Chicago Auto Show 2018, February 10-19

Chicago Auto Show 2018

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 110th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.

  1. View Archived Chicago Auto Show Posts and Photos
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The Chicago Auto Show is the Nation's Largest

At a time when many within the industry are questioning the relevance of auto shows, the Chicago Auto Show continues to shine as brightly as ever. Why? Because Chicago follows its strong media preview with an unparalleled consumer show – utilizing its media preview to generate buzz that spins turnstiles and revs up sales.

The Chicago Auto Show has never lost sight of its biggest asset: the consumer. Exhibitors put their best foot forward in Chicago by bringing the latest vehicles and concepts, building world-class displays and providing interactivity within their exhibits to keep show-goers engaged. According to one manufacturer executive, “The Chicago Auto Show not only jump-starts car sales for the region, but it helps stimulate automotive purchases across the entire country.” Quite simply, Chicago outperforms other shows in reaching car buyers.

In Chicago, manufacturer participation, public anticipation and an unmatched venue create the perfect template for a 21st-century auto show that serves OEMs, media and attendees. Chicago is unique in its blend of new product, significant reveals, meaningful keynote addresses and compelling technology and industry forums. Together they create a noteworthy snapshot of the automotive landscape that effectively forecasts what’s next in the industry.

Together with a strong media preview and an unparalleled consumer experience, the Chicago Auto Show stands ready to deliver on its promise as the nation’s consumer auto show.

Before the Public Chicago Auto Show Has Media Preview

The 2018 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview will officially open on Thursday, Feb. 8 with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast. MAMA President Jill Ciminillo will present the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year award and introduce keynote speaker Thomas Doll, President and CEO of Subaru of America, Inc.

Doll joined SOA in 1982. In 1991, Doll became vice president of business and strategic planning. In April 2009, Doll was promoted to chief operating officer. In April 2013, Doll was promoted to president. Doll received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Villanova University and a master’s degree from Drexel University.

Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen and president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., will be the guest speaker at the Economic Club of Chicago (ECC) Luncheon. Woebcken oversees Volkswagen activities in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Prior to joining Volkswagen, Woebcken worked for 30 years in the automotive industry for Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs. A native of Germany, Woebcken earned a degree in industrial engineering from University of Applied Science, Rosenheim, Germany, in 1985.

Founded in 1927 to serve as a forum for Chicago’s business community, the ECC is one of Chicago’s finest business groups and has a decade-long association with the Chicago Auto Show. The ECC has grown to become a premier institution, providing elite members of the business world a platform to express and discuss economic, business and social issues. The ECC luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show is a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, boasting speeches from Bill Ford, Jim Press, Henrik Fisker, Ralph Gilles, Jonathan Browning and Yoshi Inaba.

Gala Expected To Generate $3 Million for Chicago Area Charities

As it enters its 27th year, First Look for Charity has helped raise nearly $48 million for Chicago-area charities. The black-tie gala will be 7 – 11 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9. Tickets are $275 and are available at

Attendees at the charity gala will be treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres; champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks; and special entertainment presented by the automakers in their displays. Benefactors in attendance also have the chance to win a new Ford Mustang or Expedition, both compliments of Ford and your Chicagoland and northwest Indiana Ford dealers. “The Chicago Auto Show is uniformly regarded as one of the finest auto shows in the nation, but the charitable cause demonstrates that this auto show is about more than just vehicles and accessories,” said John Hennessy, chairman of the 2018 show. “It’s also about giving something back to the community.”

The 18 organizations participating in this year’s First Look for Charity predominantly are children-oriented. Some operate on a global level; others, locally. The charities use the proceeds they receive in their efforts in the Chicago area.

Chicago Auto Show Teams up with Women in Automotive and She Buys Cars

The Chicago Auto Show has teamed up with Women in Automotive and She Buys Cars to host the second annual What Drives Her industry networking event and panel discussion during the show’s 2018 Media Preview. This event will be held Friday, Feb. 9 with the mission of honoring and celebrating women with leadership roles in the automotive industry as well as discussing future trends.
“We think it’s important to continue facilitating discussion around this important topic, which is why we’re excited to bring back What Drives Her,” said Chicago Automobile Trade Association Board Member Kelly Webb Roberts. “The Chicago Auto Show remains a leading industry event connecting automakers with customers. This is great news for exhibitors, particularly because women are driving the decision when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.”

Ford’s Global Trend and Futuring Manager Sheryl Connelly will kick off the 2018 program with findings from the brand’s forthcoming 2018 Trend Report with a focus on females and how they’ll drive the future of the auto industry. Then, Cox Automotive’s Michelle Krebs will moderate a panel of influential women who hold leadership roles at manufacturers, including Monique Kumpis, senior group manager of brand marketing and advertizing at Hyundai and Kimberly Gardiner, director of marketing communications at Kia. Collectively, they’ll take a deeper dive into the reality that while women dominate the car-buying decision, only few hold leadership roles within the industry.

The Chicago Auto Show will stream the event live via its Facebook page. The designated program hashtag will be #WhatDrivesHerCAS. To submit a speaker for consideration or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Chicago Auto Show’s Director of Public Relations and Social Media Jennifer Morand at or 630-424-6084.

Chicago Auto Show Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest

Teens from Chicagoland, Illinois and neighboring states are invited to help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving via the fourth annual Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest. The contest invites teens to submit ideas for a 30-second public service announcement about distracted driving. It is sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes safe driving, in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show.

Three finalists will be selected and an Emmy Award-winning director will come to their schools to develop their ideas into finished TV public service spots. The public will then cast votes to select the grand prize winner, who will get a $2,000 prize. The winning spot will debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. It will also air on the nationally syndicated TV show

“Teen Kids News” on 220 TV stations nationwide. The first runner-up will receive $1,000 and the second wins $500. “Even as today’s cars have technical innovations helping prevent crashes and protect occupants in the event of one, distracted driving continues to be a major risk for drivers,” said 2018 Chicago Auto Show Chairman John Hennessy. “We are pleased to have the Drive Safe Chicago contest engage young people as messengers to their peers and to all drivers that distracted driving is dangerous driving.”

Teens who live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are invited to enter by sending a script or storyboard for a TV ad that reminds people not to drive distracted. Entries must be received by Jan. 8, 2018, and the winner will be announced at the Chicago Auto Show. All entrants will receive two free tickets to the Chicago Auto Show. Information about distracted driving and the Drive Safe Chicago Contest, including contest rules and entry form, can be seen at

More about the Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show utilizes more than 1 million square feet in the North and South Exhibit Halls of the McCormick Place complex. McCormick Place offers a total of 2.7 million square feet of exhibit halls with an additional 700,000 square feet of meeting room availability.

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. The CATA has produced the Chicago Auto Show since 1935.

All Chicago Auto Show exhibits are held in the McCormick Place complex. Exhibitions include: multiple world and North American introductions; a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; and experimental or concept cars. In total, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display. Additionally, attendees will also have the opportunity to see numerous accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles and project, antique and collector cars.

Special appearances and events take place every day. Please check our Event Schedule for up-to-date listings.

For The Safety Of All Attendees
All bags subject to search. Patrons will be randomly selected for security screening. All mobility devices must be approved by show management. Hoverboard, Segway and similar devices are not allowed on the show floor.

McCormick Place is easily reached by car or public transportation. Extensive shuttle bus service from all area parking lots to and from McCormick Place. Weekend-only shuttle service from the Millennium Park and East Monroe underground garages. Shuttles stop in 10-15 minute intervals near Columbus/Upper and Lower Randolph and at Gate 3 at McCormick Place.

Scooter and Wheelchair rentals are available by contacting Scootaround toll-free at (773) 439-9940.

Scooter rentals are $50.00 a day and wheelchair rentals are $20.00 a day. Scootaround accepts all major credit cards. Scootaround is located at Gate 4 of McCormick Place (west end of the Grand Concourse). While Scootaround will make every effort to accommodate all needs, you are encouraged to reserve in advance.

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