DETRIOT, Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Next Monday Michelle Collins's secret will be out: the winners of the 2016 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year.
Ms. Collins is a partner at Deloitte & Touche and the 53 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who picked the winners sent their ballots directly to her.
The announcement will come about 7 a.m. at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit where Ms. Collins will hand over two envelopes to Tony Swan, a member of the awards' organizing committee.
In front of that stage automotive executives will be crossing their fingers and wishing they knew what she knows.
"It is exciting to be the only one to know the winners," she says. "I always feel bad for the teams that don't win, but I know they are appropriately proud of their vehicles."
While the winners are a secret, the top three finalists in each category are announced early in December.
In alphabetical order, the car finalists are the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Civic and Mazda MX-5 Miata. The truck/utility finalists are the Honda Pilot, Nissan Titan XD and Volvo XC90.
The awards are intended to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
In the last 22 years domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year 12 times and foreign automakers have won ten times. Japanese automakers have three wins. European automakers have five wins. Korean automakers (Hyundai) have two wins.
Domestics have won the truck competition 15 times. Foreign automakers have won seven times. Of the seven wins, Japanese automakers have won four times and Europeans have won three times.
The awards are unique because -- instead of being given by a single publication, website, radio or television station -- they are given by an independent jury of automotive journalists representing all those outlets.
The awards were inspired by the "Car of the Year" in Europe. They are administered by an organizing committee and are funded exclusively with dues paid by the jurors. There are no paid positions. The votes of individual jurors will be available on the organization's website by the end of January.
Details including previous winners are available at www.northamericancaroftheyear.org
SOURCE North American Car of the Year