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Cleveland Auto Show to make history with record number of show 'firsts'

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Feb 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

The Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com and Medical Mutual, opens its doors this year with more exhibit space, more vehicles, and more family fun than ever before. The Show also features a record number of historical “firsts” including the new Car-A-Day Giveaway and a second Indoor Ride-N-Drive event from Ram, in addition to hosting more upscale brands including McLaren and Rolls-Royce.

With the industry registering strong double digit growth in 2013, automakers are rolling out new 2014/15 models at a record clip, making this year’s Cleveland Auto Show one of the most exciting in recent memory.

“Our exhibit space is up and we have Ride-N-Drive events for more than 14 brands during the show, including the return of Camp Jeep and a brand new Ram Indoor Ride-N-Drive,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Cleveland Auto Show. “Millionaire’s Row is also returning, this year featuring Rolls-Royce and McLaren. We also have a complete lineup of family fun and celebrity appearances. We’re expecting attendance to be very strong this year.”

The Cleveland Auto Show opens to the public at the I-X Center in Cleveland on Saturday, March 1 and runs through Sunday, March 9. In addition to offering a great way to beat cabin fever, it is also generally regarded as the start of the spring automotive selling season in Northern Ohio. As such, the Cleveland Auto Show has a very strong positive impact on the whole economy of Northern Ohio.

“This is also a consumer’s one chance to see everything the automotive industry has to offer, all under one roof,” adds Ed Babcock, chairman of the Cleveland Auto Show. “With the slightly later timing of this year’s Show, our show management ensured that we would get the very latest displays and vehicles from virtually all manufacturers. At the I-X Center, we also have the room to display all the vehicles, while still offering our show attendees a very relaxed and comfortable environment.”

The Cleveland Auto Show features more than 1,000 vehicles in more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. In addition, there are interactive displays throughout the show.

If you are seriously in the market for a vehicle, the Cleveland Auto Show is hosting Ride-N-Drive events for more than 14 different major brands, affording you the opportunity to take a vehicle for a test drive outdoors on the roads around the I-X Center. Ride-N-Drive events are scheduled for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Toyota, Scion, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Kia, Mazda, Subaru and Volkswagen, in addition to the Indoor Camp Jeep and the Ram Indoor Ride-N-Drive.

This year’s show will also feature some exotic brands, including McLaren, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Rolls Royce, which will be featured in the return of Millionaire’s Row, one of the fan favorites of last year’s show.

In another Cleveland Auto Show first, in conjunction with the Northern Ohio Buick GMC Dealers, someone will win a two-year lease of either a brand new 2014 Buick Verano or 2014 GMC Terrain every day the show is open.

“The Car-A-Day Giveaway is ground breaking for the Cleveland Auto Show,” says Babcock. “We have never given away more than two vehicles during the Show, until this year. The winner also has their choice of either the Verano or the Terrain, which makes it a lot more exciting.”

On the last day of the Show, a drawing will also be held for one lucky First Place winner who will receive a year’s worth of natural gas for the home, a value of $2,000, courtesy of IGS Energy.

During the Show’s nine-day run, there is also a full calendar of celebrity appearances and fun for the whole family. Throughout all day and hours of the Show, the ESPN Zone in the Ford display will feature celebrity sports appearances and interviews, as well as sport-themed arcade games and an inflatable slide.

Kyrie Irving, MVP of the NBA All-Star Game, visits the Show on Monday, March 3 in the Buick GMC Display as will Cleveland Browns Quarterback Brian Hoyer and new Head Coach Mike Pettine in the Ford display.

Tuesday is T-Shirt Tuesday, with the first 5,000 attendees getting free t-shirts while supplies last, sponsored by KeyBank. On Wednesday, March 5 children 15 and under get in free as a part of Family Day, sponsored by Medical Mutual. There’s also a $5 meal deal on Family Day only.

Cleveland football legends will be in the Honda display that evening, signing autographs. Expect to see Hanford Dixon, Doug Dieken, Kevin Mack, Dick Ambrose, and Al “Bubba” Baker. On Thursday, March 6, Richard Rawlings of the Gas Monkey Garage stops by the show to sign autographs. The Cleveland Browns will be back in the Ford display Thursday evening, this time with Barkevious Mingo greeting fans. Saturday, March 8, the judging of the Classic Car Competition takes place, with one vehicle taking home Car of the Show. There will also be five runners up.

Show hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $13.00 for adults and $11.00 for seniors aged 62 and older and preteens aged seven to 12. Children six and under get in free. Parking is also free, courtesy of your franchised new motor vehicle dealers.

If you’d like more information on the family fun and entertainment at the Cleveland Auto Show, head to www.clevelandautoshow.com. You’ll also find information there on how to avoid box office lines by purchasing e-Tickets with no convenience fees, courtesy of Huntington Bank. You can also like the Cleveland Auto Show on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

The Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com and Medical Mutual, marks the start of the spring selling season in Northeast Ohio. Featuring concept, pre-production and production vehicles from the world’s auto manufacturers, the show is held annually at the I-X Center with nearly 1.2 million square feet of exhibits. The Show also features an array of entertainment including sports celebrity appearances from the Browns, Cavs, and OSU. The Cleveland Auto Show is a consumer show and a favorite family tradition since 1903. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheClevelandAutoShow.The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1903. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents 250 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which includes new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org.

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