Detroit: The Detroit auto show handed out its self-proclaimed “Oscars of the auto industry” on Monday, rewarding Honda, Volvo and Ford amid a crowded slate of new truck, SUV and crossover unveilings.
The awards are adjudicated by a panel of 60 auto journalists. The winners are chosen from dozens of new vehicles, offering bragging rights and a chance to stand out in a highly-competitive North American market.
The 2018 Honda Accord was awarded best car of the year, helping the Japanese company best its top rival, the Toyota Camry — also a finalist for the award in a shrinking segment of the US auto market.
Volvo’s XC60 SUV was awarded best utility, a much-needed boost for the Chinese-owned Swedish car company as it aims to reassert itself into the American market.
Ford’s massive Lincoln Navigator SUV won, incongruously, in the truck category — helping the US automaker in its battle against rivals GM and Fiat Chrysler for truck and SUV sales.
Pickups, SUVs and crossovers have become the bread and butter of automakers in the US market, outselling sedans two to one and offering high profit margins.
Over the weekend, Ford unveiled its redesigned Ranger mid-size pickup being reintroduced in North America and a new sports version of its Edge SUV.
GM unveiled its redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, and Fiat Chrysler is scheduled to show off its latest Ram 1500 pickup later on Monday.
Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, drew on nostalgia, presenting a new generation of the G-Class, emphasizing that it had maintained the SUV’s beloved boxy silhouette.
Luxury rival BMW will unveil its new X2 SUV on Monday.
The electric car maker Tesla did not submit its highly-anticipated mid-priced Model 3 sedan into the competition.