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.

“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.

Also on the list: the 2014 Chevy Silverado.

The truck contenders – all 2014 models — include:

  • The redesigned Acura MDX crossover;
  • The all-new Jeep Cherokee; and
  • The newly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

Finalists on the car side are:

  • The new Cadillac CTS sedan;
  • The seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette sports Car; and
  • The redesigned Mazda3 offered in sedan and hatchback form.

A total of 28 car and 18 truck/utility models were initially considered by the NACTOY jury which whittled the list down to 12 car and another dozen truck/utility models on the so-called “short list.” Significantly, while there were a total of 11 different manufacturers represented on the short list, GM had all five of its new models eligible for inclusion carried over onto the short list, three now making it into the finalist category.

(Click Here to see the models that made the NACTOY short list.)

Mazda is offering the Mazda3 in both hatchback and sedan body styles.

The winners of the 20th NACTOY awards will be announced on January 13th during the opening session of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

If it wins in both categories, GM would be one of only a handful of makers to do so since the NACTOY program was launched two decades ago.

A victory by the CTS would follow the 2013 win by Cadillac’s smaller ATS model.  Another pickup, Chrysler’s Ram 1500, won the truck award last year.

(Ram 1500 Diesel wins 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. Click Herefor the story.)

Over the years, Detroit’s manufacturers have taken 11 Car of the Year awards, with Japanese makers winning three, Europeans two and the Koreans twice.

On the truck side, domestics have won 13 times, as of today, Japanese makers four times and Europeans have captured three awards.

( Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein is a member of the NACTOY jury.)

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