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Beetle and Jeep Grand Cherokee Win Car and Truck of the Year Awards

4 January 1999

Volkswagen Beetle and Jeep Grand Cherokee Win North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards
    DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- The Volkswagen Beetle and the Jeep Grand
Cherokee were named winners of the prestigious North American Car and Truck of
the Year Awards, respectively, by the organizing committee Monday at the 1999
North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The Beetle finished with 292 points over two other finalists, the Honda
Odyssey and the Chrysler 300M, which scored respective tallies of 142 and 124
points.  Journalist jurors cited the Beetle's daring styling, unique
personality, outstanding safety ratings and value as reasons for selecting the
Beetle as the 1999 North American Car of the Year.
    The Grand Cherokee received 300 points compared to the Chevrolet Silverado
with 285 points and the GMC Sierra with 151 points.  Jurors were taken with
the fact that the Grand Cherokee had been completely overhauled and refined
but retained its rugged Jeep look and capabilities.
    "Unlike car of the year awards in Europe and Japan which honor locally
produced vehicles, these awards include both domestic and imported vehicles on
sale in the North American market, arguably the most competitive in the
world," said Chris Jensen, a member of the North American awards' organizing
committee.  "As a result, the winners can say they have the best new car or
truck anywhere."
    The North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards are given by an
independent jury of 48 journalists who cover the auto industry for daily
newspapers, magazines, television, radio and on the Internet.  The jury and
its awards are not affiliated with any show, organization or manufacturer and
the winner is kept secret until the announcement ceremony.  The North American
Car and Truck of the Year Awards have been given out annually since 1994.