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Posted by: Mark Bilek

Over the past few days, there's been a great deal of speculation regarding Nissan's participation in the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. The conjecture centered around a press release in which Nissan announced that, due to financial considerations, it was reconsidering its participation at both the Detroit and Chicago auto shows.

Chicagoland's Nissan and Infiniti began working with Nissan corporate to resolve the situation. Late Wednesday evening, Nissan reversed course and sent out this press release:

MEDIA STATEMENT: Update re. NISSAN and Infiniti at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show

On Monday, November 24th, Nissan North America communicated our decision to withdraw from the 2009 Chicago Auto Show and from the 2009 North American International Auto Show at Detroit.

Given the extraordinary economic and industry climate, all well-managed companies have a fiduciary responsibility to review strategies and tactics for going to market. As everyone knows, the automotive industry is facing severe and prolonged headwinds in North America and around the world. It's a climate that demands decisions that are often difficult and even controversial.

At the national level, Nissan North America decided to withdraw from both the Chicago and Detroit shows. After a careful review of this=2 0decision with our North Central Region management and our Chicago dealers, we have found a way to maintain a presence at the Chicago show through our dealers, while still demonstrating the fiscal responsibility required by these challenging times. The decision outlined for Chicago does not affect our decision to withdraw from the 2009 North American International Auto Show.

As was reported nationwide and around the world, at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19th, Nissan North America showcased three new additions to our Nissan model line - the sub-$10K Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6, the Nissan cube, and the all-new 370Z sports car. Additionally, we expanded our Infiniti G lineup with the G37 Convertible. These are the first of many new offerings coming to North America for 2009. With flexible financing readily available, Nissan North America and our dealers are helping qualified consumers in Chicago and across the nation get into the cars that they want and need today.

It turns out, Chicago is a very important market to Nissan. They are fifth in overall retail sales and produce three of the top fifteen selling vehicles in this market--Altima, Sentra, and Versa.

Regardless of manufacturer participation, Chicago retains its standing as the largest auto show in North American. So if you want to see the latest hybrids, the coolest concepts, or the hottest production vehicles, you had better make plans to be in Chicago this February.

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