Consumers Share Spotlight at Chicago Auto Show

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Interactive experiences designed to entertain while building relationships

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CHICAGO--February 7, 2012: It used to be that cars were the stars at an auto show. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac are making sure consumers attending the Chicago Auto Show Feb. 10-19 get the star treatment, too, and go home with more than a bag of brochures.

Several interactive experiences ranging from a two-mile Chevrolet Volt drive through the streets of Chicago to a Cadillac CTS-V full-motion racing simulator are designed to create a deeper engagement with consumers whether they are in the market for a new car, a current owner or an enthusiast.

"People come to auto shows for two main reasons: to see products and to be entertained," said Grace Morgan, GM director, Global Marketing and Strategy.

"We want consumers to come to the show, have fun, learn something new about our cars, trucks and crossovers and get a sense of our brands," said Morgan. "Any brand's car can fit in a garage; we want to show consumers how our brands can fit into their lifestyles."

The Chicago consumer engagement activities are both high-tech and low-tech: The Chevrolet Sonic Studio, for example, offers a Sonic Boom interactive DJ experience, but it also invites guests to express their creativity on a simple white board and make a button to wear. They can also vote for their favorite Chevy concept vehicle and wear their politics on their sleeve with a grab-and-go button featuring either CODE 130R or TRU 140S.

Here's what consumers can expect to see and do in Chicago:

Chevrolet: The Chevrolet Volt Village will feature a Volt Millennium Park wall as well as a photo booth that places guests' images inside a backdrop of Chicago landmarks that the Volt can visit. Images are fed to an LED wall and are shareable via Facebook and Twitter. Other Volt experiences include an interactive touchscreen that lets users select from one of six drive destinations that speak to the car's extended-range technology.

Other activities include Timesplice, a photo activity that gives guests a 3-D clip they can share via social networks, text messaging and e-mail; and a Facebook application that allows users to plant a virtual tree as part of a Chevrolet-sponsored carbon reduction program.

Buick: Choose from six videos that explain the eAssist light electrification technology that is standard on the Buick LaCrosse and available on the Buick Regal.

GMC: Users can direct a virtual X-ray panel over portions of the GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD to reveal internal details. Two sensa cell displays use near-field sensor panels that let users view detailed engine information and a high-level view of GMC technology.

Cadillac: Guests can delve into the DNA of Cadillac V-series production and race vehicles via three multi-touch walls, and learn about the benefits of owning a Cadillac via the Cadillac Shield interactive display. Two sensa cell video players show the features of Cadillac powertrain technology.

In addition, each brand will demonstrate its smartphone-integrated infotainment technology: Chevrolet (MyLink); Buick and GMC (IntelliLink) and Cadillac (CUE). OnStar kiosks and live demonstrations of the OnStar mobile app also will be provided.

Morgan said she hopes consumers will leave the show informed and entertained -- and eager to share their experiences with their friends and families.

"With the changing pace of our lives as consumers, with instant feedback and information at our fingertips, we need to act accordingly and appropriately," said Morgan. "Whatever we do needs to be relevant to the consumer and to our brands and not just be about doing something big and different."

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