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Chicago Auto Show Opens its Doors to the Public: July 15-19


The Chicago Auto Show opened to the public today with a 2021 Special Edition taking place July 15-19 inside McCormick Place’s West Building and outdoors along Indiana Avenue. This marks the first time in history that the show, traditionally hosted in February, will be held in the summertime, taking advantage of an outdoor space to bring attendees new test track experiences, dozens of vehicles to test drive and even electric vehicle demonstrations designed to showcase the latest cars, trucks and SUVs to consumers. Show organizers also added a new Street Fest element the first four evenings of the show. The Chicago Auto Show Street Fest will include food trucks, local brews and street musicians.   

“We are here today because we are taking an important step forward - a step away from the challenges of the pandemic and toward normalcy. The lifesaving power of vaccinations and the hard work by the people of our city and state has led us here. And because of our state's high vaccination rate, the highest in the Midwest, the beloved Chicago Auto Show is once again able to take place,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's longest-running, and it's a marquee event for McCormick Place and the entire region, attracting industry leaders, tourists, gearheads, inventors and curious residents alike. And this year, the show is operating with a hybrid indoor-outdoor model for the first time in city history, ensuring that health and safety here at McCormick Place are our highest priority.”
“The return of the Chicago Auto Show marks a significant moment in our COVID-19 recovery journey, as it sends a strong signal that our city is not only open but more than ready to safely host large-scale events,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This iconic event has retained its reputation as the largest and longest-running auto show and has long been a powerful economic driver for our city and our entire state. I am beyond thrilled to welcome the Chicago Auto Show back to the McCormick Place and look forward to seeing it bring joy to residents and visitors from near and far once again.”

Show organizers began working with McCormick Place officials six months ago to co-develop an opening plan, as it was evident very early on that the Chicago Auto Show would provide a pathway to re-opening the facility.

“Today’s opening of the Chicago Auto Show is incredibly important, not just to McCormick Place, but to the city and state given the economic impact it brings to our economy,” said Larita Clark, CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). “We are thrilled to welcome the show, its guests and our employees back to McCormick Place for a special summer edition of this iconic event. As a long-time client, the Chicago Auto Show has been a true partner during the COVID pandemic and we are grateful for their support.”

“We’re proud to be the event that helped drive the venue’s reopening as we’ve been a long-time trusted partner of McCormick Place, a relationship that dates back 60 years,” said Chicago Auto Show General Manager Dave Sloan. “McCormick Place is an important economic engine for our city and state, and we take very seriously the responsibility that comes with helping to get it running again. We’re thrilled to finally introduce the special edition show to Chicago!”

With the show’s new dates, attendees will be able to participate in new outdoor activations such as Ford’s Built Wild and Built to Electrify consumer experiences, both of which are making their global debut in Chicago. Built Wild will feature a 30,000-sq.-ft. custom experience where auto show attendees can participate in a series of hands-on activations to help them understand accessorization, modularity and connectivity of the new Bronco family. Built to Electrify brings consumers a 11,000 sq.-ft. experience showcasing how Ford will charge into the electric revolution with a range of vehicles, both retail and commercial, including the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.

Volkswagen will offer its VW ID.4 Roadshow EV education and test drive activation to attendees, also located outdoors along Indiana Avenue. Product specialists will be on hand from participating manufacturers and ready to help answer consumers’ questions and showcase various technology demonstrations.

Additional outdoor test drive opportunities will be offered by Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln, Ram and Subaru. Interested attendees may register for the test drives on the show floor in the manufacturer exhibits or in the corridor along Indiana Avenue.

Indoors, auto show fans will be able to enjoy favorites like the Camp Jeep and Ram Truck Territory test tracks as well as Subaru’s popular pet adoption event. Visitors will also be among the first to see newly unveiled vehicles including the: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, 2022 Ford Maverick, 2022 Jeep Compass, 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xtreme Recon Package, 2022 Lexus NX, 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Z Proto, 2022 Ram 1500 Laramie G/T & 1500 Rebel G/T, 2022 Ram 1500 BackCountry Edition, 2022 Ram 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary Edition, 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross, 2022 Toyota GR 86 and 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R.

Attendees who visit on the evenings of July 15-18 will be treated to a new Street Fest featuring an array of new cars, trucks and SUVs parked along Indiana Avenue; local food from pop-up food trucks and tents including Smoke Daddy, Connie’s Pizza and Prime Tacos; tasty sweets from a A.Sweets Girl cupcake truck, local brews from Chicago-based Goose Island; and music by varying local musicians spanning an array of genres.

The 2021 Chicago Auto Show special edition will run Thursday, July 15 through Monday, July 19 and will be held in McCormick Place's West Building and outdoors along Indiana Avenue. Tickets for the 2021 Chicago Auto Show are sold exclusively online. For additional information about the Chicago Auto Show, visit

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