It’s that time of year again – The Chicago Auto Show rolls into McCormick Place, filling the convention center with the latest and greatest rolling examples of style and engineering the automotive industry has to offer.
This year seems to be a particularly strong year for the auto manufacturers. It’s no secret that the industry is still recovering from a tough few years. A reeling economy and a couple bankruptcies later, there is a new lease on life on the show floor. The atmosphere was universally optimistic – domestic manufacturers are rolling out new products set to compete on a global scale while up-and-comers like Hyundai is going full steam ahead with the expansion of their increasingly popular line of cars and crossovers (I’m personally smitten with the new Elantra GT that was unveiled last Wednesday).
It’s easy to get caught up in the spectacle that is the Chicago Auto Show. After all, almost 1,000 vehicles cover 1.2 million square feet of McCormick Place during the ten day event. There are numerous new product reveals, all the technology demos you could wish for, and plenty of drool-inducing concept cars. But as the auto industry moves forward, and the playing field continues to level out, the differences between brands become ever slimmer. The details that designers and engineers alike implement into each vehicle become increasingly important.
As a lover of all things with headlights and four wheels, I always enjoy the annual auto show, but this year I tried to take a slightly different approach to the experience.