The Libertyville Mile of Cars helps a community get back on track

Libertyville Mile of Cars

The 2009 economic crisis put tremendous stress on businesses across the country. Many people lost their jobs and many companies closed their doors. The northern Chicago suburb of Libertyville, IL took economic recovery into their own hands. Auto dealers and the Libertyville Mayor’s Office came together to develop a plan that would bring more shoppers to the area. The two sides came up with ‘The Libertyville Mile of Cars’. The program enticed car shoppers to buy a car at one of the Libertyville dealerships which is incentivized by gift certificates to businesses in the area. 

Eleven years later, the city is bringing back the program to help spark economic growth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Terry Webbler, Mayor of Libertyville, joined the show to discuss this unique initiative. He is joined by Dan Marks, President and General Manager of Libertyville Lincoln, and Glenn Bockwinkle, Director of Operations at Libertyville Lincoln and representative of ‘The Libertyville Mile of Cars’.

Mayor Webbler opens the conversation by discussing how the city of Libertyville is handling the pandemic, as well as how the state of Illinois is navigating economic struggles. Webbler then explains his involvement in beginning the program over a decade ago and why the group of auto dealers decided to bring it back.

Bockwinkel then explains where the idea of the program came from and the details that went into making the idea a reality. He shares how difficult it was to organize a large number of dealers to operate on the same page. He also shares how the program was easier to reinstall the second time due to the familiarity with the initiative and the overall understanding of how it would help the community.

Marks then shares how grateful he is that dealerships were deemed an essential business. He saw the program as a great opportunity to give back to the community as well as charity. He says the response to the program has been very positive.

Marks concludes by sharing the lessons learned through the program and navigating the pandemic. He explains how dealers feel spared by the economic blow of COVID-19. He says that he, along with many other dealers, was worried at the end of March of how bad the economic crisis could become. He and many other dealers in the Libertyville area “feel fortunate because it could have been a lot worse”.

Did you enjoy this interview? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News