Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Volvo Road Trip to the Chicago Auto Show

I never realized that after becoming the proud owner of a Volvo S60 that I'd feel as though I had become part of such a wonderful family, but I truly do.

A little over a week ago the digital media team at Volvo Cars US asked me if I'd be interested in attending the Chicago Auto Show as their special guest and to have the chance to get up close and personal with the Volvo S60 Polestar concept car and I jumped at the chance! 

As we got closer to the day of the show, the weather in Chicago started looking worse and worse and I was fearful that I was not going to be able to make the trip, but I took a chance, knowing that I'd be riding in such a safe vehicle and hit the road on Thursday evening. The drive ended up being not nearly as bad as I had been expected and I made it to Chicago safe and sound!

Car parked and ready to head into the show! CAS13
Too excited to sleep, I got up early Friday morning and headed over to McCormick Place to get an early start at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. I was very much looking forward to seeing the new Polestar concept car. I had seen photos of it from the Detroit Auto Show and it looked absolutely stunning!

The Volvo S60 Polestar concept car at the Detroit Auto Show

My first stop at the Chicago Auto Show was to a panel discussion hosted by Autoweek: Everything is in the message. The panel discussed the use of social media and various forms of advertising to promote automobiles and how it has changed. 

Autoweek Social Media Preview panel, Everything is in the Message
There is growing concern amongst the automotive industry that young people today don't have the same interest in cars as generations of the past. There is a push to reengage today's youth and to cultivate in them a love of cars and the automotive industry. The best analogy I heard was this ... there are two types of people. Those who treat their car as a pet, and those who treat their car as a refrigerator. What type of person are you?

Then it was off to find the Volvo S60 Polestar. The Polestar Blue was even more stunning in person than it was in the photo from the Detroit Auto Show. I know these photos could not possibly do it justice, but the color really is terrific!

Volvo S60 Polestar concept car ... one of only two in the world

Then I come to find out that this is the exact car that Jay Leno got to test drive and I could not wait to get in it and try out the new "bucket" type seats that they have designed for this concept car!

Yep, here I am, sitting where Jay sat! I love these newly designed seats!
After I had the chance to check out all of the Volvos on display at the Chicago Auto Show, including my favorite red Volvo S60, I got to spend some time with Andreas; one of the lead promoters on the Volvo S60 Polestar team. We discussed the challenges of marketing Volvo cars in the United States and the importance of social media in the automotive industry. So many people still associate the Volvo brand with the boxy cars of old and that is just not what Volvo is today. I love watching the look on people's faces when they see my Volvo S60. 

My favorite red Volvo S60 and the Polestar concept car in the background!
I also had a chance to meet some fellow Volvo influencers while I was at the auto show. It's amazing. The Volvo family reminds me an awful lot of the Notre Dame family. The only thing you have in common is the ownership of this fantastic car, and yet you instantly feel a connection and feel like you've known each other forever. I learned so much about Volvo from the influencers that I met at the Chicago Auto Show and cannot wait to meet more fellow Volvo owners at the MeetUp in St. Louis later this year!

The stunning Volvo S60 Polestar concept car

I didn't want to leave the Chicago Auto Show and my new Volvo friends. I had a fantastic time and I really enjoyed learning more about the Volvo brand and my new "family." Reluctantly, I left the show and headed back to my Volvo S60 for the drive back home. It was a whirlwind 24 hour trip, but fortunately for the incredibly comfortable seats in my Volvo S60 it was an easy one!

Me and my new favorite Volvo S60 - Polestar

How can you not love the Polestar Blue?
If you haven't looked at Volvo lately, give it a chance. The Volvos of today are definitely not your father's Volvo ... trust me on this one!

Check out these awesome videos of the Volvo S60 concept car. It truly is a remarkable innovation from Volvo cars!

Car and Driver: Tested : 508 Horsepower Volvo S60 Polestar 

Jay Leno's Garage: Volvo C30 Polestar



  1. There is growing concern amongst the automotive industry that young people today don't have the same interest in cars as generations of the past.