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North American Car and Truck of the Year Jurors Trying to Pick Most Influential

DETROIT, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty of North America's most influential
and independent auto journalists are in the final stages of deciding the
continent's top awards -- North American Car of the Year and North American
Truck of the Year.
What makes this honor unique among the many awards given out is the
quality, range and independence of the North American Car/Truck of the Year
jurors. Because the jurors work in TV, newspapers, magazines, radio and the
web, the variety of opinion is unparalleled. And because they don't work for
any one media outlet, it's impossible for there to be any corporate influence
over their selections, or even the suspicion of that.
The jurors are currently reviewing their ballots in an attempt to pick out
the vehicles that have set new standards or become new benchmarks in their
class. It is, therefore, not the most luxurious, fastest or sleekest vehicle
that achieves this award, but the one whose impact on consumers is the most
profound. Personal preferences have to be set aside. Difficulties can arise
because of the range of classes, but the jurors try to see which vehicles have
the biggest affect overall in their separate categories. Each vehicle is to
be judged on such things as: general design, safety (including performance in
crash tests), fuel economy, handling and general roadworthiness, performance,
functionality, technical innovation, driver satisfaction and price. Dollar
value and affordability are also key judging points. Together, these criteria
make the award meaningful to the largest number of people and highly valued by
the manufacturers.
The jurors will hand in their ballots by December 15 and three finalists
in each category will be announced a few days later. The two winners are then
named at the awards ceremony at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 8, in room W1-55
of Cobo Hall as the opening event of the North American International
Automobile Show.

Included in this year's nominees for the car of the year are:
* Acura CL3.2
* Audi Allroad Quattro
* Chrysler PT Cruiser
* Chrysler Sebring Coupe
* Chrysler Sebring Sedan
* Chrysler Town and Country
* Chrysler Voyager
* Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan
* Dodge Stratus Coupe
* Dodge Stratus Sedan
* Honda Civic
* Honda Insight
* Lexus IS 300
* Lexus LS 430
* Mercedes-Benz C-Class
* Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
* Oldsmobile Aurora
* Pontiac Aztek
* Toyota MR2 Spyder
* Toyota Prius
* Volvo S60
* Volvo V70

Trucks in the running include:
* Acura MDX
* Ford Escape
* Ford Explorer Sport TRAC
* Hyunda Santa Fe
* Mazda Tribute
* Mitsubishi Montero
* Nissan Pathfinder
* GMC Sierra Heavy Duty
* Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty
* Toyota Sequoia
* Toyota RAV4
* GMC Yukon Denali

Though the winners will be announced at the North American International
Auto Show, the show has no control of or connection to the awards, and until
they are announced only Richard Garbys, Vice Chairman, Deloitte and Touche
knows the winners.

SOURCE North American Car and Truck of the Year
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