DETROIT – After being shut out by Detroit auto makers last year, foreign brands won both the North American Car and Truck of the year awards announced here at the North American International Auto Show.
The Elantra bested theFocus and Volkswagen Passat for car honors and the Evoque beat out the X3 and CR-V in the light truck category.
All the finalists are built in the U.S., with the exception of the Evoque, which is imported from Europe.
TheElantra win marks the second time the Korean auto maker has won a NACOTY award. The Genesis won in 2009, and the Sonata was a finalist last year.
The Big Three have won North American Car of the Year 10 times. Japanese auto makers have won three times and the Europeans four times.
The North America Truck of the Year award is a first for Land/Rover Range Rover. Domestic auto makers have won that award 12 times, the Japanese brands four times and the Europeans have won twice.
This is the 19th year of the awards. This year, they were given by 50 veteran automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year.
Jurors awarded the Elantra 174 points, the Passat 161 and Focus 155. The Evoque garnered 254 points, the CR-V 142 and X3 94.
The awards are considered unique because instead of being given by a single publication, radio or television station, they are awarded by a jury of automotive journalists.
Last year’s “North American Car of the Year” was the Chevrolet Volt and the “North American Truck of the Year” was theExplorer.