VW Golf and Ford F-150 win North American Car and Truck of the Year awards
DETROIT -- The Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150 were named 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year by a panel of automotive journalists.
The Golf (TSI, TDI and GTI) faced the Ford Mustang and the Hyundai Genesis for the car award, while the F-150 was up against the Lincoln MKC and the Chevy Colorado in the truck/utility finals.
The six finalists were selected from short lists of 10 cars and 12 truck and utility vehicles by an independent jury of 57 automotive journalists. To be eligible, a vehicle must have been redesigned or substantially changed and introduced in 2014.
“Volkswagen is thrilled to start 2015 with the Golf and Golf GTI taking home the incredible North American Car of the Year title,” Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement on Monday.
“This award highlights our achievements and hard work in the past year, and we are confident that the Golf family will continue to pave the way for the brand in the year ahead,” Horn said.
The other cars on the short list were the Acura TLX, Audi A3, Chrysler 200, Honda Fit, Hyundai Sonata, Mercedes-Benz C class and Toyota Camry.
Other trucks on the short list were the Audi Q3, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Canyon, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA class, Nissan Murano, Porsche Macan, Subaru Outback and Toyota Highlander.
“Ford is honored to be named the best among such a strong field of competitors,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, said in a statement. “Ford employees and customers have a lot to be proud of with the innovative and award-winning F-150.”
In 2014, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was the North American Car of the Year, and the Chevrolet Silverado was the North American Truck of the Year.
Since 1994, when the award was created, 14 automakers have captured at least one title.
The judging panel includes Richard Truett, engineering and technology reporter for Automotive News. To maximize their independence, the jurors pay annual dues of $150 to underwrite the costs of the annual competition.
The vehicles are judged on multiple factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, comfort, value and driver satisfaction.
The competition was a three-stage process, with each vote being tallied by accounting firm Deloitte and Touche.
In early fall, the jurors view all eligible vehicles and vote for a dozen or so they believe deserve a further look, creating short lists.
In early December, the jurors vote on the vehicles on the short lists. Each juror has 25 points to allocate to cars and 25 to trucks, awarding all points among the entries and no more than 10 to any one vehicle.
With the three cars and three trucks named finalists Dec. 9, the jurors voted again, this time with 10 points to allocate in each category.
Domestic automakers have won the car award 12 times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won five times, including VW's win today. A Korean automaker (Hyundai) has won twice.
Domestic automakers have won the truck award 15 times while the Japanese have won four times. Europeans have won three times.
For more information and a list of previous winners, click here.