Chicago Auto Show Celebrates Successful 2024 Event

The event offered over 80,000 in-vehicle experiences to 260,000 attendees...

The 2024 Chicago Auto Show came to a close on Monday, Feb. 19, after a 10-day run at McCormick Place. The 116th edition of the show welcomed nearly 260,000 guests to experience the latest cars, trucks and SUVs, automotive technology and electric vehicles.

The 2024 show featured an array of vehicles, including the world debut of the 2025 Kia Carnival and 2025 Kia K5. Lucid and Tesla both made a first-time Chicago Auto Show debut and Mazda returned, courtesy of Napleton Auto Group. 

“What sets our show apart most is that we’ve never shifted our focus away from the consumer; the attendees drive our strategy to produce an event that’s fun, engaging and informative. Research shows that more than 75% of people who attend the Chicago Auto Show are there to shop,” said Chicago Auto Show General Manager Jennifer Morand.

Chicago Auto Show Celebrates Successful 2024 Event | THE SHOP

Other new vehicles at the show included the Buick Envision, Cadillac Escalade IQ, 2025 Chevrolet Equinox, 2025 Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Ford Mustang Mach-E Bronze, GMC Hummer Earthcruiser, Nissan ARIYA Pole to Pole, Nissan Frontier Forsberg, Tesla Cybertruck, Toyota Land Cruiser and Volkswagen ID.Buzz.

Three indoor test tracks graced the show floor. Ford’s “Built Wild” track featured the Bronco family of vehicles and gave attendees the thrill of conquering “Bronco Mountain,” a 38-degree hill inside of the show. Hyundai offered rides in a trio of EVs including the Kona Electric, IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6. Chicago Drives Electric’s indoor EV track, powered by ComEd, returned featuring nearly double the number of brands over the previous year. The track offered 20 different EVs from brands including BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Lucid, Nissan, Tesla and Volkswagen.

Despite the headwinds producers faced given the late Stellantis exit—due to cost-cutting efforts —the 2024 show only experienced a slight decrease in attendance over the previous year.

“We’re hopeful this was a one-year decision, and that Stellantis brands will return to the 2025 Chicago Auto Show,” said 2024 Chicago Auto Show Chairman JC Phelan. “The fans missed the presence of these iconic brands this year.”Chicago Auto Show Celebrates Successful 2024 Event | THE SHOP

Between the show’s three indoor test tracks and three outdoor test drive experiences by Ford, Kia and Subaru, the show produced more than 80,000 in-vehicle driving experiences.

This year’s themed days and special events drew in large crowds and new audiences. The Toyota Miles Per Hour run provided a unique twist for a winter race in Chicago. Held inside the show and organized by the Chicago Area Runners Association, 650 runners paced a 60-minute run through the show floor for participants to record their own miles per hour. Toyota awarded the top three winners for men’s and women’s times at its post-run celebration; winners clocked in at more than 10 miles.

Also returning to the show was the popular Chicago Friday Night Flights craft beer sampling event. More than 600 attendees sampled 20 different craft beers from local breweries.

New to the programming this year, the inaugural Automotive Career Day hosted more than 1,400 students for a lively morning filled with educational panels, networking and a career fair of local automotive employers.

Chicago Auto Show Celebrates Successful 2024 Event | THE SHOP

“There are so many career opportunities within the auto industry, and the Chicago Auto Show is the perfect backdrop to be able to make those connections to young people,” said Morand. “The 2024 first-year event was a success, and the wheels are already in motion to make the Automotive Career Day event even bigger and better for next year!”

Finally, the show saw support from new and returning sponsors. 2024 premier partners included, ComEd and Powering Chicago. Official sponsors were AT&T, U.S. Army, Volta Charging—a member of the Shell Group—and Wintrust. Additional show sponsors included Bosch Tools, Furniture Firm, NASCAR and Weber.

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