GM and Ford Named as Finalists in North American Car and Truck of the Year Competitions

The Automotive Press Association on Wednesday announced the finalists for its annual North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards. Of the three finalists announced for the Car of the Year competition, two were domestic models. U.S. automakers were also named as two of the three finalists for the association’s Truck of the Year award.

Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company were honored as finalists in both the passenger vehicle and truck competitions.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid and Buick Lacrosse will now move on to the final round of judging for the Car of the Year honor along with the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

In the annual truck competition, Ford’s new Transit Connect and Chevy’s Equinox will compete against the Subaru Outback for top honors.

Finalists in both categories were selected by 49 veteran automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. The competition is distinct in that the voting jurors come from multiple media outlets including newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online sources.

The 16 cars and 10 trucks selected as finalists were chosen from a field of more than 50 vehicles. Only all-new and significantly changed models were eligible to compete. Finalist will face one more round of voting before the winners are announced at the North American International Auto Show to be held in Detroit in January.

Last year, Ford’s F-150 pickup took home the title of North American Truck of the Year and South Korean automaker, Hyundai Motor Company created a stir when its Genesis was honored as the Car of the Year.

From the original field of over 50 vehicles, the field was narrowed down to 16 cars and 10 trucks that were included on juror’s ballots for consideration as finalists.

In addition to the three finalists in the car category, journalists cast their votes for the Ford Fusion, Ford Taurus, Honda Insight, BMW 335d, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Kia Soul, Mercedes-Benz E Class, Mazda3, Porsche Panamera, Suzuki Kizashi, Subaru Legacy and Toyota Prius.

Competing against the Ford Transit, Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback for Truck of the Year were the Acura ZDX, Honda Accord Crosstour, Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX, Land Rover LR4, Volvo XC60 and Lincoln MKT.

Winners of the 2009 Car of the Year and Truck of the Year awards were the Hyundai Genesis and Ford F-150.

U.S. automakers have won the Car of the Year award eight times in the award’s 17-year history. European automakers have taken home four awards followed by Japanese automakers, which have been honored three times. Last year marked the only time a Korean automaker has won.

In past competitions, Detroit has taken home 10 Truck of the Year awards. Japanese automakers have taken the top award a total of four times, and European companies have taken the top honor twice.

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