DETROIT: General Motors’ Chevrolet unit swept car and truck of the year honors while Ford’s use of aluminum in its F-150 drew crowds at the Detroit auto show.
GM logged an early win after the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named Car of the Year and the Silverado pickup as Truck of the Year.
“Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history,” Chevrolet chief Alan Batey said, hailing the wins.
The Corvette also drew further excitement with its new racing versions—the street-legal Z06 and the track-ready CR 7.
Mark Reuss, a senior executive at GM, said there was little to separate the two, which he called “America’s Supercar.”
“Racing and winning is a part of who we are,” said Reuss.
Eyes were on Ford, too, as it gambled with a major change for the best-selling F-150 pickup, replacing steel body panels with aluminum to drastically lower body weight and boost fuel economy. The move, which helped Ford slash the truck’s weight by up to 317 kilograms, is seen as a big risk because truck buyers tend to focus on sturdiness and power.
Chrysler, the smallest of the Detroit Big Three after GM and Ford, unveiled its hotly anticipated revamp of the 200 sedan, which aims to bring a new level of luxury and styling to its midsized offering with a low entry price of $21,700.
“We designed a car to take on every other vehicle in its class, feature by feature, and prove that a quality sedan doesn’t have to cross an ocean to be worthy of an American driveway,” Chrysler’s brand chief Al Gardner said.