Corvette Stingray and Chevy Silverado win North American car, truck awards

UPDATED: 1/13/14 8:41 am ET - adds Barra comment, history

DETROIT -- Chevrolet's Corvette Stingray and Silverado were named 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year today by a panel of automotive journalists.

The Corvette faced the Mazda3 and the Cadillac CTS in the finals for the car award, while the Silverado was up against the Jeep Cherokee and Acura MDX in the truck/utility finals.

It was the first time Chevrolet swept the awards, although GM swept the awards in 2007 with the Saturn Aura and the Silverado. It also was GM's sixth Car of the Year and its fourth Truck of the Year.

Two other automakers have swept the awards: Honda Motor Co. in 2006 with the Civic and Ridgeline and Ford Motor Co. with the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect in 2010.

"I'm really proud of the global product development team, starting with the designers through engineering and powertrain," Mary Barra, GM's global product chief and incoming CEO, told reporters. "They really worked hard and sweat the details of each and every aspect of those vehicles."

"I'm confident that if they get into the showroom, they're going to see a lot of vehicles they like."

Alan Batey, GM senior vice president, global Chevrolet, said in a statement:

"Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand's more than 100-year history,"

"The Corvette and Silverado truly embody the passion, commitment and focus that is driving us to deliver the most expressive designs, innovative technologies and engaging performance in every vehicle that wears the bowtie."

The six finalists were selected by an independent jury of 48 automotive journalists from 11 cars and 12 truck and utility vehicles. To be eligible, a vehicle must be redesigned or substantially changed and be introduced during 2013.

Six automakers had multiple nominees, led by GM with six: the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Impala and Silverado, GMC Sierra and Buick Encore. Hyundai-Kia and Toyota Motor Sales each had three: the Kia Cadenza and Sorento, and the Hyundai Santa Fe LWB, and the Toyota Corolla and Tundra and Lexus IS.

The others are Nissan North America's Nissan Rogue and Infiniti Q50; BMW's 4 series and X5; Jaguar-Land Rover's Jaguar F-Type and Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and the Mazda3 and Mazda6.

The other contenders: Honda's Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Chrysler Group's Jeep Cherokee and the Subaru Forester.

In 2013, the Cadillac ATS was the North American Car of the Year and the Ram 1500 was the North American Truck of the Year.

Since 1994 when the awards were created, 14 automakers have captured at least one title.

GM has won 10 total awards and Ford has won nine.

According to the Web site for the award, domestic automakers have won the car award 12 times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won four times. A Korean automaker (Hyundai) has won twice, the Web site says.

Domestic automakers have won the truck award 14 times while the Japanese have won four times. Europeans have won three times, according to the award's Web site.

The judging panel includes Edward Lapham, retired executive editor of Automotive News. To maximize their independence, the jurors pay dues to underwrite the costs of the annual competition.

For more information and a list of previous winners, click here.

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com -- Follow Vince on Twitter: @VinceBond86



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