DETROIT – Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.’s Genesis luxury sedan and Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 fullsize pickup are named North American car and truck of the year at the start of the North American International Auto Show here today.

Eliciting an audible gasp from the audience when its victory was announced, the Genesis narrowly edged out the Ford Flex cross/utility vehicle and Volkswagen AG Jetta TDI diesel in the final round of balloting, garnering 189 votes, compared with 180 for the Flex and 131 for the Jetta.

The Genesis also won out over a number of luxury cars from established luxury brands in earlier rounds, including BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Cadillac. Jurors credited the Hyundai for its impressive engineering and value for the money.

The new F-150 won the truck category over Chrysler LLC’s Dodge Ram pickup more decisively with 259 votes, compared with 167 for the Ram and 74 for the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec CUV.

The F-150 outlasted other well-regarded trucks in earlier rounds, including Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s Pilot CUV, BMW’s X6 CUV and the Subaru Forester.

Jurors frequently cited the F-150’s strong capabilities aimed at the serious pickup-truck buyer and its dominating influence in the marketplace.

The awards are given by a jury of 50 journalists working for a variety of publications in the U.S. and Canada. Last year’s North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Malibu, while the Mazda CX-9 took the truck title.

dwinter@wardsauto.com