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

Finalists Announced for the 12th Annual Urban Wheel Awards


An Evening of Fashion, Stars and Cars

DETROIT, Dec. 24 -- An independent panel of automotive journalists have cast their votes for the finalists of the 2008 Urban Wheel Awards, which will be held on January 15, 2008 at the Fox Theater in Detroit, in conjunction with Press Preview Week of the North American International Auto Show.

Co-hosts Actress Rosie Perez, and Kevin Frazier, of Entertainment Tonight will lead a cast of celebrity presenters, who will present awards to the automotive manufacturers, executives, suppliers, dealers, advertising agencies and motorsports organizations who have contributed to diversity in the industry.

"The Urban Wheel Awards brings together top leaders in the auto industry with the multicultural community which represents their true customer base," said Randi Payton, President and CEO of On Wheels, Inc. and founder of the awards. "Inclusion of all its customers is critical to building bridges to the multicultural community and to recognizing the contributions of minorities in the industry."

Urban Wheel Awards are presented in categories including, Company of the Year, African-American, Asian and Latino automotive executives of the year, as well as minority Supplier of the Year. Commitment to diversity is also recognized in the racing arena, with the Diversity in Motorsports award. New to the program this year is the Urban Dealer of the Year award.

In addition to people and organizations, Urban Wheel Awards are also presented for the best new car and truck designed to suit the needs of urban drivers. Finalists are named based on the tally of votes by the panel of judges, once they've reviewed all of the nominations. The judges include more than 15 automotive journalists from multicultural, automotive trade, and general market media.

The winner of the Best Automotive Diversity advertisement for 2007 will also be announced. The Diversity Automotive Advertisement of the Year award is given to an advertising agency that produces the most popular print and television ads geared to African-American, Latino and Asian markets. The general public decides the winner. Consumers are encouraged to log on to the Urban Wheel Awards website at and fifteen other websites to select their favorite ads.

  The 12th Annual Urban Wheel Awards finalists are:

  African American Executive of the Year

  Bennie Fowler
  VP, Quality
  Ford Motor Company

  Marshilia Snoddy
  Zone Manager for Process Improvement, Southwest Zone
  American Honda Motor Company

  Ed Welburn
  VP, Global Design
  General Motors Corporation

  Asian Executive of the Year

  Takeshi Abe
  Henry Ford Technical Fellow
  Ford Motor Company

  Ray G, Young
  Group VP, GM Global Finance
  General Motors Corporation

  Latino Executive of the Year

  Dave Mondragon
  General Manager, Ford Motor Company Southwest Region
  Ford Motor Company

  Victor Nacif
  VP Design, Business Aspects
  Nissan Design America

  Supplier of the Year

  Detroit Chassis
  Ewie Co. Inc.

  Company of the Year

  Ford Motor Company
  General Motors

  Car of the Year

  Chevrolet Malibu
  Honda Accord
  Mercedes-Benz C Class

  Truck of the Year

  Buick Enclave
  Chrysler Town & Country
  Infiniti EX 35

  Diversity in Motor Sports Finalists

  National Hot Rod Association
  STAR Motorsports
  Urban Youth Racing School

  Urban Dealer of the Year

  Bill Perkins Automotive Group
  Mike Pruitt Honda
  Southaven Pontiac/Buick/GMC

For more information about the 12th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, to obtain tickets, or to sponsor the event, visit or call (313) 963-2209.