Ford Wins Car & Truck of the Year Awards

Ford Wins Car & Truck of the Year Awards

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The 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) press days are afoot, but moments before its official start on Monday, the winners of the 2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACOTY) awards were announced.

Ford Sweeps Awards

For only the third time in the history of the awards, one manufacturer managed to sweep both categories, with the Ford Transit Connect named best truck while the Ford Fusion Hybrid was named best car.

A jury of 49 veteran automotive journalists was tabbed to narrow the original list of 16 cars and 10 trucks to 3 finalists in each category. To be eligible, vehicles had to be “all-new” or “substantially changed” from the previous model. This year the jury considered more than 50 vehicles before whittling their list.

2010 North American Truck of the Year Award Winner

Transit Connect Surprises

The Ford Transit Connect was the biggest surprise given that the truck, which is actually a panel van, has been sold in the European market for eight years before appearing stateside in summer 2009. Built in Turkey, Ford brought the Transit Connect over in order to fill an important gap in its line up and to advance its One Ford plan. Though not new to the rest of the world, the Transit Connect is new to North America hence its entry and subsequent award.

One Ford, by the way, explains Ford’s quest to unify its global small vehicle line up across all markets by offering the same vehicles everywhere. The Transit Connect is the first in what Ford says will be six small vehicles designed in Europe and being sold in the US and Canada. Most of these vehicles will eventually be built in factories located in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

2010 North American Car of the Year Award Winner

Best Car Again

The Ford Fusion Hybrid was no surprise as it was long considered to be a strong finalist given that it had already won numerous other awards already. The gas-electric hybrid, a midsize sedan seating five passengers, returns 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Those fuel economy numbers put it at the top in its segment, indeed making it one of the most fuel efficient cars sold in North America.

What does this mean for the average consumer? Not much other than to demonstrate that select models sold by traditional American manufacturers can still receive critical acclaim. And with the Ford Motor Company the only one of the three US car manufacturers not taking a government bail out, underscores that Ford is apparently on the right path.

Photo Credits: Ford Motor Company

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Categories: Autos Express