The North American International Auto Show kicks off next week, and some of the highly-anticipated reveals will include the winners of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. While Car and Truck of the Year awards have been given out for more than 20 years, Utility Vehicle of the Year is a new award added this year due to the increased demand for SUVs.
Macomb County has had a direct connection to several of the past award winners. In 2014, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray designed at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren won Car of the Year. In 2013, the Cadillac ATS also designed at the Tech Center won, and that same year, the Ram 1500 built at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Warren Truck Assembly Plant won Truck of the Year. This year, the Ford F-Series Super Duty is the contender with Macomb County ties.
The 2017 Super Duty features a new fully-boxed frame made from over 95 percent high-strength steel, conventional and gooseneck towing, and seven cameras for enhanced visibility. This full-size pickup truck incorporates military-grade aluminum alloy, resulting in a vehicle that is 350 pounds lighter. According to Ford’s website, “no other gas-powered full-size pickup delivers as much torque for jobs calling for rugged pulling power.”
And the engine that is capable of such impressive torque is made right here in Macomb County at the Ford Romeo Engine Plant. Romeo Engine opened in 1973 and is one of several Ford facilities located throughout Macomb County. The plant is more than 2 million square feet and employs 527 people.
The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards honor innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. The winners are determined by a group 60 professional automotive journalists who serve as judges. The process of selecting finalists began last June and included three rounds of voting. Winners will be announced Monday, Jan. 9.
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.