DETROIT – General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt was named North American Car of the Year as the largest U.S. auto show began in Detroit.

GM’s electric-gasoline Volt beat Nissan Motor’s all-electric Leaf and Hyundai Motor’s Sonata sedan, the Automotive Press Association announced today at the North American International Auto Show. Ford Motor’s Explorer sport utility vehicle was awarded truck of the year.

The wins by a plug-in car in GM’s Volt and an SUV touted for its efficiency in the Ford Explorer reflect the auto industry’s investment in the notion that fuel economy will increasingly affect consumers’ purchase decisions.