DETROIT (WJBK) - The brightest lights in the automotive industry are shining on the Motor City for the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
The 2017 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced Monday morning to kick off the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Chevy Bolt EV was named the 2017 North American Car of the Year, and the Honda Ridgeline took home the 2017 North American Truck of the Year award. The Ford F Series Super Duty was a finalist for truck of the year but ultimately came up short.
New this year, the team added a third category to award the 2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. The Chrysler Pacifica took home that first-ever award.
Experts say the Chevy Bolt being named Car of the Year was a bit of a surprise, as electric vehicles aren't necessarily surging with buyers in the market.
The Bolt is an especially crowning achievement for Chevrolet and the rest of Detroit. The car is built in the nearby Orion plant.
"These are the people that make it happen," Marke Reuss, President of GM North America, said. "General motors is committed to lead in mass produced, attainable, high value, electric vehicles and this is the Bolt platform and this is our springboard into the future."
The Utility Vehicle award was added due to the increasing popularity of both SUVs and minivans. Another made in Detroit vehicle took that one: The Chrysler Pacifica.
"What an incredible year it's been for Pacifica. It's been just a year since we revealed at the NAIAS and like everybody, when we brought it out we were very confident that we had something incredible on our hands," Tim Kuniskis, FIAT Chrysler, said.
The Honda Ridgeline announcement was the biggest surprise of the ceremony.
"This was a big surprise. I think it's a testament to the jurors for really recognizing what the team did - which was reimagining the pickup truck," John Mendel, Honda Execeutive Vice President for North America, said.
60 journalists from the United States and Canada drove the vehicles for a full years before the decisions were made.