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Chicago Auto Show eager to open

Tough times call for creative alternatives. The current economic climate and how it has affected the automobile industry have caused some manufacturers to rethink how they will share their news in a cost-effective manner. Two items remain a constant: Manufacturers still need to get their messages out and auto shows are a critically important marketing tool to sell cars and trucks.

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association will offer manufacturers the opportunity to use the Chicago Auto Show to present news they need to convey, but whose resources are being depleted.

This year, the Chicago Auto Show will construct a news conference set in the Grand Concourse. The set will be available to all manufacturer exhibitors at no charge. The show will provide a brand-neutral Chicago Auto Show backdropped stage; professional lighting for up to two vehicles; presenter podium with sound and teleprompter; large screens for video projection; plus media seating and camera platforms.

While the show understands there are many manufacturers who prefer to conduct their news conferences in their floor displays, this alternative is designed for those whose current budgets might prevent having a media preview presence.

The Chicago Auto Show will continue its fly-in "A List" media program. The triple-digit list is compiled from input given to the show by our exhibiting manufacturers. Exhibitors are encouraged to use the Chicago Auto Show for product reveals, executive availability, business news and giving the automobile industry its best opportunity to refocus public attention on the incredible breadth of new products and technology the industry offers the customer.

"We wish it were February already," said Show Chairman Mark Scarpelli. "We are chomping at the bit to give dealers and manufacturers the best opportunity possible to move some iron.

"We're always excited to open the doors of our show, but this year we wish we could open up tomorrow and just stay open 'til March. It's what we do. It's who we are. So let's get it rolling," he continued.

"Dealers I talk to are so sick of 'bailout this' and 'rescue that.'  Let's just get customers back in love with the automobile-and there's no better place to do that than more than a million square feet of McCormick Place."

Chicago Auto Show Co-Chairman John Phelan said, "Talking about our current economic
conditions isn't going to turn our industry around, but showing and talking about great new products, technology and breaking automotive news will help turn it around-and we want to help."

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