General Motors claimed the top prize in both the car and truck of the year categories at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 13, 2014) (NBC) - General Motors on Monday (January 13) swept the coveted awards handed out each year at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, claiming the top prize in both the car and truck categories.
"We took a few risk on the Stingray and I really want to accept this award on behalf of everybody who participated, literally thousand of people whether engineering and design or supply community, our great partners at Bowling Green, Kentucky who make this car. Really, guys, this is for you. Thank you very much," said Tadge Juechte, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray chief engineer.
While its redesigned full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup was named 2014 North American truck/utility of the year. "This is truly a great truck and we are so exited. Thank you, thank you very much to everybody!" said Jeffrey Luke, General Motors executive chief engineer, during the award ceremony.
It was the first time in GM's history that it won both awards in the same year.
Chevy aims to amp up the fun quotient for Corvette owners. Later this year, the 2015 Corvette will offer an optional Performance Data Recorder - essentially a built-in high-def videocam and microphone that will enable drivers to record up to 13 hours behind the wheel and play it all back on the car's in-dash touchscreen or upload it to Facebook and other social media sites.
The milestone came just days before GM is scheduled to make history in another way. On Wednesday, Mary Barra, head of the U.S. $15 billion global product development group, will replace Dan Akerson as CEO, becoming the first-ever female chief of a global automaker.
The recognition of the Silverado also comes at a good time for GM. Last week, the company said it was recalling about 370,000 pickups, including some of the redesigned Silverados, to reprogram software that could cause parts of the exhaust to overheat and lead to fire.
GM said eight fires had been caused by the problem, but there were no injuries. The company said all of the fires had occurred in very cold places, and it urged customers to avoid leaving trucks idling unattended.
Finalists for car of the year included the Cadillac CTS and the Mazda3.
To look over the roster of racy new and future vehicles at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the initial impression is that U.S., European and Asian automakers want to turn back the clock to a time when performance and speed trumped concerns about energy and the environment.