2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year Winners Announced
DETROIT Auto Show January 11, 2009 :A jury of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada has selected the Hyundai Genesis as the 2009 North American Car of the Year and the Ford F-150 as the 2009 North American Truck of the Year.
The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles in their segments.
The awards are based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. Because the vehicles are new, reliability is not a factor.
The awards are unique in the United States because they are given by automotive journalists who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites instead of a single publication. Also, unlike some other awards, the awards are financed entirely by the jurors.
The winners were announced today at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, however, the show does not give the awards and the voting does not take place there.
In December the top three cars and trucks were announced. The car finalists were the Ford Flex, Hyundai Genesis and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The truck finalists were the Dodge Ram, the Ford F-150 and the Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC.
The Genesis received 189 points, the Flex received 180 and the Jetta TDI received 131.
The F-150 received 259 points, the Ram received 167 points and the Mercedes received 74 points.
The awards were first given in 1994. Today was the first time a Korean automaker has won.
Today was the fifth time Ford has won the North American Truck of the Year and the third win for the F-150. The other winners were the Expedition and Escape Hybrid.
To be eligible, vehicles must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model. This year the jury considered more than fifty 2009 vehicles and settled on 14 cars and 11 trucks that deserved to be on the ballot.
Michelle Collins, Vice Chairman Automotive at Deloitte & Touche, was responsible for counting the ballots, which jurors sent directly to the accounting firm. Until the news conference Ms. Collins was the only person who knew the winners.
Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Malibu and the North American Truck of the Year was the Mazda CX-9.
Excluding today: Hybrids have been honored twice. Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year eight times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won four times. A Korean automaker has never won. Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year nine times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won twice. A Korean automaker has never won. Here are the vehicles on which the jurors voted: 2009 North American Car of the Year nominees Audi A4 BMW 1 Series Cadillac CTS-V Dodge Challenger Ford Flex Honda Fit Hyundai Genesis Jaguar XF Lincoln MKS Mazda 6 Nissan GT-R Pontiac G8 Toyota Venza Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2009 North American Truck of the Year nominees BMW X6 Chevrolet Traverse Dodge Ram Ford F-150 Honda Pilot Infiniti FX35/50 Kia Borrego Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC Nissan Murano Subaru Forester Volkswagen Tiguan