Today the winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year were announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. While the awards are announced at the North American International Auto Show, the show does not give the awards. The North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards are in their tenth year and are the only independent, international awards in North America.
The jurors considered 17 cars and 13 trucks. The three car finalists were the Toyota Prius, Mazda RX-8 and Cadillac XLR. The three truck finalists were the Nissan Titan, the Ford F-150 and the Cadillac SRX.
Jurors voted early in December, sending their ballots to Richard Gabrys, the vice chairman of the accounting firm of Deloitte. Gabrys counted the ballots but kept the winners secret until the news conference, when the sealed envelopes containing the names of the winners were opened by Tony Swan, the executive editor of Car and Driver magazine and a juror.
Instead of coming from a single publication, the jurors are selected from the broad range of veteran automotive journalists representing newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Most of these journalists have been covering the auto industry for at least two decades.
This group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada selected the Toyota Prius as the North American Car of the Year and the Ford F-150 as the North American Truck of the Year.
The Toyota Prius received 298 points, compared to 167 for the RX-8 and 113 for the XLR.
The Ford F-150 received 317 points, compared to 249 for the Titan and 198 for the SRX.
The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on several factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible for entry into the awards pools vehicles must be new or “substantially changed” from the previous model year.
The Toyota Prius, the automaker’s revolutionary hybrid vehicle has already had a successful year after being the first hybrid to be named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year as well as Popular Science’s coveted Best of What’s New Grand Award and Automobile Magazine’s Design of the Year.
The Ford F-150 has also had a remarkable beginning to the current model year. Ford spent millions to revamp their already successful series of heavy duty trucks and came out with a true winner for . The F-150 topped all other trucks to be named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year.