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Chevrolet motors to the top of the heap

GM brand takes honours for best car, truck of 2014

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The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Silverado took top honours Monday at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

PAUL SANCYA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Silverado took top honours Monday at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

DETROIT -- General Motors' Chevrolet brand swept the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck/Utility of the Year on Monday, giving the resurgent Detroit automaker another boost at the beginning of the Motor City's annual auto show.

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray received the car award, and the truck was the Silverado. The Chevy sweep came after General Motors Co. made the most appearances on this year's list finalists, which also included the Cadillac CTS and Mazda3 on the car side and Acura MDX and Jeep Cherokee on the truck/utility side.

The Cadillac ATS took top car honours last year.

The awards always kick off the press preview days for the North American International Auto Show, though they aren't affiliated with the show. Forty-eight full-time automotive journalists vote on winners from the list of finalists.

The win for the Corvette, which starts at just under $52,000, is a strong point of pride for the company. The Stingray debuted exactly one year earlier and represents a redesign of a model that's been in production for 60 years.

Alan Batey, soon to be GM's North American chief, said the company can't make enough Corvettes. "Everything that's in the factory is pretty much customer-sold," he said.

Batey added the Chevrolet brand isn't as healthy as it needs to be globally, but the independent awards should help show the brand and automaker are "on the move."

A vehicle must be all new or substantially changed to be eligible for the awards, now in their 21st year.

Organizers accept no advertising, though carmakers try to capitalize on the marketing value of the honours.

Incoming GM chief executive Mary Barra, who attracted a throng of moving journalists as she left the hall where the awards were announced, said the sweep shows designers, engineers and product-development specialists "sweated the details." The awards, she said, should translate into customers at least considering the Chevrolet brand.

"I hope that people look, and if they haven't considered General Motors or Chevrolet, they'll get into the showroom, because I'm confident if they get into the showroom they'll see a lot of vehicles they like," Barra said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2014 B6

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