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GM, Hyundai/Kia Take Lead as NACTOY Narrows List of Year’s Best

Annual awards add third category for utility vehicles.

by on Sep.27, 2016

The new Genesis G90 is one of four semifinalists from Hyundai and Korean sibling Kia.

It’s been a busy year for the auto industry, with scores of new cars, trucks and utility vehicles making their debut. And that’s kept the 60 jurors from the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year equally busy.

Of the 44 eligible 2017 models, they’ve taken a first cut, narrowing the field down to 29 semifinalists that, for the first time, fall into three separate categories. For the coming model-year, the NACTOY jurors will be selecting winners in three separate categories: Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle.

Award Winner!

The initial cut includes a wide variety of Asian, American and European brands, but two manufacturers stand out, General Motors leading the list with a total of seven nominees, the Hyundai/Kia Motor Group close behind with four separate semifinalists.


NACTOY Jurors Get First Run at Year’s Best New Cars, Trucks and SUVs

New SUV category added for 2017.

by on Jul.06, 2016

The new Rolls-Royce Dawn convertible is one of the most expensive models to ever qualify for the NACTOY ballot.

American motorists have been delivered a bumper crop of new products this year, and that will make for a challenging assignment for the 60 automotive journalists who make up the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year jury.

The group of Canadian and American auto writers will have to sort out the very best from a first group of 43 eligible new vehicles covering virtually every possible section of the market. This year’s group includes entry-level offerings, like the Mitsubishi Mirage, all the way up to some of the market’s most expensive and exclusive models, including the Rolls-Royce Dawn.

Award Season Begins!

For only the second time since the NACTOY awards were first launched in 1994, a new category is being added, the winner of the first-time utility-vehicle award set to be announced, along with the top car and truck choices, at the Detroit Auto Show on January 9, 2017.


NACTOY Adds Third Award

Numerous changes with premier annual car/truck awards.

by on Jun.21, 2016

The Range Rover Evoque won the Truck of the Year Award in 2012; however, SUVs will now have their own honor at the Detroit Auto Show.

After more than 20 years, the North American Car and Truck awards will be going through some big changes this year, including the addition of a third award to be presented during the opening ceremony of the Detroit Auto Show next January.

The addition of an award for the best SUV reflects one of the biggest changes to sweep through the U.S. auto industry in decades. Light trucks, in general, now account for about 60% of the American new vehicle market, utility vehicles accounting for the lion’s share of that growth.

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“SUVs’ booming popularity is changing the auto industry,” said Mark Phelan, NACTOY president. “Customers use SUVs for everything from work to family transportation to off-road recreation. The NACTOY jury recognizes that with the new award.” (more…)

North American Car, Truck of Year Finalists Announced

Big Three only gets one nominee this year.

by on Dec.08, 2015

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD will come in five grades, including this Pro 4X version. It's also a finalist for North American Truck of the Year.

Three cars and three trucks have been named finalists in the North American Car and Truck of the Year competition, which will culminate in an announcement of the winners in both categories at the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The finalists for the car of the year are the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Honda Civic, while the list of truck and utility vehicles nominees include the Volvo XC90, Nissan Titan XD and Honda Pilot.

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Lindsay Brooke, one of the 53 NACTOY jurors who presented the nominees during a luncheon hosted by the Detroit’s Automotive Press Association, said the challenge for this year’s jurors was the large number of new vehicles that debuted during 2016. Forty-nine new vehicles made their debut during the year. (more…)

Ford Grabs Three Slots for North American Car/Truck of the Year Finalists

VW, Chevrolet and Hyundai also up for honors.

by on Dec.09, 2014

The 2015 Ford F-150 is looking for a little redemption by taking top honors in the truck of the year voting.

Ford Motor Co. could be the company to beat in an otherwise hotly competitive automotive race. The Detroit maker landed three of the six eagerly coveted spots as the finalists for 2015 North American Car and Truck/Utility were announced today.

But Ford will face some tough competition from Chevrolet, Hyundai and Volkswagen, the other brands to be named finalists.

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The finalists were chosen by a panel of 57 jurors, all automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. The same group will now select the winners, with the trophies set to be handed out next month at the North American International Auto Show. (more…)

Mazda2 Wins Japan Car of the Year Honors

Second Mazda victory in three years.

by on Oct.13, 2014

The Mazda2 gets a nod from Japanese jurors.

The annual awards season is getting off to a big start for Mazda, its little Mazda2 model winning honors as the 2014-2015 Japan Car of the Year.

It was the Japanese maker’s second win in the JCoTY competition in three years – and follows the first-ever victory by a foreign maker, Volkswagen winning last year with the latest-generation Golf line.

A Real Winner!

“We are both honored and grateful that the Mazda Demio has received such a prestigious award,” said Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai, referring to the car by its name on the Japanese market. “We will continue our quest to build cars that add a certain sparkle to the lives of their owners, and aim to become the one-and-only brand chosen by customers again and again.”


NACTOY Jurors Make First Cut for Car, Truck of the Year

U.S., Japanese makers land equal numbers on “short list.”

by on Sep.23, 2014

Ford hopes to smoke the competition with the 2015, 50th anniversary remake of the Mustang.

With most of the new 2015 models now in showrooms, and the stragglers soon set to follow, the nearly 60 journalists on the North American Car and Truck jury are beginning to weigh all the options in the hunt for the top products of the year.

Members of the group – which includes this author – were asked to weigh in on dozens of new offerings, from the little Honda Fit to the full-size Ford F-150 in the first of a three-part voting process that will wrap up in time for the annual Detroit Auto Show next January.

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The jurors have culled the original list down to a much more manageable 10 cars and a dozen trucks and utility vehicles. That includes two U.S, three European, three Japanese and two Korean passenger car models. Domestics dominate the truck list, however, with five separate entries, including the Ford F-150 and GM’s new midsize pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Japanese have four, with European makers landing three models on the truck/utility list.


General Motors Pulls off a Clean Sweep with North American Car, Truck of the Year

Jurors pick Chevrolet Corvette and Chevrolet Silverado

by on Jan.13, 2014

GM pulled off a sweep of the North American Car & Truck of the Year awards with the Corvette Stingray and Chevy Silverado taking the honors.

A year from the day after unveiling its all-new two-seat sports car – and nearly five years after plunging into bankruptcy – General Motors landed a clean sweep of the influential North American Car and Truck of the Year, company officials declaring that the two awards not only justified the bailout of the giant automaker but made it clear to the world that GM is back in the game.

Going into the opening ceremony at this year’s North American International Auto Show it was far from certain who would take the car and truck honors in what was seen by many members of the jury as perhaps the most competitive group of finalists in the 21 years of balloting for North American Car and Truck of the Year.

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But GM scored big with the new Corvette which was coincidentally announced at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13, 2013, while it also landed a win for its new Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup. (more…)

GM Lands 3 of 6 Finalists for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Mazda, Jeep, Acura also up for honors.

by on Dec.10, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is one of three GM models among the NACTOY finalists.

Capping a strong week that included the naming of its first-ever female CEO, General Motors landed three of the six spots in the final round of judging for the coveted North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

But it has some stiff competition as the NACTOY jury – made up of 48 U.S. and Canadian journalists – prepares for the final round of balloting before the two awards are handed out next month.  Other brands among the contenders are Acura, Jeep and Mazda.

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“Our goal is to select cars and trucks that set new benchmarks in their segment,” explained Joanne Muller, a long-time automotive journalist and NACTOY jury member during a meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association, where the finalists were announced.


Jurors Pick “Short List” for North American Car, Truck of the Year

All six new GM offerings make list – more than any other maker.

by on Oct.07, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is one of six GM models to make the NACTOY "short list."

Whatever the polls may say, you have to wait for election day to be sure who’s going to win the big prize. And that goes for the annual North American Car and Truck of the Year balloting which started out with 45 different models in contention – 29 passenger cars and another 16 vehicles in the truck/utility category.

But the 49 U.S. and Canadian journalists who make up the NACTOY jury have held their equivalent of a primary ballot, cutting the original list down to an even two dozen vehicles – and there are a number of surprises in the initial results.

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For one thing, there’s not a single Ford Motor Co. model in either category. But cross-town rival General Motors not only dominated the list this year but landed all six of its new 2014 products in the so-called short-list, among the best showings by any maker in the more than two decades since the widely followed North American Car of the Year program debuted.