DETROIT – In a signal that Detroit-based auto makers may be injecting more competitive energy into their latest models, domestically made models from the Group and Motor Co. respectively win the North American Car and Truck of the Year honors.
’s 300 Series sedan wins the 2005 North American Car of the Year award, adding the NACOTY crown to a string of industry accolades won by the successful new fullsize car. The 300 Series beat NACOTY finalists Chevrolet Corvette and Mustang.
Chrysler 300 wins North American Car of the Year award.
Ford Escape Hybrid is 2005 North American Truck of the Year.
In the North American Truck of the Year competition, Ford’s Escape Hybrid beat the company’s other finalist, the Freestyle cross/utility vehicle and another Ford-affiliated model, the Land Rover LR3.
The dual domestic winners are a rare occurrence in the NACOTY/NATOTY competition, which has not had two domestic-nameplate winners since 1996, when Chrysler minivans won the NACOTY award and Ford’s F-150 pickup was the NATOTY winner.
A domestic car has not won since the PT Cruiser was 2001’s North American Car of the Year.
The NACOTY and NATOTY awards, inaugurated in 1994, are presented by a group of automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. For 2005, 48 journalists voted, choosing the winners from 17 cars nominated for the NACOTY award and 12 trucks that vied for NATOTY honors.
(Senior Technical Editor Bill Visnic is one of 48 journalists on the voting panel.)