Paul W. Smith: Tales from the Chicago Auto Show

Paul W. Smith

Often when we take our show on the road outside Detroit, to the auto shows around the country and the world, we are surprised at how little attention is paid to them in the local media.

However, I am happy to report that is not the case at this 108th edition of what is proudly called “the nation’s largest auto show.”

We noticed it upon arrival Wednesday night.

The television stations were promoting “special auto show” programming. The Sun-Times newspaper reporter Selena Fragassi starts out, “The Chicago Auto Show is unveiling one of the biggest new models this year — itself.”

Well put.

Just as NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts and his team put a new face on our show last month, Chicago Auto Show General Manager Dave Sloan instituted what’s been referred to as a show-floor shakeup.

It’s really paid off.

The fact that the Chicago Auto Show is said to be “the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept and exotic vehicle exhibit space” allows for some pretty exciting opportunities for folks coming to the public days starting today.

Once again, we broadcast from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stand, and though it is not as majestic and frankly mind blowing as it was in Detroit, they have taken full advantage of their greater space and higher ceilings.

Jim Morrison, director of the Jeep brand, and John Tulloch and his George P. Johnson team have once again created “Camp Jeep,” the most incredible ride and drive experience ever and quite possibly well worth the drive to Chicago to experience.

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.