|Chicago Auto Show Attendance Record Signals Continued Market
CHICAGO - The 91st Chicago Auto Show closed Sunday night with an
all-time record attendance of 1,215,734, surpassing the previous mark by more than
"Clearly this record is a harbinger of another strong year in the automobile
industry," said show chairman Mike Cook. "The Chicago show has always been a
bellwether of what will happen in showrooms in the near future. All any industry analyst
would have to do is visit McCormick Place during our show to see the excitement generated
by the products consumers see here. It's an astounding testimonial."
The Chicago Automobile Trade Association which producers the show, added a tenth day to
the run of the show for the first time in its 99-year history.
"We weren't sure if the extra day would expand our attendance or just spread out
the base we enjoy," said Cook. "But the numbers show that we have an attraction
that appeals to an ever-growing group of consumers."
The ten-day celebration of the automobile was highlighted by more than a dozen vehicles
introduced for the first time. More than a thousand other vehicles were displayed on the
840,000 sq. ft. Show floor, including production, concept, sport-utility and recreational
In addition to the vehicles on display, the massive show was awash in manufacturer
marketing researchers, again counting on the vast Chicago audience for reaction and input.
A researcher who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "There's no place else
where we can get as broad a cross-section of automotive consumers as we do here. The
Chicago show has always given us thetruest measure of our product."
"Reporters often ask what 'The Star of the Show' was," commented show general
manager Jerry Cizek. "My answer is always the people who annually come to our show.
We have almost a century of tradition helping to bring people to our doors and this year,
in huge numbers, they showed that they love it ."
The show also enjoyed its biggest single-day attendance on Saturday, Feb. 20, with
199,374 show-goers passing through the doors of McCormick Place.
"Saturday started strong and it held that pace throughout the day," said
Cook. "But once again the design of the new McCormick Place and our extensive traffic
plan proved up to the task. It's not only the biggest room in the world, but the most
people-friendly. This is an incredible facility."
Cizek was also quick to acknowledge the strong convention labor force which constructs
and maintains the nation's largest auto show with remarkable speed.
"Our partners in the labor trades build this show in five days, when in other
cities it takes weeks and weeks," said the 26-year-veteran show manager. "We
couldn't be more pleased with the incredible job they do."
The CATA is the nation's largest metropolitan dealer organization with more than 800
members. Its dealerships employ over 56,000 people in the greater Chicago area with new
vehicle gross sales in excess of $16.5 billion annually. The CATA has produced the Chicago
Auto Show since 1935.
The following is the day-by-day attendance of the 1999 Chicago Auto Show
- Feb. 11 First Look for Charity:
- Feb. 12 Friday
- Feb. 13 Saturday
- Feb. 14 Sunday
- Feb. 15 Monday
- Feb. 16 Tuesday
- Feb. 17 Wednesday
- Feb. 18 Thursday
- Feb. 19 Friday
- Feb. 20 Saturday
- Feb. 21 Sunday
- Show total
- 199,374 *
- 1,215,734 **
* All time single-day show record
** All time show attendance record