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New Trophy in Store for NACTOY Winners

Distinctive new award designed by retired GM styling chief Ed Welburn.

by on Dec.06, 2016

Ed Welburn displays the new trophy to be given to the 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year winners.

New year, new category and new trophy.

It’s a big year for the North American Car and Truck of the Year. One of the most highly regarded among a slew of best-of awards handed out each year, NACTOY will not only be adding a third category for 2017 but giving winners an entirely new trophy.

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The statue, depicting an exotic concept vehicle is based on a design developed by recently retired General Motors Global Design Director Ed Welburn. It will be presented as part of the opening ceremonies at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9, 2017. (more…)

GM Tops List of Semi-Finalists for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Maker lands four passenger cars on list – but not a single truck model.

by on Sep.28, 2015

The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is one of four GM passenger cars on the NACTOY Short List.

In what is either the sign of the apocalypse or a corporate transformation, General Motors has landed for of its new models on the “Short List” for North American Car of the Year. But the irony is that for a maker long known for its ho-hum cars and more competitive truck models, there’s nary a single GM CUV, SUV or pickup on the Truck of the Year list.

There are a variety of surprises among the choices for this year’s North American Car and Truck of the Year, with Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai landing three of their offerings making the first cut – the winners set to be announced next January during the opening session of the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

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Known more commonly as NACTOY, the two awards, one for best car, the other for best truck or utility vehicle, are determined by votes from 57 North American automotive journalists representing a wide array of outlets, from enthusiast and insider publications to social media.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tough Battle Ahead as Nearly 50 Models Vie for North American Car, Truck of the Year

Japanese models dominate both lists.

by on Jul.29, 2013

The new Toyota Corolla is one of 24 Japanese and Korean models up for the two NACTOY awards - half the total list.

Nearly 50 new cars, trucks and crossovers will compete for one of the most closely watched awards of the year. Make that two awards as a panel of U.S. and Canadian journalists begin the long process of winnowing out the winners for the North American Car and Truck of the Year.

The two trophies will be handed next January during the opening of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show’s media preview. It will mark the 21st year for the competition which inevitably triggers a slew of press releases and advertisements as manufacturers race to promote the winners.

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A total of 48 vehicles have landed on the NACTOY long list – though the final number could yet be tweaked. Japanese and Korean carmakers dominate the first-round contenders with a total of 24 models. In an unusual turnabout, the Asians have 10 of the truck and crossover nominees compared to just six Detroit models and two Europeans. The Asians also have 12 passenger car models in the running, tying the Europeans and doubling the number of domestic candidates.

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Cadillac ATS, Ram 1500 Named North American Car, Truck of the Year

Detroit makers sweep 20th anniversary NACTOY awards.

by on Jan.14, 2013

General Manager Fred Diaz with the Ram 1500.

Detroit makers dominated as the 2013 Detroit Auto Show opened up with the annual North American International Car and Truck of the Year awards.

Cadillac claimed the coveted Car of the Year trophy with its new 2013 ATS compact luxury sedan, the new Ram 1500 pickup was honored in the truck/utility category.

“I need someone to come up here and pinch me to make sure that has really happened,” declared Fred Diaz, Ram’s general manager, as he climbed the stage to collect the trophy.  The award was all the sweeter, he proclaimed, considering that parent Chrysler was bankrupt and written off for dead, by many, just a few years ago.

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But the same could have been said for General Motors which, like Chrysler, emerged from Chapter 11 in mid-2009 only with the help of a federal bailout that continues to generate controversy.  That, GM officials, have said, is why it’s so important to get third-party endorsements for vehicles like the ATS.

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Jurors Name North American Car, Truck of the Year Finalists

Chrysler, Mazda, Cadillac, Honda make list; Ford lands two.

by on Dec.12, 2012

The C-Max is one of two Ford products up for North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards.

Ford Motor Co. is in the rare position where it could land both the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year. The maker’s new Fusion sedan and C-Max “people mover” were among the six finalists named today by the 49-member NACTOY jury.

Also on the list are the Cadillac ATS luxury sedan and Honda Accord sedan in the car category, and the Ram 1500 and Mazda CX-5 crossover in the Truck/Utility category.  If Ford were to score in both categories, it would be only the third time in the 20 years of the widely-followed award that a single maker won both Car and Truck honors.

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But Ford won’t have a cakewalk, stressed Lindsay Brooke, a member of the NACTOY organizing committee.  “These candidates,” he declared during a Detroit Automotive Press Association luncheon called to announce the finalists, “they’re all knock-outs. Many jurors have said it’s the toughest year.”

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45 Models Up for North American Car/Truck Awards

Tough competition in both categories.

by on Jul.09, 2012

Racing to victory? The 7th-generation Porsche 911 is one of 45 vehicles up for the 2013 NACTOY awards.

A total of 45 different cars, trucks and crossovers will square off in one of the toughest battles outside the showroom: the competition for the annual North American Car and Truck of the Year trophies.

The two awards are presented each year by a jury consisting of 50 U.S. and Canadian auto writers and are generally hailed as the most independent and unbiased in a slew of honors handed out each year to vehicles sold in North America.

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The 2013 NACTOY line-up this year covers the gamut from A to T, from the new Acura ILX entry-luxury sedan to the Toyota RAV4-EV battery-electric vehicle.  There are 30 models that fall into the passenger car category and another 15 in the truck list – a significant increase over the 2012 truck line-up.

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Range Rover Evoque, Hyundai Elantra Win N.A. Car, Truck of the Year

by on Jan.09, 2012

The Hyundai Elantra and Range Rover Evoque have taken top honors in the heated battle for 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year.

The awards, announced at the opening ceremonies of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, are being viewed by many as a sign of the dramatic changes sweeping through both the North American and global auto industry.

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The Elantra – Hyundai’s second product to win the North American Car of the Year honor in recent years – is a far cry from the maker’s traditional econobox, jurors clearly felt.  The Evoque, meanwhile, is the first-ever car-based crossover to come from Britain’s Land Rover, a brand better known for heavy, gas-guzzling truck-based SUVs.

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