Honda Wins North American Car and Truck of the Year

    DETROIT, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Honda Civic was identified today as
 the 2006 North American Car of the Year, while the Honda Ridgeline is the 2006
 North American Truck of the Year.
     The awards are unique in North American because instead of being given by
 a single outlet the winners are chosen by 49 automotive journalists
 representing newspapers, magazines, television shows and web sites in Canada
 and the United States.
     It was the first time one automaker has won both awards.
     The winners of the awards -- now in their 13th year -- were revealed at a
 news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
 However the show is not otherwise involved in the awards.
     The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the
 year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver
 satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible vehicles must be "all
 new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model.
     Dozens of new 2006 vehicles were eligible but the jurors whittled the
 field down to 14 cars and 14 trucks on which they voted.
     While the Civic won, second place was the Fusion followed by the Solstice.
     The winning Ridgeline was followed by the Nissan Xterra in second and the
 Ford Explorer.
     The jurors voted early in December with the ballots sent directly to Steve
 Laughman, a partner at Deloitte & Touche in Detroit. Laughman kept the winners
 secret until he handed over sealed envelopes at today's news conference.
     Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Chrysler 300/300C,
 while the North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Escape Hybrid.
     In the last 13 years, domestic automakers have won the North American Car
 of the Year six times. Japanese automakers have won three times and European
 automakers have won four times.
     In the last 12 years, domestic automakers have won North American Truck of
 the Year eight times. Japanese automakers have won three times and European
 automakers have won twice.
     The jurors represent outlets such as the Toronto Star, Car and Driver
 magazine, AutoWeek, The Chicago Tribune, MotorWeek, USA Today, Autoline
 Detroit, Edmunds.com, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Road & Track magazine, the
 San Jose Mercury News, Edmunds.com, Consumer Guide, the Boston Globe,
 Automotive News, Popular Mechanics and Fortune.
     A list of previous finalists and winners in attached.
 
     For 2005, the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Chevrolet Corvette, the Chrysler 300/300C and the Ford Mustang. The winner was
 the Chrysler 300/300C.
     For 2005 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Ford Freestyle, the Land Rover LR3 and the Ford Escape Hybrid. The winner was
 the Ford Escape Hybrid.
 
     For 2004, the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Toyota Prius, the Mazda RX-8 and the Cadillac XLR. The winner was the Prius.
     For 2004, the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Ford F-150, the Nissan Titan and the Cadillac SRX. The winner was the Ford F-
 150.
 
     For 2003, the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Infiniti G35 Coupe, the Nissan 350Z and the Mini Cooper and Cooper S. The
 winner was the Mini Cooper/Cooper S.
     For 2003 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Volvo XC90, the Hummer H2 and the Honda Element and the Nissan Murano, which
 tied.  The winner was the Volvo XC90.
 
     For 2002, the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Nissan Altima, the Ford Thunderbird and the Cadillac CTS. The winner was the
 Nissan Altima.
     For 2002, the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Chevrolet Avalanche, the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the Jeep Liberty. The
 winner was the Chevrolet Trailblazer.
 
     For 2001, the finalists for North American Car of the Year were the
 Chrysler PT Cruiser, the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. The North
 American Car of the Year was the PT Cruiser.
     For 2001 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Acura MDX, the Ford Escape and the Toyota Sequoia. The North American Truck of
 the Year was the Acura MDX.
 
     For 2000 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Ford Focus, the Audi TT and the Lincoln LS. The North American Car of the Year
 was the Ford Focus.
     For 2000 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Nissan Xterra, the Dodge Dakota Quad Cab and the Toyota Tundra. The North
 American Truck of the Year was the Nissan Xterra.
 
     For 1999 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Volkswagen New Beetle, the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler 300M. The North
 American Car of the Year was the Volkswagen New Beetle.
     For 1999 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra. The North
 American Truck of the Year was the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
 
     For 1998 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Chevrolet Corvette, the Audi A6 and the Lexus GS300/400. The North American
 Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Corvette.
     For 1998 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Mercedes-Benz ML 320, the Dodge Durango and the Subaru Forester. The North
 American Truck of the Year was the Mercedes-Benz ML 320.
 
     For 1997 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Mercedes-Benz SLK, the Jaguar XK8 and the BMW 5-Series. The North American Car
 of the Year was the Mercedes-Benz SLK.
     For 1997 the finalist for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Ford Expedition, the Dodge Dakota and the Toyota RAV 4. The North American
 Truck of the Year was the Ford Expedition.
 
     For 1996 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Chrysler minivans, Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
 The North American Car of the Year was the Chrysler minivan.
     For 1996 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Ford F-150, the GMC Yukon/Chevrolet Tahoe and the Range Rover 4.0 SE. The
 North American Truck of the Year was the Ford F-150.
 
     For 1995 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Chrysler Cirrus, the Ford Contour and the Oldsmobile Aurora. The North
 American Car of the Year was the Chrysler Cirrus.
     For 1995 the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year were the
 Chevrolet Blazer, the Ford Explorer and the Ford Windstar. The North American
 Truck of the Year was the Chevrolet Blazer.
 
     For 1994 the finalists for the North American Car of the Year were the
 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Toyota Supra. The North
 American Car of the Year was the Mercedes C-Class.
     For 1994 the finalists for North American Truck of the Year were the Dodge
 Ram pickup, the Chevrolet S-10/GMC Sonoma and the Land Rover Defender 90. The
 North American Truck of the Year was the Dodge Ram.
 
 

SOURCE North American Car of the Year Organizing Committee

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