A Glimpse into the Association Behind the World-Famous Chicago Auto Show; and Event Highlights for the 2018 Chicago Auto Show and Digital Dealer Workshops
In anticipation of the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, which will be held in conjunction with the Digital Dealer Workshops (DDW) next month, we’d like to draw the curtain back to shine light on the association that has produced this world-famous event since 1935, and also share some exciting event highlights!
The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), founded in 1904, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest metropolitan new-car dealer associations in the nation. Their membership consists of 420 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. Their dealer members employ more than 20,000 people in the metropolitan area.
For more than a century, CATA has stood for high principles of business. Its basic tenets remain as steadfast today as they were a hundred years ago: Promoting honesty and dependability in business operations; Employing truth and accuracy in dealer advertising; Standing by guarantees; Improving business methods and ethics and keeping competition fair so that dealers and the public are well-served; and Refraining from practices detrimental to the industry or contrary to the public interest. CATA’s commitment to excellence in automotive retailing remains its core value.
The association engages in a number of initiatives centered on supporting dealerships and the communities they serve, including providing resources/guidance to dealers to help them grow their business while maintaining standards of excellence; supporting political action committees that advance the interests of dealers to gain a voice in front of state and local lawmakers; and goodwill efforts in the community, such as donating emergency relief efforts to aid victims of natural disasters.
The organization also runs the Chicagoland Dealers Care program, which was created in 2008 to raise awareness and build upon charitable efforts put forth by the local dealer community. Chicagoland Dealers Care program is funded entirely by the CATA (it operates under the association’s First Look for Charity Foundation, which has raised $42 million for Chicago area non-profits since the Chicago Auto Show’s black-tie gala began in 1992).
And then of course, there’s the Chicago Auto Show — a massive undertaking with an exhibit space now of approx. one million sq. ft. First staged in 1901 (produced by the CATA since 1935), the Chicago Auto Show is now the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent!
Each year, the CATA evolves the show to stay in line with where the automotive retailing industry is headed. The show now has more modern touches and creative/interactive exhibits, but still maintains its authentic Chicago Auto Show feel that keeps consumers returning year after year (from both in and outside the Windy City). Now approaching the 110th edition of the Chicago Auto Show, the association has continued its tradition as the best-attended consumer auto show.
The 2018 show will feature the hottest trends in vehicle design and the latest technologies for consumers. The nearly 1,000 automobiles on display, will include mainstream vehicles, a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks, sport utility vehicles, and experimental / futuristic concept cars. There will also be accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles, antique and collector cars. You can look forward to driving simulators, VR experiences, indoor test tracks, and outdoor ride-and-drives.
Here are a few more at-a-glance highlights:
• Anticipated 20 vehicle introductions
• Volkswagen CEO Hinrich Woebcken to lead Economic Club of Chicago Luncheon presentation
• Subaru President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Doll to keynote Midwest Automotive Media Association Breakfast
• Concept & Technology Garage to feature 30 – 40 vehicles highlighting automakers’ latest concepts, safety technologies, and automotive telematics
• What Drives Her at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show Luncheon to be held on Feb. 9
The Chicago Auto Show and the Digital Dealer Workshops (Feb. 13-14th) will take place during the same week at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. (DDW attendees are provided complimentary passes to the Chicago Auto Show, which runs from Feb. 10th-19th.
The Digital Dealer Workshops will feature more than 40 sessions covering a wide-range of topics in Dealer Ops and Management, Digital Marketing & Advertising, and Sales. Workshop presenters will include high-performing dealer personnel, well-known trainers/consultants in automotive, leaders in marketing, and savvy digital professionals at the pulse of the latest cutting-edge technology and its applications for automotive.
DDW Keynote Highlights:
Day 1: Automotive trainer Sean V. Bradley, CSP will facilitate a Keynote Panel titled “A ‘Voltron’ Approach to Conquering Challenges in the Dealer Space,” where a panel of automotive “forces” band together to form one powerful mega-defense for your store. Panelists will include: Joseph Shaker, Principal Owner, Shaker Auto Group; Toni Anne Fardette, Director of Business Development, Atlantic Automotive Group-The NY Auto Giant; Louie Herron, Owner, Louie Herron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; and Brian Chapman, VP and GM, Homer Skelton Ford.
Day 2: The closing Keynote Address, “The Next 100 Years of the Retail Auto Industry from the Dealer Perspective” will be delivered by automotive industry leader Mark N. Scarpelli. Mark was elected by the NADA Board of Directors as the organization’s 2017-2018 chairman. He also served as the 2016 NADA vice chairman and represented Metropolitan Chicago’s franchised new-car dealers on the board. An active NADA member, he has chaired several committees. Mark also previously served on the CATA Board of Directors.
Mark is also president of Raymond Chevrolet/Kia in Antioch, Ill., and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet in Fox Lake, Ill. Along with his brother, Mark oversees his family’s two dealership locations, a business that began with his father and one dealership nearly six decades ago. Today, their business employs more than 300 team members serving northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
Mark’s unique skill set combines an understanding of what’s going on in Washington with an awareness of what’s important to local dealers.
The educational program at DDW Chicago will give you everything you need to hit the ground running in 2018! We hope to see you there!
Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.