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Record crowd visits '04 auto show

November 22, 2010
Attendance at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show jumped nearly 13 percent over 2003, earnestly launching the area dealers' spring selling season. Last month's show eclipsed 2002 attendance, the previous record year, by about 3 percent. Plentiful media coverage and agreeable weather proved a winning combination for the Feb. 6-15 event at McCormick Place. The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's oldest, largest and best-attended auto show. Officials of the CATA, which owns the auto show, announced last month that the 2005 show floor would expand 43 percent, to 1.2 million square feet on one level. The expansion would make the Chicago Auto Show the world's largest auto show on one level. Some 18 new vehicles were unveiled during the show's media days, including the 2005 Buick LaCrosse and the allnew 2005 Dodge Dakota. First Look for Charity, the benevolent black-tie held the evening before the auto show opens to the public, raised a record $2.3 million for 16 area charities, and two attendees left with the keys to a Lexus SC 430 and an Acura TL. Effective salespeople in the displays netted a combined $27,800 under the Award for Customer Excellence program. Incognito judges each day evaluated the salespeople using various criteria. The prize, $100 cash, can be won by one salesperson a day at each exhibit. Two salesmen landed ACE honors five times during the show: Andrew Eisa of Knauz Continental Autos in Lake Bluff, and Ed Kucic of Napleton Cadillac in Park Ridge. Two others grabbed an ACE four times each. The 2005 Chicago Auto Show-the 97th edition-is Friday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 20. Those days are preceded by Media Days Feb. 9-10 and First Look for Charity on Feb. 10.