North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Raise the Bar for Quality and Value

Last week the six finalists for this year’s North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year were announced.  The Honda accord and Cadillac ATS will compete for the Car of the Year honor, while Chrysler’s Ram 1500 pickup and Mazda’s CX-5 made the cut for Truck of the Year consideration. Ford’s new Fusion sedan and C-Max “people mover” will also move on to compete for awards; the C-Max will compete for the Truck of the Year title.

If the Fusion and C-Max both prevail, it will mark only the third time in the awards’ 20-year history that an automaker has scored wins in both categories.  Ford walked away with both honors in 2010 for its Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect.  The Toyota Civic and Ridgeline pickup swept the field in 2006.

Speaking at the Detroit Automotive Press Association luncheon on Wednesday, NACTOY organizing committee member Lindsay Brooke described this year’s field of finalists as “knock-outs” and added, “Many jurors have said it’s the toughest year.”

In a December 12 article about this year’s finalists, Forbes staff writer and NACTOY juror Joann Muller wrote, “In a year full of exceptional new products from both domestic and foreign automakers, these six somehow managed to set new benchmarks in their respective segments for handling, performance, safety, technology, fuel economy and yes, value for the dollar.”

The announcement that Ford’s 2013 Fusion sedan had made the list of NACOTY finalists came just one day after it was named the Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal.

The NACTOY awards are among the most highly coveted in the auto industry.  Unlike awards given by single media outlets, winners of the NACTOY competition are selected by a diverse 49-member jury of American and Canadian automotive journalists and bloggers from print, broadcast and digital media.

Ford holds the distinction of winning more NACTOY awards than any other automaker; taking home eight awards.  General Motors Company has taken seven awards, and 14 different automakers have received at least one award.

This year’s six NACTOY finalists were selected from 46 vehicles, comprised of 31 passenger cars and 15 light trucks.

The winners will be announced as part of the North American International Auto Show’s opening ceremonies on January 14, in Detroit.

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