Three cars and three trucks (actually, one's an SUV) in the finals.
From dozens of contenders, the finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year has been narrowed down to three cars, three trucks for 2015.
The three finalists for the 2015 North American Car of the Year are the Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis, and Volkswagen Golf. The three finalists for the 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year are the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford F-150, and Lincoln MKC.
The jury, consisting of 57 automotive journalists in the U.S. and Canada from various web sites, magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations, have been judging the award for 22 years. The ballots are secret until the awards are announced at the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 12. I am, incidentally, one of the voters.
The NACOTY awards are considered among the most prestigious in the industry, as voters aren’t susceptible to influence by advertisers, and typically reflect consumer products. There is a limit to the price of the vehicles considered, otherwise Rolls-Royce or Ferrari might win repeatedly, which would mean little to the average consumers in the market for a new vehicle.
In past years, there has often been a clear favorite, but this year, it’s anybody’s guess. On the car side, the Ford Mustang (in the photo above) has been substantially upgraded, but it, like the Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Golf, which includes the GTI model, are updates of existing vehicles. NACOTY rules say nominees must be new or substantially changed to be considered.
On the truck side, only the Ford F-150 is an existing model. The Chevrolet Colorado is all-new, though Chevrolet built the Colorado previously. It stopped building the truck in 2012, and closed the Louisiana plant where it was built, so this truck is the brand’s return to mid-sized pickups. The GMC Canyon, essentially the same truck, didn’t get enough juror votes to make the finals, and NACOTY rules prevent two brands from being nominated as one, even if the vehicles are the same.
The Lincoln MKC is also a new vehicle, though the platform is shared by the Ford Escape. Sales of the small luxury four-cylinder SUV have been strong.
The 2014 winners
Last year’s North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. In the last 21 years, domestic automakers have won the car category 12 times and foreign automakers have won nine times. Japanese automakers have three wins, European automakers have four, Korean automakers have two wins.
Last year’s North American Truck/Utility of the Year was the Chevrolet Silverado. Domestics have won the truck competition 14 times. Foreign automakers have won seven times. Of the seven wins, Japanese automakers have won four times and Europeans have won three times.
What do you think the North American Car and Truck of the Year should be? I could use some help with my vote.