Chevrolet Sweeps Top Awards at Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT (Detroit Free Press/MCT) —

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray captured the North American Car of the Year award Monday at the North American International Auto Show here, while the Chevrolet Silverado won Truck of the Year, giving General Motors Co. a clean sweep of the prestigious awards.

“To take both the car and truck awards means a lot to the people who worked on it internally,” said Mark Reuss, president of North America for GM. “Also, I think, practically, it helps to put us on the consideration map from buyers who might not otherwise consider our cars,” said Reuss, who will soon become head of global product development.

The last time a single automaker won both the car and truck awards was in 2010, when Ford Motor Co. won with the Fusion mid-size sedan and Transit Connect small commercial van.

“It just represents the hard work we have done here at General Motors and the strength of the technical team, so I am very proud,” said incoming CEO Mary Barra, who was the company’s global product development chief.

Reuss said GM’s task now is to continue the momentum it has gained with a number of highly praised products, which also includes recent Cadillac sedans and, coming soon, redesigned crossovers.

The awards are coveted by automakers, because they represent the collective assessment of 48 veteran journalists who have test-driven vehicles for years, including Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan. Most other automotive awards are given out by individual publications or organizations.

This year, the cars and trucks were selected from a field of 28 cars and 18 trucks or SUVs.

Corvette competed against two other finalists, Cadillac CTS and Mazda3.

None of the others, however, had Corvette’s hallowed past or such a dramatic reinvention for their latest generations. Corvette was the hit of last year’s North American International Auto Show.

“I don’t even think the Corvette is a muscle car anymore,” Reuss said. “This is a model that pushes the envelope into a place where we haven’t been with Corvette.”

Finalists for Truck of the Year included the Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Cherokee.

Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado benefits from weight reduction and a lineup of new, more fuel-efficient engines, including a now-competitive V-6.

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