehicle sales; that’s the value of an auto show," said Sloan. "We look forward to the future as we continue to reimagine and rebuild the Chicago Auto Show."
That fan engagement and excitement translated to social media, supported by initial Meltwater data that reports the Chicago Auto Show’s message reached more than 35 million people over 90 days.
"An auto show and digital reach go hand-in-hand," said Sloan. "We find this to be the case year after year. Fans want to share their experience with their network, and the show provides them a platform to do so. When they tag us and use our hashtag, we’re able to track the collective reach, which really highlights the show as a powerful platform."
The 2023 Chicago Auto Show is being planned for Feb. 11-20 at McCormick Place. The Media Preview will be held Feb. 9-10 and First Look for Charity will be the evening of Friday, Feb. 10.