DEARBORN – Ward’s editorial staff wins seven International Wheel Awards at a Detroit Press Club Foundation presentation held at the Automotive Hall of Fame April 26.

The awards honor the best in automotive journalism.

WardsAuto.com earned six awards, including one first place, while Ward’s AutoWorld magazine garnered one.

In the Internet News Story or Related Series category, Eric Mayne won first place for “Absenteeism: Auto Industry’s Dirty Little Secret,” which exposed the U.S. Big Three auto maker’s continuing struggle to get hourly employees to show up for work.

In the piece, Mayne talks to management and labor insiders, as well as analysts, to expose the truth about high absenteeism and how a few bad apples remain bent on taking advantage of the system.

The judges said it was “an important and interesting story that could have won in any written category.”

Mayne also took third place in the same category for “Chrysler Vehicle Stocks Higher Than Reported,” which for the first time revealed the auto maker’s bloated inventory crisis, resulting in the company changing the way it reports unsold vehicle totals.

Alisa Priddle placed second in the Internet or Column category for her commentary, “Chung Arguments Don’t Add Up,” that called into question Hyundai Motor Group’s chairman conducting business in Korea from jail.

Barbara McClellan took third place in the same category for “Ford Exec Complains Media Needs New Attitude,” in which she takes the president of Ford’s North American operations to task for blaming his problems on the press.

Placing second in the Internet–Product Review category was Mike Sutton for “Audi S8 Flies Below the Radar.”

Mayne won third place in the same category for “Chrysler Sebring: Another Scrappy New Domestic Midsize Sedan.”

Bill Visnic’s Ward’s AutoWorld review of the new high-performance BMW M6 in “M is for Muscle” garnered third place in the General Interest Magazine-Product Review category.