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GM Display Expands In Chicago

The list of manufacturers who choose Chicago to stage the largest displays they produce anywhere in the world has grown again.

General Motors has increased its Chicago footprint by an additional 22,000 sq. ft., totaling approximately 186,000 sq. ft. starting at the 2008 edition in the nation’s premier exposition center, McCormick Place. The Chicago Auto Show currently utilizes 1.3 million sq. ft. of “Class A” space with full 40’ tall ceilings—and all on the same floor. The new GM display will bring all of the General’s brands together in the North Hall of McCormick Place.

“We’re thrilled to have GM express its confidence in Chicago’s importance,” said Bob Loquercio, chairman of the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. “We also want to acknowledge the cooperation of a large group of manufacturers who have relocated to new homes to accommodate this major shift of in our floor plan.”

Steve Hill, General Motors North Central Regional Manager said, “We’re excited to have all of our brands grouped together for our customers. We’ll be able to showcase and feature our industry leading design and technology, as well as our vision for alternative fuels.

“While we’re celebrating our past 100 years, Chicago will help us to better tell the story of our future,” said Hill.

Auto Show General Manager Jerry Cizek said, “People keep asking us how we’re able to take care of requests for more space. Actually, Chicago is the only major show in the United States with room to grow. If someone wanted more space our response would be to ‘Bring it on!’ Not only will the increase in size of the GM display (featuring its Centennial Anniversary celebration display) provide a dramatic new look to the North Hall, but will bring new consumer views to the entire show. It’s always good to jumble up the deck a bit and with this move we’ll do exactly that. We think the public will love it.”

“There’s no spot on our show floor that doesn’t maximize an exhibitor’s ability to reach the public,” continued Cizek. “The size of the show coupled with its multiple entrance access points result in an ideal situation for all of our exhibitors. The brilliant design of McCormick Place makes production of the biggest automotive exposition in North America a much easier and cost-effective proposition.”

Chrysler Corporation’s 192,000 sq. ft. display, replete with a half-mile long indoor test track, will again provide a formidable platform to stage its world premier of the production Dodge Challenger. They’re going to need elbow room for what will surely be a sea of consumers, all craning their necks to see the next object of their automotive fantasies.
The Chrysler, GM and Ford displays alone total more than a half million square feet. That’s bigger than most shows in the United States.

“It’s really not a space race for the biggest display,” said Loquercio. “What’s important is that exhibitors from all over the world all know that Chicago has the capability to accommodate virtually any request made of us in Class A space right on the main floor.

“Additionally, we have the best infrastructure to stage the nation’s biggest auto show. We’re blessed with a burgeoning first class hotel population—including two of the top five-rated properties in the world—that offers 69,000 hotel rooms within a 15-minute drive of McCormick Place; a city that’s central for air travel from anywhere in the world; unparalleled restaurants and a dedicated labor force that constructs this gigantic show in a mere seven days.

“Why wouldn’t we be proud? We have what everyone else wants.”

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