©2012 Springer Publishing Co. Inc.  -  Covering the Detroit Auto Industry Since 1933
™ Tech Center News ™
february 13, 2012
Auto Show at McCormick Place:
A More Midwestern Influence
by Ginny Carter
Special Writer

 CHICAGO – Detroit’s presence at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show last week could hardly be missed.
 Chevrolet, one of the centerpieces of the exhibit, celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Corvette. Since its inception, the production has been moved from Flint to St. Louis to Kentucky.
 The white 1953 Corvette on display is probably the finest example of its kind in the world. (There were only 300 first-model-year Corvettes ever made back in 1953.)
 Cruze and Sonic were in full display with a variety of colors along with the all new Malibu.
 The Buick Verano, as well as the rest of the Buick lineup, were all there in eye-catching displays. The La Crosse was shown in a deep gray metallic finish that was awesome. The Regal was placed near the center of the exhibit.
 Cadillac was there with all models including the blacked-out 2012 CTS-V Sport Coupe with 556 H.P. and the Ciel convertible concept car which harked onlookers back to the ’50s.
 Of particular interest to Illinois is the all-new Dodge Dart, which will be produced at the Belvidere auto plant (formerly home to Neon and others).  The new Dart is wider and longer with a very affordable base price of a little over $15,000. In addition, Ford’s new Police Interceptor will be manufactured in the heart of Chicago on Torrance Avenue.
 One couldn’t help but notice that attention to detail has risen to new levels. U.S. car manufacturers now rival their European counterparts in the fit-and-finish department, sporting well-appointed interiors and breathtaking paint jobs.
 The green concept was everywhere and no more apparent than the Chevy Volt and Ford Fusion. Visitors could make arrangements to take the Volt for a test drive through the streets of Chicago.
 Charging stations for the new electric cars are popping up everywhere, both in the city as well as at stores in the suburbs.  Chicago-based Walgreens plans 800 charging stations nationwide by the end of this year.
 Small cars were abundant, prominently featuring Fiat 500 and Chevy’s Z-Spec Hatch 2 Concept car.
 Both Jeep and Ram Truck had tracks set up for thrill-seeking visitors to ride up a 45-degree incline.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS on the Chicago Auto Show floor.
Dodge Dart interior in Chicago.
this week in print
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