Based on the Detroit Auto Show, the automobile industry may be undergoing a huge transformation. There are dozens of hybrid vehicles and countless pure battery-powered cars. The market for energy alternative cars remains weak, but if strict emissions standards are imposed, demands could soar.

Ford Motor Company had a very strong showing, winning North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year Awards. The car award went to the Ford Fusion Hybrid and in the truck category, Ford’s Transit Connect van. This is the sixth win in the truck category for Ford, the most of any automaker.

The awards recognize the vehicles that are “benchmarks” in their category based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. Vehicles must be new or “substantially changed” to be considered.

Some other memorable displays are: General Motors with their new Chevy Volt, Mercedes B Class pure hydrogen fuel cell car, Audis A8 which won the eyes on design and Chrysler’s Gem which has sold more than 40,000 since 1999 and reportedly owns about 70 percent of the electric vehicle market.

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