Tesla’s Elon Musk hailed as ‘Disruptor of the Year’ in Detroit, but Model 3 misses awards

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Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., speaks during the unveiling of the company's "Powerwall' at an event in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Musk unveiled a suite of batteries to store electricity for homes, businesses and utilities, saying a greener power grid furthers the company's mission to provide pollution-free energy. Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla might not be a participant in the North American International Auto Show on Monday, but Elon Musk’s presence could still be felt in the event. During the CNET Roadshow Shift Awards, Musk was named as “Disruptor of the Year,” beating out the CEOs of other companies such as McLaren Automotive and Bird, an electric scooter-share startup.

Chris Paukert, the executive editor of the auto publication, noted that the Disruptor of the Year award is based on the person who caused the most ripples in the auto industry during the past year. In this sense, there is very little doubt that Musk was the definite choice, considering his well-publicized challenges and successes with the Model 3 ramp, as well as his daring, out-of-the-box strategies that ultimately brought Tesla into the green in Q3.

“This award is all about pushing the industry forward and leaving a lasting impact on the future of the automotive industry. Elon Musk fits that bill to a T. After smoothing out its production process, Tesla once again proved profitable. The Model 3 quickly launched itself to prominence in an already busy segment, and buyers themselves could feel the effects of those launches thanks to its wild Performance variant. Hell, he even made tunnels interesting,” CNET‘s Tim Stevens wrote.

While the auto publication granted Elon Musk an award, though, Tesla’s latest and most disruptive vehicle to date — the Model 3 — was strangely absent from the auto publication’s rankings. CNET Roadshow, for one, awarded the Genesis G70, a car that has received acclaim from critics and consumers alike, as Vehicle of the Year. Finalists for the award were the Jaguar I-Pace and Volvo S60/V60. The award for Cabin Tech of the Year was also granted to Audi’s MMI touch response system, with the finalists being Mercedes-Benz’ MBUX infotainment system and Ram’s Uconnect 12 technology.