Award-winning vehicles earn attention from auto show

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Automaker representatives and local dealerships are weighing in on the impact that last month’s North American International Auto Show — as well as recent auto awards — have had on consumer interest and sales.

At a Jan. 9 press preview day at the auto show, which was held at Detroit’s Cobo Center, a panel of American and Canadian journalists announced their picks for the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Their top car was the Chevrolet Bolt EV, their favorite truck was the Honda Ridgeline and their No. 1 utility vehicle was the Chrysler Pacifica.

At the auto show, Chevrolet spokesman Fred Ligouri said the Chevy Bolt EV was launched in California and Oregon at the end of 2016, and it will be launched throughout the U.S. this year.

Unlike the Chevy Volt, which could use  gas once its electric battery was depleted, the Bolt is purely electric. Ligouri said the Bolt’s range at full charge is estimated at 238 miles when averaging the city and highway ranges.

Ligouri listed a couple of things that people tend to like about the Bolt. One is that it has lots of legroom and passenger space despite looking like a compact car, he said. The other perk is its performance.

“It puts a wonderful smile on every driver’s face when you have the moment to get on a highway on-ramp and really push on the accelerator,” he said. “It is a tremendously fun vehicle to drive in addition to being tailpipe-emissions free.” 

According to the journalists’ announcement, the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck won its award in part due to its smoother ride based on a “car-style chassis” as well as a storage space under the truck’s cargo bed.

In terms of the Pacifica, Brett Amesse, new cars sales manager at Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, said dealership visitors often want to check out its Stow ’n Go seats, which can be tucked inside floor storage compartments to offer more room. 

Amesse said interest in the minivan has been brisk recently.

“Sales have spiked in the Pacifica,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s directly correlated with the auto show, but definitely in January our sales were up at our dealership.”


Find out more about the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards by visiting Find out more about Orchard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Washington Township by visiting or by calling
(586) 336-0200.