Global automakers previewed their new cars and trucks for the media Monday at the North American International Auto Show. The show opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 18. Here are some highlights from Monday’s events.
GM SCORES: 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 as the show began. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray received the car award, and the winning truck was the Silverado.
CHASING MARY BARRA: The first woman to lead a major global automaker has a press corps following like no other executive. Mary Barra, who officially becomes General Motors’ CEO on Wednesday, was pursued by about 100 reporters and photographers after GM swept car and truck of the year awards. During the pursuit, one cameraman tripped over a couch and another ran into a post.
FORD’s RADICAL STEP: Ford unveiled a new F-150 pickup truck that makes extensive use of aluminum to make the truck lighter and more fuel efficient. The radical departure from traditional pickup design could shake up the pickup market. In a splashy presentation in the Joe Louis Arena, top executives including CEO Alan Mulally and Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields introduced the latest version of America’s bestselling vehicle for the last 32 years.
VIDEOGAME CAR: Toyota’s FT-1 is straight out of a video game. The car was devised first in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment. Now, video game players will get a chance to try out a virtual version of the new concept sports car.
THE 200 REDUX: Chrysler’s 200 has been relatively successful, but mostly because the price is right for budget-minded drivers. NWill ow, a resurgent Chrysler is rolling out a revamped 200, this time with hopes of competing against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion — not just on price, but on style, gas mileage, refinement and beauty.