Chicago Auto Show Blog

Busy, busy week

Posted by: Sheri McGill

This is literally the twentieth time in the past three days that I have sat down to write this. Every time I get started, I am assigned a new task or asked to help on another project. I knew I would be very busy this week, but whew!

Wednesday and Thursday were the media preview days at the Auto Show. Only media professionals who have been verified and given credentials by our staff are allowed to attend. Everyone put in 12 hour workdays and additional activities later in the evening. Alexis and I covered the Hyundai press conference where John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America revealed their newest version of the Genesis sedan, the Genesis 2.0T and 3.8 Coupe and the sporty new R-Spec. The R-Spec is a turbo-charged version of Hyundai's new coupes. The R-Spec Coupe will be the premiere car for the Red Bull Drift Team featuring driver, Rhys Millen who was also at the press conference.

We also covered the Acura press conference where their big reveal was the Vice President of Acura Sales, Jeff Conrad, spoke to the press about his appreciation for the shared stage provided at no cost by the Chicago Auto Show. Acura revealed its new V-6 model on the Grand Concourse stage for its TSX sports sedan line-up. Much of the presentation was focused on the economy and the saying, "I give my hat off for the Chicago Auto Show for coming up with a solution to keeping expenses reasonable for manufacturers to hold the press conferences during this difficult economic time. The automotive market may be slowing down, but not Acura," said Conrad.

The seminar, "Engaging the Blogosphere," was well attended by the media. J. D. Power presented information they obtained by a survey regarding the untapped potential of blogs and blos pages as a marketing tool. A pannel discussion including industry representatives-- Dutch Mandel (AutoWeek Editor/Associate Publisher); Terry Rhadigan (Communications Director for Chevrolet's division of GM); John Neff ( Editor-in-Chief); David Thomas (KickingTires Editor); and the moderator of the panel was Jason Vines.

Thursday night was the big event, First Look For Chairity, where Chicago's social elite gathered for a night of private viewing of the cars, a variety of coffees, wines and other beverages, and exquisite hors' devours and desserts. The event was well planned and executed and there were many prizes to give away. The main prizes given away were a 2009 Kia Borrego and a 2010 Chevy Camero. There is a five minute time limit for ticket holders to make their way up to the stage to claim their prize. The winner of the first car, the Borrego, was a young man who was followed on stage by his posse'--five of his friends and brothers. Sadly, the second winner was unable to make it to the stage in time and so another number was drawn. Guess what...both ticket holders finally made it onto the stage at the same time. Only won can win...I would have been so mad at myself I had missed the time limit and watched "my" car drive away!

This has been a whirl wind of a week and as pleased as I am to have been here, I am definitely ready to head home.

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