Auto show draws bigger crowds than anticipated

February 16, 2009 4:41:49 PM PST
Few people are buying new cars. But a lot of people are looking. The Chicago Auto Show is drawing bigger crowds than expected. The purpose of the auto show is to get people visiting and looking at all the shiny new cars, interested in buying, and hopefully that translates into car sales. Certainly, this year, car dealerships are hoping that happens.

It was a popular ticket Monday. The Chicago Auto Show entered its fourth day and its packed lines nearly stretched the length of McCormick Place.

"We had longer lines than we anticipated, but we managed to move them through and get them into the show. It's great to see this amount of people here," said Jerry Cizek, Chicago Auto Show GM.

No doubt on this Presidents Day -- a holiday for many -- parents found a good spot for the whole family.

"We came today, early birthday present. I'm off work today. There's no school today. And we thought it might be fun just to get out and have a good time, look around, see what's new and exciting. Looks like a lot of things are out here new," said Lucy Wilson, spectator.

"I'm here today with my family. We're really excited. This is the first time my kids have been here and they love it. It's a great thing to do when we have a day off, to come downtown," said Phyllis Chanick, spectator.

The Brisenos came with cousins, including three 16-month-olds.

"It's a good day. I'm off work. So we hardly spend time together, so, yes," said Sandra Briseno, spectator.

Ed Mascari came with his sons and his son's friends, six kids in all. The 7-year-old and the 7-year-old's friend got to ride with dad.

"He gave us a magazine. So we flipped pages of the magazine, and then if we want to stop, we ask my dad to stop, and we go look at cars," said Cristian Mascari, spectator.

And some came for a distraction from another winter day in Chicago.

"We wanted an opportunity to get out of the house. My brothers came down from Wisconsin. And we thought it was an opportunity to see all the new cars," said Tom Michel, spectator.

Most of the families ABC7 spoke with Monday said they really weren't in the market to buy a car, but they wanted to see what was going on.