The Lansing-built Cadillac ATS went against two other cars -- the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. According to its engineer, competition was fierce but they were in it to win.
"If you can't win, don't play and we went at that very seriously and we didn't compromise anything and we kept that vision and made it happen," said Cadillac Chief Engineer David Leone.
His vision was to go against the best in the segment, creating a car that's nimble, quick and fun to drive.
"The car handles like it's on rails and it does that because it's so efficient. There's no part in the vehicle that's heavier than it has to be," said Leone.
Taking home the title on Monday was especially meaningful for UAW members who are part of the building process from start to finish.
"We got generations of people that are building cars there and they do it right and that's why they bring us product," said President of UAW Local 652 Mike Green.
Plant management hopes winning the segment will boost sales of the ATS and the union saying it's a sign that the American auto industry has made a come back.