Are American Cars Cool Again?

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U.S. automakers swept the North American International Auto Show Monday, racking up the coveted "Car of the Year" and "Truck of the Year" awards. The Chevy Volt, GM's plug-in electric hybrid vehicle, was named Car of the Year and Ford's Explorer SUV won Truck of the year. The auto press is homing in especially on the Volt's success, which continues to win award after award. Is this a sign of an American automaker resurgence?

  • GM Is on a Roll, applauds David Schepp at Daily Finance. He cites the award as "further evidence that General Motors has made significant gains in rebuilding its business." The Volt's success shouldn't come as a surprise, though, he adds. "Reviews by the automotive press have largely praised the vehicle's design, and the Volt has taken several other awards already, including Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year."
  • America Is Back, writes Justin Hyde at Jalopnik. "The Japanese air of invincibility--the confidence that the quality, value and styling of their models would always best whatever Detroit could rev in any given year--has disappeared in a cloud of beige ... This year's Detroit Auto Show is like a Pearl Harbor in reverse."
  • It's an Aspirational Pick "Even though the sales aren't there yet, it's sort of a chicken-and-egg thing," says Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at speaking with Bloomberg's Craig Trudell. "We have to go there, but the sales aren't there yet. Americans still love their SUVs."
  • Critics Be Damned, writes Steven Ewing at Autoblog: "Thomas Stephens, GM's vice chairman of global product operations, said that the Volt represents the soul of the new General Motors, so critics (we're looking at you, Rush Limbaugh) will probably continue to have lots to complain about in the coming years."
  • A Humble Winner   "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," gushes Phil Villarreal at The Consumerist. "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?"

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