Following the ribbon cutting, thousands of people streamed onto the convention center's floor like kids in a candy store, eager to check out the latest and greatest in the world of cars.
"I come every year. I don't miss the auto show," attendee Chuck Vandervelde said.
Gone are the days when automakers put the spotlight on big trucks and SUVs. The focus in 2013 is on the most fuel efficient cars.
"We have a lot of hybrids. People are getting into a lot more hybrids. We have some diesel powered trains people want to try," Chicago Auto Show Chairman Michael Ettleson said.
Also getting a lot of attention is the technology that is packed into the cars.
Ford has included voice activated apps that let drivers find deals at nearby stores and restaurants, update friends and family on their location, all the while listening to their social feeds. With so many distractions added safety features are also being packed in.
"In a Cadillac the seats vibrate to let you know that you moved out of your lane, a lot of cars have a notification if someone is in your blind spot. Another thing is if you're getting to close to somebody your car may automatically stop," Ettleson said.
There are the cars that are fun to look at but that one can only dream about.
Attendee Sandy Abbinanti is a fan of the Corvettes.
They are gorgeous," Abbinanti said. "It's a little out of my price range but I'd love to have one."
The 2013 auto show will run through President's Day on Monday.