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Detroit Auto Show: Chevrolet Volt wins Car of the Year award

January 10, 2011 |  7:12 am

The Chevrolet Volt was named the 2011 North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

The Volt, a type of hybrid that runs on electricity for 40 miles and then uses a four-cylinder gasoline engine as an electric generator to extend the range by an additional 300 miles for long trips, beat out the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Sonata. Volt

Ford's redesigned Explorer crossover vehicle was named Truck of the Year.

Both awards are presented by a jury of 49 automotive journalists and compiled by Deloitte, the national accounting firm.

"It's a great honor to be recognized as the North American Car of the Year," said Dan Akerson, chief executive of Chevrolet owner General Motors Co.. "Since development began, we believed the Volt had the potential to transform the automotive industry."

This was the fourth time GM has won the Car of the Year award.

Previously, the Volt was named Motor Trend's 2011 Car of the Year and Green Car Journal's 2011 Green Car of the Year.

The Explorer win was the seventh time Ford Motor Co. has won the Truck of the Year award. Last year, its Transit Connect commercial van won the award. The Explorer edged out the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, the other truck finalists in the competition.

Other auto Show news:

VW looks to new Passat to lead sales charge

Detroit Auto Show: Ford announced first plug-in hybrid vehicle

-- Jerry Hirsch in Detroit 

Photo: General Motors Vice Chairman Tom Stephens holds up the North American Car of the Year award in front of a Chevrolet Volt. Credit: Associated Press