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.

Be a Winner!

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.

Now entering its 22nd year, the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury was significantly expanded for 2015 to reflect the diversity and breadth of the region’s automotive market.

(Porsche, GMC and the Chevrolet Corvette named America’s “Ideal Vehicles. Click Here to find out why.)

The two winners will be announced during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, next January. The NACTOY ballot picks are generally considered to be the industry’s most prestigious awards, winning automakers routinely playing up their victories in electronic, print and broadcast advertising.

Better known for its sports cars, Porsche could nab the Truck/Utility trophy with the new Macan.

For 2014, General Motors pulled off a clean sweep, capturing North American Car of the Year with its then-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and North American Truck of the Year with the redesigned Chevy Silverado pickup.

(Which products and brands had the highest initial quality according to JD Power? Click Here to find out.)

Over the years, Detroit’s Big Three makers have nabbed the car trophy 12 times, while the Japanese have won three times and Europeans four times.  Korea’s Hyundai has won twice.

On the truck side, domestics have won 14 times, the Japanese four times and Europeans three.

The products to pass the first muster:

2015 North American Car of the Year Short List

Acura TLX

Audi A3

Chrysler 200

Ford Mustang

Honda Fit

Hyundai Genesis sedan

Hyundai Sonata

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Toyota Camry

Volkswagen Golf/GTI

2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year Short List

Audi Q3

Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Tahoe

Ford F-150

GMC Canyon

Lexus NX

Lincoln MKC

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Nissan Murano

Porsche Macan

Subaru Outback

Toyota Highlander

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