Chicago Auto Show Highlights
With the 2020 Chicago Auto Show in the rearview mirror, we’re reflecting on some of the show’s key moments. The longest-running auto show in North America once again featured more than 1 million square feet of top-tier exhibits by global automakers; more than 20 brand-new vehicle introductions that made their worldwide or national debut; a host of interactive exhibits; and indoor and outdoor test drive opportunities.
As a regional press association, MAMA is fortunate to have the nation’s largest auto show held right in its backyard. The entire event kicked off with the Midwest Automotive Media Association opening breakfast, during which MAMA President Damon Bell announced the 2020 MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award recipients. The 2020 Kia Telluride was named the winner of the 10th annual MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year Award and the 2020 Lincoln Aviator won the second annual MAMA Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award. The MAMA breakfast has really become a cornerstone event over the years, signifying the show’s opening and consistently attracting 400 attendees ranging from national media outlets, automotive manufacturers and other key industry personnel.
After the dust settled from the Media Preview, MAMA members remained active during the show’s public days. Specifically, show organizers tapped MAMA’s resourceful membership to serve as panelists in a series of Facebook Live discussions held in the show’s BUZZHUB, in partnership with ABC 7 Chicago. Each Facebook Live event featured a new industry hot topic ranging from connected cars, industry trends, electric vehicles, best family vehicles and more. Each discussion was hosted by ABC 7 Chicago’s reporter Roz Varon and was streamed live on ABC 7 Chicago’s and the Chicago Auto Show’s Facebook pages. MAMA-member expert panelists included Matt Avery, Damon Bell, Mark Bilek, Jill Ciminillo, Tim Healey, Paul Herrold, Kelsey Mays, Jennifer Newman, Larry Nutson, Jim OBrill and Joe Wiesenfelder.
Speaking of remaining “active,” MAMA President Emeritus Jill Ciminillo helped facilitate the Chicago Auto Show’s first indoor run, Honda Miles Per Hour, in partnership with the Chicago Area Runners Association. Held on the show’s final weekend, the unique indoor run guided participants on a 2.4-mile loop through the vast halls of the show. The event’s moniker accurately describes the premise of the run, where participants covered as much distance as possible within a one-hour timeframe. The winner, Zach Hird of Chicago, covered 11 miles in the one-hour allotted timeframe.