Volvo lacks venue to accept award

Neal Rubin

It’s as though the prom queen skipped the dance and stayed home to wash her hair.

Its XC60 won a major award Monday at the North American International Auto Show, but there was nowhere in the exhibit hall for Volvo to modestly accept congratulations. Volvo doesn’t have a display this year.

If you happen to venture all the way to the south end of the Cobo Center concourse, nearly to the atrium, you can see the 2018 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year winner for best SUV.

Outside a little-used exit, the Metro Detroit Volvo Dealers have sponsored a forlorn square of royal blue carpet with four vehicles on it — the XC60, a larger XC90, a V90 wagon and an S90 sedan.

All are white. All are locked. There were bits of candy wrappers on the floor Monday, but there were no eager product specialists, no free keychains, no visitors, no buzz.

“I don’t know what the thinking is behind it,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, editor of He was referring to the absence, not the honor. “They’re doing well. They’re making great products.”

At minimum, he said, it seems like a missed opportunity. But at least the company’s hair is squeaky clean.