American Auto Manufacturers Sweep Awards At Show

Even though the 2011 Chevy Volt insisted it was an honor to just be nominated, you could just tell she had her eye on that shiny North American International Auto Show car of the year trophy. She had her acceptance speech ready in advance, kept shooting the evil eye at Nissans and Hyundais, and besides — could you believe that gown she wore?

The Volt, wait for it, electrified the judges at the Detroit car show, leading the way as American manufacturers swept the show’s top awards. The hybrid electric vehicle also took home the “green car” of the year award, and the Ford Explorer won truck of the year.

The wins may bode well for the American auto industry as a whole, which only a couple years ago was circling the drain as the federal government pumped it full of bailout money. MSNBC spoke to an analyst who predicts American manufacturers could move more than 25 percent more units in 2011 than the 12 million they sold in 2010, when the industry snapped a four-year slump.

GM’s Chevy Volt named 2011 Car of the Year [MSNBC]

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    American Taxpayers Sweep Awards At Show

    Fixed it for ya

    • perkonkrusts says:

      And let me fix yours for you…
      American taxpayers win car of the year, independent Ford wins truck of the year.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Ford has received direct and indirect financial assistance through loans, capital, tax credits and other programs that have aided its strong turnaround.

        • fredbiscotti says:

          I’m late to the party, but the Japanese automakers took massive bailouts from the Japanese government. Significantly larger than the loans the American automakers took from the U.S. Government when credit froze up and they couldn’t access credit lines to cover their bills for parts and payroll (thanks to the bank meltdown).

          Just so you know.

    • TimothyT says:

      If it were up to you, how would you have handled the mismanagement ergo financial crisis in Detroit? If GM rebounds, pays all the money back, and ultimately becomes a leader again, would you still have done things differently?

      • Blueskylaw says:

        At what point is enough enough? We bailed out Bank of America and they are back screwing the public again in a more spectacular fashion than ever before. The arrogance of the people at the top of the auto industry suggests that they have not learned a painful enough lesson and they should have been let to go under.

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it is broke then you throw it away (we are a throwaway society after all).

    • zzyzzx says:

      The Volt as been in the works since before the bailout. I.E. – the Volt would have probably existed anyway.

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    “The Volt, wait for it, electrified the judges at the Detroit car show…”

    *throws peanuts at Phil* Boo!

    - – – – -

    Now all we need is for the Volt not to die an agonizing death like GM’s EV1 :u

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Awards for a car that’s:
    1> Not on the market yet,
    and
    2> the average consumer can’t afford.

    Bravo!

    • blinky says:

      And it’s not an electric car as promised, it’s a gas car that can go a few miles on a battery.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        A pure electric would never work in the US market – how are you going to take that family vacation if it’s hundreds of miles away?

        • AstroPig7 says:

          The current state of electric cars makes them useful for urban travel and trips near the home. The Nissan Leaf, a real electric car, is estimated to have a range of 73 mi, which would easily get me to and from work for almost an entire month without recharging. If the technology improves, which the market can help, then we’ll see better range.

        • jason in boston says:

          Rent a car? Have a gas car for trips?

        • ARP says:

          I don’t know about you, but I don’t go on family vacations every weekend. I travel beyond the range of current EV’s in a single trip maybe once per month.

          I take the train to work, so I only drive on weekends. If they could embed solar cells on the roof and put them in those windshield covers, I wouldn’t need electric from the grid. Work colleagues have a similar situation, but they drive a few miles to their suburban train station. So, if you live in a city or suburb, you could probably drive an EV without too much inconvenience.

        • arachne says:

          A recently built McDonalds a few blocks from where I am sitting has two charging stations for electric cars. It is not the first or the only one that has done this. If this becomes a fast food restaurant staple then it may bode well for the use of hybrid and electric cars although not the waistline.

        • zzyzzx says:

          Since the average family has more than one car, and presumably at least one would be gasoline powered, this is not an issue.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I think it goes just a teeny, tiny bit more than “a few” miles.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Not to mention more expensive to insure and more expensive to fix and maintain, thereby negating any savings from decreased fuel consumption.

      For every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.

      Newton

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        Don’t you get it. Greenies don’t do it for the financial savings, it’s all about the planet, man!!

        • Blueskylaw says:

          Do “greenies” also think that the electricity comes from burning recycled unicorn horns and not from a coal fired plant?

          • ARP says:

            Greenies understand that coal fired plants are much more efficient and much less polluting than the equivalent work created by ICE’s due to economies of scale, and more effective point-based pollution controls. Around 48% of our power is generated from coal. The rest is not. On the coasts its hydro and nuclear.

            We have fairly good coal reserves, so we don’t have to spend $1T invading other countries to maintain a stable coal supply until nuclear, wind, solar, tidal, etc. become more prevalent.

            What else did Sean Hannity tell you?

            • Actionable Mango says:

              Greenies also don’t like nuclear and hydro. In fact, in California, hydro isn’t considered renewable. I would think rain would be just as renewable as the wind, the sun, and tides, but I guess bureaucrats disagree with me.

          • leprechaunshawn says:

            I don’t think so. It seems to me that they thing we should be getting our electricity from inefficient sources like wind and bio-mass.

      • Veeber says:

        But new technology is always this way. It generally starts out as inferior to the current mature product and is more expensive. Eventually they improve and can overtake.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        In agreement: Compare the Volt to the Model T, which cost the equivalent of 4 months’ wages, rather than a full year’s. Price was an important part of Ford’s marketing strategy. I chuckle to myself every time some narcissist marketer thinks that higher prices will somehow increase popularity and/or sales of a product or service.

      • TimothyT says:

        So how much more is it to insure–and compared to what? Also, what are the expected maintenance costs over four years verses expected fuel savings? I don’t know either but then again I’m not spouting erroneous assumptions.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The Volt isn’t a car that “the average consumer can’t afford.” MSRP is ~$40,000, which is about average for a luxury sedan, but more expensive for a regular full size sedan. Since no one ever pays MSRP, that price will go down. There’s also the federal tax credit, which takes off a decent amount.

      After all is said and done, you might be able to get one for $30,000, which is pretty good for a full size sedan.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        The median yearly American wage for men is barely the same amount as a Volt. And that wage is only for those who have jobs and wages. I can’t imagine buying a car that costs a year’s wages. Judging by what’s on the roads, most people want a car that costs less than $20K new. A significant portion of those who can afford a Volt will choose not to drive an inconvenient, high-maintenance, expensive car that makes them look like a tool, and will choose something more conventional, something that allows them to maintain their testosterone levels and a bit of discretionary income.

      • Nick says:

        If I can’t pay cash, I can’t afford it.

    • dadelus says:

      One nitpick…

      The Volt went on sale in mid to late November. So it is on sale.

      GM sold 320+ in December.

  4. obits3 says:

    “the Ford Explorer won truck of the year.”

    Is this for the 2010 Explorer or the 2011 Explorer? I think that both are great vehicles, but I have a hard time calling hte 2011 Explorer a truck now that it is a FWD vehicle…

    What is a truck?

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      “It flies like a truck.”

    • oldwiz65 says:

      chrysler used to document the PT Cruiser as a truck so that their corporate fuel economy for trucks would be better. I always laughed at the thought of a PT Cruiser being a truck.

    • nbs2 says:

      Warren Brown at WaPo reviewed the 2011 Explorer this week. It was a positive enough article that it has us interested in looking at it even though we were pretty set on an Outback (or Forester).

      • obits3 says:

        The 2011 Explorer is really great. I guess I could still call the AWD one a truck. My point is that the FWD Explorer is basically a big Escape. It all depends on your needs. I like RWD because it tends to make the engine bay less cramped.

        The other issue is that the new Explorer is unibody (as opposed to body on frame). To me, a true truck should be body on frame. If you plan on towing anything, you might want to look at this aspect. If you just like the size of the Explorer (cargo capacity), then the unibody thing may not matter.

        I’m not sure how they build Subarus… (Don’t they use that boxer engine?)

        • NahWukkers says:

          Yes. Subarus have a transversely mounted engine. Usually, it’s a 2.5 liter AWD small SUV mounted on a car’s chassis, raised a bit more off the ground. (Recent ones are a bit bigger than those of previous years). I have found ours (2000 Forester) to be very efficient and user friendly. FYI, if you ask your question over at related site Jalopnik, you’ll get more than enough info to satisfy you.

    • GrimJack says:

      A “truck” is a passenger vehicle designed to drive junior to soccer games and pick up the groceries that the manufacturers have convinced the government to believe is for commercial use and hence exempt from the fuel economy standards applied to passenger vehicles.

      An Explorer is about as much of a truck as a four-door sedan or station wagon.

    • rambo76098 says:

      I agree, it’s now unibody, comes stock with a turbo 4 cylinder, and it’s FWD. Plus it has no bed. How is it a truck? Even the old one that was body on frame, and had the F150 motors wasn’t really a truck.

  5. Galium says:

    American cars sweep honors at American car show. Sposored by American business, and judge by American judges. Who would have thought American cars would have done so good.

  6. Galium says:

    cut sposored add sponsored

  7. gman863 says:

    I think the awards this year were the judges’ version of a sympathy f*ck.