CHICAGO , Dec. 9 … The Chicago Auto Show will host a special luncheon meeting of the prestigious Economic Club of Chicago on Feb. 10, featuring General Motors Chairman and CEO G. Richard Wagoner, Jr. as guest speaker.

“Our first Economic Club luncheon at the 2004 show proved to be a hit with the members of this prominent group,” said Chicago Auto Show Chairman Casey Wickstrom. “It’s natural that the business leaders of Chicago would have a keen interest in hearing Rick Wagoner’s perspective of an industry that impacts so many. New-vehicle sales in the greater Chicago area exceed $16 billion and GM dealers are responsible for a significant percentage of that total.”

“The history of General Motors chairmen addressing our group dates back to the legendary Alfred P. Sloan in 1941,” said W. James Farrell, chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago and chairman of Illinois Tool Works. “We welcome Mr. Wagoner and the news he will bring.”

Wagoner was elected GM chairman and chief executive officer in May 2003. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer since June 2000. He also is on the of the board of directors of General Motors Acceptance Corporation, a GM subsidiary.

The Economic Club of Chicago (ECC) is an independent, nonprofit organization that fosters development of civic-minded executives who understand their broader role in building a better society. Founded in 1927, the ECC is one of the nation’s most influential forums for the dissemination of economic, business, political and social views, through its regular membership meetings. Meetings include black-tie dinner meetings, panel discussions and young leadership roundtables. Invited speakers include industry leaders, heads of state and policy makers.

The luncheon will be part of the media preview of the nation’s largest auto show, which is expanding to utilize 1.2 million sq. ft. of McCormick Place in 2005. The event will take place in the Grand Ballroom of McCormick Place Feb. 10 at 12:15 p.m.

Underwriting for the event is generously provided by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade association of nine car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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