The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Chrysler PT Cruiser Named North American Car of the Year

    DETROIT, Jan. 8 In a year of indecision, the ballots have
been counted and the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser emerged as the clear winner for
North American Car of the Year.
    Whether electors' priorities leaned toward style, comfort, safety,
functionality, innovation or affordability, the PT Cruiser proved to be the
compelling candidate for a solid majority of automotive journalists.  Fifty
top automotive journalists reviewed more than 20 new vehicles prior to the
vote.  Ballot choices ranged from economy models to luxury sedans, minivans
and hybrids.
    "The Chrysler PT Cruiser is the latest example of innovation from the
company that has consistently invented new vehicle segments," said Dieter
Zetsche, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chrysler Group.  "That's
a tradition we fully intend to preserve.
    "The PT Cruiser demonstrates that you can have head-turning style,
practicality and value all in one package," Zetsche added.
    North American Car of the Year electors represent a variety of newspaper,
radio, TV, magazine and Internet news outlets from across the United States
and Canada.  The journalists were charged with picking a vehicle that has set
new standards or benchmarks in its class while considering aspects such as
general design, safety, fuel economy, handling, general roadworthiness,
performance, functionality, technical innovation, driver satisfaction and
price.
    "Chrysler PT Cruiser shows that inexpensive doesn't have to be boring,"
said Alex Law, freelance journalist and President of the North American Car of
the Year organizing committee.  "The awards recognize cars that change the
dynamic ... and it's no surprise PT Cruiser won.  It's well earned."