Beetle and Jeep Grand Cherokee Win Car and Truck of the Year Awards
4 January 1999Volkswagen 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.