Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



Mike Ettleson helps preview the Chicago Auto Show
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 9256 times since Tue Jan 22, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The 105th edition of the Chicago Auto Show will take place Feb. 8-18 at McCormick Place.

The "First Look for Charity" black-tie event will happen Feb. 8. The following day, the show will be open for general audiences—and will mark the first time since 1998 that the show will open to the public on a Saturday.

Auto show chair Mike Ettleson (principal of Ettleson Cadillac-Buick-GMC in Hodgkins, Ill., and Ettleson Hyundai in Countryside) talked with Windy City Times about trends, sales and the show.

Windy City Times: I wanted to talk a little about sales. Would you agree that numbers have turned around for the better?

Mike Ettleson: I would agree with that as far as numbers go. We saw total sales last year of about 14.5 million units in the United States, and we're predicting 15.5 million this year. We've definitely seen an upturn, although my brand (Cadillac-Buick-GMC) has seen a little increase in sales. [However,] my Hyundai store was hurt by the tsunami in 2011, and now they've bounced back. I do think that sales are on the upswing. There's definitely more activity, even in January—because of the mild weather.

WCT: OK—let's talk about the show. When you and I spoke last year about trending vehicles, we talked about gas-electric hybrids and technology. Are we going to see more of the same this year?

Ettleson: Yeah, I think we will, although the electric-gas combination has pretty much stayed the same; I don't think there's a whole lot of new technology there. But what I think you'll see is new technology with internal-combustion engines; it's gotten better, smaller and more efficient. There's also an increased use in turbochargers; they make smaller engines more efficient and more powerful when they need to be.

There's also a small luxury utility [vehicle] called the Buick Encore; it has a 1.6- or 1.8-liter engine, and turbocharged is the only way it comes. So it gets pretty good mileage and it's powerful.

The other thing I think we're going to see is more technology that is going to help the driver avoid accidents because there's so much more to do: People are looking at their iPhones or iPods, and there are more accidents. So there are things are help with collision avoidance and there are some vehicles with blind-zone alerts.

WCT: I want to get your thoughts on how far you think we are from cars that automatically drive people from place to place.

Ettleson: Well, there are a couple schools of thought on that. I think that there is, right now, a driverless car by Google. But are we really going to get there [for everyone]? Some people say 2020 or 2025—I'm not sure that's the case. I don't know if people are not going to want to drive, but they want more help. I don't know if we'll see masses of driverless cars, but we might. It might happen 50 years down the road, but it definitely would work for someone who's blind or [disabled].

WCT: How does the Detroit show differ from Chicago's, generally speaking?

Ettleson: Detroit's show is in what's known as Cobo Hall; it's a very marginal space to display cars while McCormick [Place] is such a wonderful [venue] to do so. With Cobo Hall, you have to go upstairs, downstairs, between buildings, and it's not nearly as large. But a lot of press do go to Detroit, and there are some strange and weirdo cars there that we won't even see here; Chicago is much more of a consumer-driven show. Detroit is for manufacturers, suppliers; I don't think the general public goes there that much.

WCT: The Chicago Auto Show is doing more with social [networks]. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Ettleson: Well, I can tell you that if you have an iPhone or iPad, there is an app. You can follow things on Facebook and Twitter, and if we're having a discussion about something, you can follow it more closely.

WCT: Let's talk about First Look for Charity. Who's going to be performing this year? What's it going to be about?

Ettleson: First Look for Charity is the Chicago Automobile Trade Association's preview night, and you have to wear a tuxedo. For $250 a ticket, you get to be one of the first to see the Chicago Auto Show. We provide drinks and appetizers for [attendees]; we do it through funds and through volunteer restaurants, such as Lettuce Entertain You.

In addition, there are 18 different charities; you can select one or all of them. All but $25 of your $250 donation goes to the charities. The association keeps $25 to provide for the entertainment. This year, at the end of the show, a group called American English (which is a Beatles cover band) will perform. There will also be the New York cast, I believe, of Million Dollar Quartet performing for an hour at the beginning of the show.

In addition to all that, there will be drawings for two vehicles. One is a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, which was graciously donated by Hyundai Motor America and Chicagoland Hyundai dealers. There will also be a 2013 Buick Encore, donated by the Buick division of General Motors and the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana Buick-GMC dealers.

WCT: When it comes to the charities, how are they chosen?

Ettleson: The trade association is made up of 15 independent dealer-directors. Once a charity is added on, it's [there] for nine years. When the nine-year stint is over, the next board member in line is allowed to pick a charity of his or her choosing. Also, all charities don't always stay on; there have been charities that have voluntarily dropped off in the past because they feel like it's too hard to sell tickets. Each charity is expected to sell about 325 tickets to the show to be part of the pool—when someone says, "I want my money to go to all of the charities." If you don't that for, like, two years in a row, you're kinda [told], "You're really not doing your job. You need to give someone else a chance."

WCT: And this event is expected to raise about $2 million this year?

Ettleson: Yes; we're expecting approximately 10,000 people at $225 a ticket. By moving it from a traditional Thursday night to Friday (with the show opening on Saturday), we're thinking it'll be easier for people to spend a weekend downtown.

WCT: My last question is a hypothetical. With all of the very interesting vehicles at the show, which would you like to own if you could have any of them?

Ettleson: Oh, that's a good question. I don't know all that's going to be there, of course. I'm really into antiques and I'm an old-fashioned car buff. One of my favorite cars over the years is a '65 Corvair, which was an introduction by Chevrolet into a small car but it was really unique because it was a rear-engine car. It was my mother's first new car. I used to have one but I never found time to drive it so I got rid of it.

The Volo Auto Museum brings some stuff but one car I'd like to have is the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. That's been getting a lot of press. I'm going to have to see what's at the show; every year, there's a surprise.

See for more information.

This article shared 9256 times since Tue Jan 22, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Chicago Auto Show to take place Feb. 12-21 2022-01-10
- The Chicago Auto Show is slated to return to its traditional February dates: Feb. 12-21 at McCormick Place. The show is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, except for the final day (Presidents Day), ...

Gay News

Now, only five of Chicago's 50 aldermen reject automatic pay raises 2021-09-16
- Forty-five out of 50 Chicago aldermen have opted to accept a 5.5% pay increase in 2022 that will push the highest paid among them to an annual salary of more than $130,000, according to The Chicago Tribune. ...

Gay News

AUTOS 2021 BMW 430i: Hard Top or Soft? 2021-08-06
- This year's BMW 430i xDrive really is the classic sportscar. You can get it as a coupe or as a convertible, the only two trims available. Basically, it's just two doors and you can have it with a year-round hard top ...

Gay News

Chicago Auto Show taking place July 15-19 2021-07-14
- An abridged version of the annual Chicago Auto Show will take place July 15-19 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Dr. The auto show will be one of McCormick Place's first live, in-person events since the ...

Gay News

Pritzker announces $10M vaccination lottery 2021-06-18
- As Illinois continues to lead the Midwest in vaccinating our residents, Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new $10 million "All In for the Win" promotion that will reward vaccinated Illinoisans by automatically entering them into a ...

Gay News

Chicago Auto Show to return to McCormick Place in July 2021-05-04
- On May 4, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined elected officials, tourism backers and labor leaders to announce the return of the annual Chicago Auto Show. The event—the nation's largest and ...

Gay News

THEATER 'A Portrait of My Mother' to start streaming May 9 2021-04-08
- Jarrott Productions will present the world premiere of A Portrait of My Mother, written and performed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia and directed by David R. Jarrott. The autobiographical tribute to Garcia's mother, Maria, begins streaming on ...

Gay News

AUTOS 2020 Cadillac XT6 is the stylish transport for you and your posse 2020-08-18
- Cadillac has long hosted fashion shows with acres of flat sheetmetal, glistening chrome, and cabins drenched with all the finest materials. This once meant block-long sedans, but people aren't buying ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-06-10
- "Alone we can achieve so little; together we can achieve so much."—Tiffany Trump. Actually, the Trump spawn was quoting Helen Keller—because, when I think of one, I automatically think of the other. Tiff's tweet had the ...

Gay News

Driver-service facilities to expand hours June 1 2020-05-25
- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced his office's reopening plan —starting June 1—with the first two months focused on serving ONLY new drivers, customers with expired driver's licenses/ID cards ...

Gay News

AUTOS Elegant 2020 BMW 840i knows how to butter your rolls 2020-05-25
- I've been craving a grilled chicken sandwich and rolls from the Beef House Restaurant near Covington, Indiana. With a BMW 840i in the driveway, an 80-mile drive for a yummy snack no longer seemed excessive. Given ...

Gay News

No Pride during the pandemic? Buffalo Grove steps in 2020-04-29
by Randy Stern, - What if we told you that a new kind of pride celebration will be happening in a suburb of Chicago? And it's one that fits within the framework of what we are dealing with during this health crisis. Last year, the ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-03-17
- "You're full of shit. I support the Second Amendment. I'm not taking your gun away. I did not say that."—Joe Biden responds to a worker at an automobile plant in Detroit who accused him of "actively ...

Gay News

AUTOS 2020 Jeep Wrangler, diesel go together like Grace and Frankie 2020-03-03
- One of my guilty pleasures for the last few years has been Netflix's series Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin. Individually, the two are icons. Together, they are a match made in Heaven ...

Gay News

Chicago Auto Show Feb. 8-17 2020-02-01
- The next Chicago Auto Show will take place Feb. 8-17 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. North America's largest auto show, the event spans more than 1 million square feet of floor space of ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.