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DAY ONE :
Sunday, January 6 - Part 1
North American Car &
Truck of the Year Award
|The first event that took place on the
first press day of the Detroit auto show was the announcement of the
North American Car & Truck of the year award. The winner is
Nissan Altima as car of the year and the Chevy Trailblazer won the category
as best truck of the year 2002. "Car" finalists
are Cadillac CTS, Ford Thunderbird and the winner Nissan Altima. In
the truck section the finalists are Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet
Trailblazer and Jeep Liberty.
Left: Gary Cowger, GM, winner of the truck of
the year award with the Chevy Trailblazer
|"Keep it simple, pure, and
beautiful and it will be easy to love."
These were the basic inspirations set down by Bob
Lutz, GM's chairman of North American Operations, in creating a
"sketch-off" for the first concept vehicle commissioned by
GM's new product chief. The call went out at the end of September
and by mid-October, the Pontiac Solstice roadster was under
"The North American market is ripe for an
affordable, pure roadster executed to top global standards on
perceived quality, both inside and out," Lutz explained.
"The Solstice is striking in its purity and simplicity. The
exterior lines are strong, bold and clearly Pontiac - but not
over-the-top. The interior is focused on the essential elements of
driving - functional, precise and inviting, executed in a manner
that exudes quality and tactile feel."
Beside the Solstice, the Chevrolet Bel
Air and the
Cien were newly presented. As production cars, the
H2, the Cadillac XLR and the
SSR were displayed.
|"The Chrysler Pacifica cannot be
binned in any existing automotive category, it's an all-new segment
that will follow the success of our minivan and PT Cruiser,"
said Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of the Chrysler Group.
"Chrysler Pacifica is a sports tourer with the right formula of
proportions, packaging, performance and appearance that will set it
far apart from our competition. With its low step-in height, first
class seating, three rows of seats, and car-like handling, there is
nothing else like it in the marketplace."
Within an art-like performance DaimlerChrysler and
its management focused all attention on the introduction of the
Chrysler Pacifica. One of the best shows of the day!
|Itís bold. Itís strong. Itís a
hint of whatís to come for the next generation Ford F-Series
pickup Ė Americaís best-selling vehicle for 20 years running and
best-selling truck for the past 25 years.
"Weíve had fun bringing to life a full-size
pickup that reminds kids of all ages of the trucks they used to
loved to punish in their sandboxes," says J Mays, vice
president, Design, while introducing the Ford F350 Tonka concept.
Later the day, Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO Bill Ford,
Jr. revealed the Ford GT40 concept.
"GT40 is the ultimate Living Legend,"
explains J Mays, Ford vice president of Design. "Itís a true
supercar with appeal equal to that of the greatest sports cars in
the world, but with the addition of a heritage no one can match.
Essential elements of the original Ė including the stunning low
profile and mid-mounted American V-8 Ė continue in this latest
interpretation of the classic."
The new high-performance concept is inspired by
the vehicle that roared into the hearts of car enthusiasts
everywhere during the 1960s. The new GT40 joins Fordís
"Living Legends" lineup of production and concept cars.
- The Web for Automotive Professionals