DETROIT - Fifty automotive journalists have selected the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat as the three finalists for the 2012 North American Car of the Year.
The finalists for the 2012 North American Truck of the Year are the BMW X3, the Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
The finalists were revealed today at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.
The awards are unique in the United States because -- instead of being given by a single media outlet -- they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. The awards are financed by the jurors' dues and NACTOY does not accept advertising from automakers.
To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year the jurors finally voted on 17 cars and seven trucks.
Earlier this month jurors sent their ballots to Michelle Collins, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, LLP.
Today Ms. Collins handed over envelopes containing the names of the finalists (listed in alphabetical order) to Karl Brauer, a member of the awards' organizing committee and the Editor-in-Chief for Total Car Score.
This begins a second round of voting on the three car and three truck finalists. Those ballots also go to Ms. Collins who will be the only one who knows the winners until she hands over the envelopes on January 9th at 7:15 am at the Michigan Stage at Cobo Hall in Detroit.
While the news conference is being held at the North American International Auto Show the show does not give the awards.
Also, the correct name is "North American Car of the Year" and "North American Truck of the Year," not "Car of the Year" or "Truck of the Year."
Last year the 2011 North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Volt and the 2011 North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Explorer.
This is the 19th year of the awards. During the past 18 years:
* Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year ten times. European automakers have won four times, Japanese automakers have won three times. A Korean automaker - Hyundai - has won once.
* Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year 12 times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won twice.
The awards are administered by a six-person organizing committee. This year its members are Karl Brauer (Total Car Score); Marc Lachapelle (MSN Autos US, Le Guide de l'auto); Tony Swan (Car and Driver); Lindsay Brooke (Automotive Engineering International); Mark Phelan (The Detroit Free Press) and Christopher Jensen (Freelance).
More information including the names of the jurors is available at www.northamericancaroftheyear.org.
Below are the vehicles on which the jurors voted.
North American Car of the Year
- Audi A6
- Audi A7
- Buick Verano
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Chrysler 300/SRT-8
- Fiat 500
- Ford Focus
- Hyundai Accent
- Hyundai Elantra
- Hyundai Veloster
- Kia Rio/Rio 5
- Scion iQ
- Subaru Impreza
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Prius V
- VW Beetle
- VW Passat
North American Truck of the Year
- BMW X3
- Honda CR-V
- Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
- Mercedes-Benz M-Class
- Mini Countryman
- Nissan Quest
- Saab 9-4X