Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Caddy ATS named 'Car of Year' finalists
Mazda CX-5, Ram 1500, Ford C-Max are leading trucks
DETROIT -- The Cadillac ATS, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord were named finalists today for North American Car of the Year, while the Ford C-Max, Mazda CX-5, and Ram 1500 were named truck/utility finalists.
The 2013 North American Car and Truck of the Year will be announced Jan. 14 during a press conference before the Detroit auto show press days.
The finalists were named at an Automotive Press Association luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club.
The six finalists were selected by an independent jury of 49 automotive journalists from 11 cars and ten truck and utility vehicles. To be eligible, a vehicle must be redesigned or substantially changed and be introduced during 2012.
Seven automakers had multiple nominees, led by Ford Motor Co. with four: the Ford Fusion, Escape and C-Max and the Lincoln MKZ. Nissan North America had three: the Nissan Altima and Pathfinder and the Infiniti JX35.
The others are General Motors with the Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Motor Sales' Toyota Avalon and Scion FR-S, Chrysler Group's Dodge Dart and Ram 1500 pickup, American Honda with the Honda Accord and Acura RDX and BMW's 3 series and X1.
The other contenders: the Subaru BRZ, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe and Audi Allroad.
In 2012, the Hyundai Elantra was the North American Car of the Year and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque was the North American Truck of the Year.
Since 1994 when the award was created, 14 automakers have captured at least one title. Ford vehicles have the most victories, with eight, followed by various GM brands with seven. The other multiple winners: Chrysler, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Hyundai.
The judging panel includes Edward Lapham, executive editor of Automotive News. To maximize their independence, the jurors pay dues to underwrite the costs of the annual competition.
The vehicles are judged on multiple factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, comfort, value and driver satisfaction.
The competition is a three-stage process, with each vote being tallied by accounting firm Deloitte and Touche.
In early fall, the jurors view all eligible vehicles and vote for a dozen or so they believe deserve a further look, creating a short list. Jurors must pay $150 in annual dues to be eligible.
In early December, the jurors vote again, this year on 11 cars and nine truck/utility vehicles. Each juror has 25 points to allocate to cars and 25 to trucks, awarding all points among the entries and no more than 10 to any one vehicle.
With the three cars and three trucks named as finalists today, the jurors will vote again, this time with 10 points to allocate in each category.
You can reach Jesse Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.