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2010 North American Car Of The Year Nominees

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By Steve Purdy
Detroit Bureau

Good news for GM and Ford came out of a press conference at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit yesterday as four of the six finalist were from the Detroit manufacturers. An exceptionally large group of journalists and PR folks gathered in the colorful, beautifully restored ballroom at the historic Detroit Athletic Club downtown for the announcement of the North American Car and Truck of the Year short list.

NACTOY, as the award program has come to be known, in its 17th year, is distinguished from other award programs by the fact that it is not managed by a specific publication or media outlet, rather the jury is composed of journalists – about 50 in all. Jurors are carefully selected and they evaluate all the initial nominees throughout the year, then narrow the field to three cars and three trucks before final voting between now and the Detroit auto show.

Winner of each category will be announced during the January North American International Auto Show in Detroit, though the awards are independent and not a part of the show. Since over 5,000 journalists from around the world attend the NAIAS that just happens to be a good time to name the winners.

Drum roll please . . .

Nominees for Truck of the Year are:
Chevy Equinox, compact crossover (CUV)
Ford Transit Connect, compact utility van based on a European car platform
Subaru Outback, new version of one of the pioneer mid-size crossover vehicles

Nominees for Car of the Year are:
Buick LaCrosse, a spectacular new near luxury sedan
Ford Fusion Hybrid, highest mileage mid-size sedan in America
Volkswagon Golf, GTI and TDIredesigned compact from the storied German firm

It seems to me that there ought to be three categories: trucks, crossovers and cars. These three nominees for Truck of the Year have more in common with cars than with trucks, though certainly the Transit Connect has considerable utility value. Of the 10 truck nominees only one has a full frame.

Last year’s winners were Hyundai Genesis (first ever Korean win) and Ford F-150.

© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved