2012 Chicago Auto Show

Consumers' auto show opens in Chicago

2012-02-10T00:00:00Z 2012-02-27T15:40:33Z Consumers' auto show opens in ChicagoBy Bowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
February 10, 2012 12:00 am  • 

CHICAGO | The Chicago Auto Show is the consumers' show.

At least that's how the automobile company exhibitors and show organizers are pitching it to new and devoted attendees.

Flashy and engaging displays, sleek vehicle designs, interactive games and driving simulators are all part of the 104th edition of the Chicago Auto Show, which begins today and runs through Feb. 19 at McCormick Place.

With nearly 1,000 vehicles such as the Lexus LF-LC concept, 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, Kia Track'ster concept and the 2013 Mercedes Benz SL-Class expected to be on display, the show is North America's largest and has been held more often than any other automobile exposition.

With four indoor test tracks and five different outdoor test drive opportunities for attendees, "the exhibitors have put the show in motion," said Dave Sloan, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Chicago Auto Show general manager.

Sloan said 2011 show attendance was up 10 percent from the previous year and early indications show 2012 will have a great response.

Derek Joyce, Hyundai Motor America's manager of product communications, said one thing attendees will notice at the Chicago show are "clean and technical" exhibits for people with a variety of interests. Joyce said they will also see multiple vehicle models on the same nameplate, in an effort to reduce confusion among customers and build on the strong reputation vehicles such as the Hyundai Elantra have built.

"We try to make sure there's something for everybody and make the area inviting and open to come and learn about Hyundai," Joyce said. "That's what most of the manufacturers are trying to do. We're just trying to do it a little bit better."

General Motors Corp. has one of the largest exhibit spaces at the auto show and Stephanie Leigh Rose, product presenter for GM, said it should be very appealing.

The Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Spark subcompacts are the among attention-grabbing displays at the show, but Rose said both vehicles have a lot of technology offered as standard features.

"It's really just giving our consumers what they want and our consumers are wanting to buy it brand new, and have it all there and want it to be – affordable but yet very sexy," she said.

More information about the show can be found at www.chicagoautoshow.com.

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