For the next month General Motors can bask in the glow of having four of the six finalists for the 2008 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.
It wasn't much of a surprise that the Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Malibu are finalists for car honors along with the Honda Accord. Or that the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and Buick Enclave are truck finalists along with the Mazda CX-9.
As one of the 47 automotive journalists who vote on the awards, I'd heard enough buzz among my fellow jurors to get an inkling of their thinking.
But it's still quite an achievement when you consider that GM swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards last year with the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Silverado.
It's far from a sure thing that GM will sweep again this year. But if GM doesn't win the car award it will go to Honda, which swept the awards two years ago with the 2006 Civic and Ridgeline. Mazda has been a finalist before but never has won either award.
We judges still need to do another round of voting, though no one will know the winners until they are announced Jan. 13 at the start of press preview days for the Detroit auto show.
It never stops. Within hours of the announcement of the 2008 winners, a couple of likely contenders for next year's North American Truck of the Year will be on display at the show: the 2009 Ford F-150 and the Dodge Ram pickups.
Each nameplate has won before. The radically redesigned 1994 Dodge Ram won the first North American Truck of the Year award, and the 2004 Ford F-150 took the prize a decade later.
Here we go again, with real trucks competing for a real truck award.
Is this a great business, or what?
n Edward Lapham writes five columns a week for automotivenews.com. You can read them at autonews.com/edwardlapham.