Barra—who's going to be succeeding Dan Akerson later this week—will be the first woman to become chief executive officer at GM. She comes to the top job after a successful run as GM's global head of product development.
On her watch there, she famously told GM engineers there are no excuses, bluntly saying: "No more crappy cars."
With the Silverado win, GM swept the top auto show awards, as the Corvette Stingray captured the North American Car of the Year prize.
"I'm honored and humbled to be able to lead the team," Barra said. "I'm very excited. We're very aligned. We know what we want to do. It's about great cars and trucks and building strong brands."
She also stressed the importance of technology. "Every single vehicle that we put into the marketplace, we're looking to make sure it's as fuel-efficient as possible."
Vehicles that run on electricity and other fuel sources are a major focus at GM. Citing the Cadillac ELR as well as Chevy's Volt and Spark EV, Barra said: "Electrification will continue to growth as we go forward," acknowledging It's a "very important" segment of the auto market globally.
As for what she's been driving lately, Barra revealed, "I'm really enjoying the Cadillac CTS. It's a great vehicle. I've also been driving the Cadillac Escalade with some of the weather that we've had recently because it handles extremely well."
But don't think she's playing favorites and only driving Caddies. Barra said she spends time in all the cars and trucks that GM makes.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter