The Volkwagen Golf was named the North American Car of the Year, beating out the other two competitors nominated for the award – the Ford Mustang, and the Hyundai Genesis.
Volkwagen sales in the U.S. dropped by 10% last year.
Michael Horn, the President of VW of America, said the award is a starting point to get them back on track in the U.S. market.
“We didn’t really expect this award," Horn said. "Golf is important in many ways…it represents really the DNA of the brand Volkswagen, around the world."
And in the new Ford F-150 was named the North American Truck/Utility of the Year beating the Chevrolet Colorado and the Lincoln MKC. The new F-150’s all aluminum body was Ford’s innovation to make it more lightweight and fuel efficient.
Ford President of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, says the company will expand its use of aluminum.
"Because light-weighting is part of our future," he said. "To make the fuel economy requirements that are coming at us for the years ahead, we’re all going to have to take more weight out of the vehicles, and of course aluminum is one of those solutions."
The winners were announced this morning at the Cobo Center in Detroit as the press preview days for the North American International Auto Show kick off. The show will open to the public this Saturday (Jan. 17).
Last year GM took both awards with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Chevrolet Silverado.
The Volkwagen Golf’s starting price is $17,995. The Ford F-150’s starting price is $25,720.
Fifty-seven reporters from newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and websites cast their votes for car and truck/utility of the year.
A vehicle must be all new or substantially changed to be eligible.
This is the 22nd year for the awards. Organizers don’t accept advertising for the competition.
In the last 22 years, domestic automakers have won the car category 12 times and foreign automakers have won 10 times. Japanese automakers have three wins, European automakers have 5 wins, and Korean automakers (Hyundai) have two wins.
Domestics have won the truck competition 15 times. Foreign automakers have won seven times (Japanese automakers have won it four times, and Europeans have won three).
*This post has been updated.