Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Transit Win the 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year Award - COMPLETE VIDEO


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-- Ford swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), winning both prestigious awards for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the 2010 Ford Transit Connect, respectively.

-- It is the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both awards

-- The Ford Fusion Hybrid is America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway

-- The Transit Connect is an industry-exclusive vehicle developed to be a smart new choice for small business owners; it offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans, generous and accessible cargo space, and the agility and maneuverability to operate in crowded urban areas


DETROIT - January 11, 2010: Ford Motor Company scored a historic doubleheader today, capturing both the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2010 Ford Transit Connect, respectively, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). It is only the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both titles.

"Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas.


Click PLAY to watch the awards press conference

The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards recognize vehicles based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. A jury of 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada vote for the vehicles, which must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model to qualify for the award.

The Fusion Hybrid edged out finalists including the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf/GTI to win the North American Car of the Year award. It is the fourth hybrid vehicle in 17 years to win recognition as North American Car (or Truck) of the Year. It also is the second hybrid win for Ford - the most hybrid wins for any automaker. The Ford Escape Hybrid was named North American Truck of the Year in 2005.

The Transit Connect bested finalists including the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback to win the North American Truck of the Year award. It is the sixth Ford truck to win the award - the most wins of any automaker in the 17-year history of the awards program. It also is the second year in a row that Ford has captured the title. Last year, top honors went to the 2009 Ford F-150.

Fusion Hybrid a winner out of the gate

The North American Car of the Year award is the latest in an impressive string of awards and accolades for the Fusion Hybrid. Most recently, the vehicle was honored as CAR and DRIVER Magazine's "10Best" Cars for 2010, one of AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2010 All-Stars, and the entire Fusion lineup captured the acclaimed MOTOR TREND Car of the Year® award.

The all-new Fusion Hybrid arrived in dealers in March, complete with a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. The Fusion Hybrid also offers drivers a way to be more connected to the hybrid driving experience thanks to Ford's SmartGauge(TM) with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster execution that helps coach them on how to optimize the performance of their hybrid.

Other class-exclusive technologies and features that set the Fusion Hybrid apart from the competition include Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), Ford SYNC®, SIRIUS Travel Link(TM) and more total passenger and luggage capacity than the Toyota Camry.

Despite the slump in overall industry sales, 2009 was a record-breaking year for the Ford Fusion. Sales are at an all-time high, with the Fusion Hybrid accounting for almost 20 percent of total Fusion retail sales. Perhaps even more significant, more than 60 percent of Fusion Hybrid sales have been to customers coming from import brands - mostly Toyota and Honda.

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is built at Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant.

Transit Connect fills unmet needs of small businesses and fleets
The Transit Connect was brought to the U.S. to fulfill the unmet needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs, offering them a new vehicle choice with significantly improved fuel economy, generous and accessible cargo space, and the agility and maneuverability to operate in crowded urban areas.

Powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, the Transit Connect offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans, delivering an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

The Transit Connect also has more than double the cargo-carrying capacity of the Chevrolet HHR Panel, making it suitable for a broader range of commercial-use applications. And it offers commercial users a cargo payload of up to 1,600 pounds - a larger payload than the full-size Dodge Ram 1500 standard-cab short-box pickup truck.

The Transit Connect also is available with the industry-exclusive Ford Work Solutions(TM), a suite of affordable technologies that provides customers with connectivity, flexibility, visibility and security to better run key aspects of their business.

On Transit Connect, Ford Work Solutions delivers three innovative features:

-- A wireless in-dash computer that provides full high-speed Internet access, Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calling and navigation. The system also allows customers to print invoices, check inventories and access documents stored on their home or office computer networks right on the job site.

-- Tool Link(TM), a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system that enables customers to maintain detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment.

-- Crew Chief(TM), a fleet tracking, telematics and diagnostics system that provides dynamic location and performance data fleet owners need to more efficiently manage their vehicles, quickly dispatch workers to job sites, monitor driver performance for safety and economy, and keep detailed vehicle maintenance records.


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