That's A Wrap!

Posted by: Jackie Carey

As the Looney Tunes would say, "That’s All Folks!"  The 2011 Chicago Auto Show closed last Sunday and while the carpets were being rolled up and rolled out, visitors to the show lingered well past the 8pm closing time.  

In so many ways producing the Chicago Auto Show is like working in Hollywood or L.A.  I know, I know… you don’t believe me, but try to keep up with me for a moment!  When Chicago is hit by a "one-for-the-books" blizzard and as exhibitors and contractors panic at the thought of losing two days worth of set up time, what is our reaction? "The show must go on!"  Rain or shine, coffee or more coffee, the Chicago Auto Show was ready opening day.  

And really, while walking around McCormick it is clear that each exhibit is really a mini-production of its own.  With product specialist, great displays, flashing cameras, bight lights, meticulously chosen music and, in cases like Chevy, Toyota and Saab, huge projector screens, this event is really just one big car SHOW.  I like to think of the Chicago Auto Show as the Fashion Week of the automotive industry.  And like all blockbuster films and all big name designers, the Chicago Auto Show hopes for great reviews!  

This year, the response to the Chicago Auto Show has been phenomenal and I wanted to share it with you. Everyone from local Chicago blogs to national print publications has had a nice word to say about the show.  Have a look! 

USA Today – "You'd think Suzuki would stun press attending an auto show with a new car. Nope. Instead, showing an uncanny sense of style, Suzuki brought its motorized sofa at the Chicago Auto Show.

Times – "Patrons of the Chicago Auto Show are the first to get a close look at the next small car phenomenon to hit streets in our region with the debut of the 2012 Fiat 500…’Fiat 500 is the right car at the right time," said Laura Soave, head of Fiat Brand North America. "It brings something truly unique to one of the fastest growing segments in North America, delivering Italian-by-design function, value and efficiency intelligently tailored for our market."

Fiat 500 - Times
Photo by Thomas Quinn, The Times

Sun-Times - "The stars of the electric-car world — the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF — share the Chicago Auto Show stage with seven other electrics, 30 hybrids and a dozen diesel-fuel vehicles in the largest collection of alternative-energy vehicles in the show’s history."

Popular Mechanics – "The Chicago auto show is the most attended motor show in the U.S., even though it's less than a month after the headline-stealing Detroit event. So while most of the heavy-hitting reveals happened at Detroit, the auto makers still save plenty of good stuff for the Windy—and cold—city. Here's a collage of the newest models."

TT RS - Popular Mechanics
Photo by Popular Mechanics

New York Times – "The sweet smell of daffodils was in the air at McCormick Place on Wednesday as hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volts glided silently along a test track…The eco-friendly Volt and the muscular Camaro illustrate the conflicting messages sent by carmakers at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show."

NBC Chicago – "Traffic surged at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. The 10-day show, the nation's largest, ended Sunday with an estimated 10 percent increase in attendance from last year's show. ‘Our manufacturers and dealers had hoped to see a bump in interest this year, and they weren’t disappointed,’ said Dave Sloan, the auto show’s general manager, in a written statement."

Wall Street Journal - "The car maker has been developing the new model under the code name Adventurer but hasn’t picked an official name. The new truck uses a formula similar to the 2011 Ram Tradesman, a Ram model aimed at contractors that Chrysler unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month. Like the Tradesman, the new truck has a standard Hemi V8 engine with 390 horsepower and a 20-miles-per-gallon fuel economy rating."

Consumer Guide – "We took a lap of the entire 2011 Chicago Auto Show with the sole mission of finding interesting, off-the-beaten-path colors that are a bit bolder and more expressive than your average ho-hum hues. Our gallery is not a comprehensive list; it’s simply a sampling of production-car colors and finishes that caught our eye on the show floor."

LFA - Consumer Guide
Photo by Consumer Guide Automotive

Chicago Now - "This year the folks at the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (also known as the people who put on the Chicago Auto Show) are offering a "Saturday Morning Special," which will include a personal tour and early entry to the show on Saturday, Feb. 19."

Chicago Journal – "It’s consumerism. Blatant, unapologetic consumerism. That’s what brought me to the Chicago Auto Show on opening day to the public last Saturday, the same thing that’s brought me there for years. I don’t need a car. I have a perfectly adequate 1998 Camry that gets me around the city just fine. But there’s just something about the prospect of these new cars, these shiny things that are fast in theory — but I won’t get a chance to drive — that gets me excited.",_or,_why_the_Chicago_Auto_Show_could_indicate_a_resurgence_of_U.S._cars - "For consumers, the show offers the most entertainment value for your friends and family. The show is the largest in the country, and the space allows exhibitors to do some creative stuff, including in-house road courses. The Jeep course has been a staple of the show, but now Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota have set up shop with their own displays. Watch as editor Joe Bruzek gives the highlights and his top pick."

Road and Track - YouTube Video

Car and Driver -
YouTube Video

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