The 111th edition of the Chicago Auto Show officially closed to the public on Monday, Feb. 18, concluding a successful 10-day run of the nation’s largest and best-attended auto show. The Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the show, reported a bump in attendance this year despite the slowing market.
“As the nation’s largest consumer show, we know people come here to shop,” said Ray Scarpelli Jr., the 2019 Chicago Auto Show chairman. “According to Foresight Research, nearly 70 percent of adults who visit the Chicago Auto Show are in the market to purchase a vehicle within 12 months. That’s what makes the Chicago show stand out from other shows and experiential events, further demonstrating the importance of automaker participation.”
The show’s impact was palpable at the dealership level; local new-car dealers reported a noticeable increase in customers following the show’s strong opening weekend.
“There’s no doubt that we saw a big uptick in traffic and sales at our dealerships,” said Kevin Keefe, owner of Brilliance Honda and Brilliance Subaru. “The activity at the stores was noticeably higher the weekend after the Chicago Auto Show opened to the public.”
“We actually had more customers than sales representatives on the show’s closing Saturday,” added Jason Roberts, general manager of Advantage Toyota of River Oaks.
“In the end, we want the Chicago Auto Show to be judged on the number of new-vehicle sales it generates,” said Chicago Auto Show General Manager Dave Sloan.
The longest-running auto show in North America once again featured more than 1 million square feet of top-tier exhibits by global automakers, 20 brand-new vehicle introductions that made their worldwide or national debut and a host of interactive exhibits and test drive opportunities.
Never-seen-before vehicles to make their debut included:
2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia
2019 Cadillac XT5 Sport
2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD
2019 Chrysler Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition
2019 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson by Tuscany
2020 GMC Sierra HD
2020 Kia Sportage
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport
2019 Ram 1500 Multifunction Tailgate
2019 Ram 2500 HD Mopar
2019 Ram Chassis Cab
2020 Subaru Legacy
2020 Toyota RAV4 Off-Road
2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
2020 Toyota Tacoma
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GL
The 2019 show was packed with opportunities for attendees to get behind the wheel. Camp Jeep, which celebrated its 15th anniversary at the show, featured its popular indoor track where attendees could ride inside the Cherokee, Compass, Renegade and Wrangler and take on the 18-foot hill at a 35-degree angle. Kia also featured a new indoor test track, an off-road course to highlight the capabilities of its all-new, three-row SUV, the 2020 Telluride.
Land Rover offered a brand-new indoor test track – the Above and Beyond Tour – which allowed guests to experience the full Land Rover lineup, including the Range Rover Plug-In Hybrid and Range Rover Velar. The indoor off-road course offered commanding views of the show floor and challenged drivers to explore both their own limits and those of the full family of Land Rover vehicles.
Ram Trucks also brought an all-new track, the Ram Truck Territory, an interactive ride experience with a 28,000-square-foot in-truck adventure to demonstrate the power and capabilities of the Ram Truck lineup.
Nearly 1,000 cars, trucks and SUVs were on display, and consumers casted their votes for their favorite in five different categories for the 14th annual Best of Show balloting.
The vehicles that rose to the top included:
Best All-New Production: Jeep Gladiator
Best Concept Vehicle: Lexus LC Convertible
Best Green Vehicle: Audi e-tron
Best Exhibit: Jeep
Vehicle I’d most like to have in my driveway: Bugatti Chiron
Planning is already underway for the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, which will be held from Feb. 8-17.
For more information on the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, please visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com. For high resolution photos and b-roll, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com/media/online-newsroom-gallery.
About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North American vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity raises more than $2.5 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2020 public show is Feb. 8-17. For more information, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com