Finalists in for 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year

A jury of 50 automotive journalists have selected the finalists for the 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year – NACTOY. The six vehicles were announced at an Automotive Press Association luncheon today in Detroit. The winners will be announced at the North American International Auto Show – NAIAS – in January.

Cars selected were the 2012 Ford Focus, 2012 Hyundai Elantra and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat. Last year the Chevrolet Volt was the car winner. In the misleadingly named ‘truck’ category, the 2012 BMW X3, 2012 Honda CR-V and the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque made the final cut.

Jurors have 25 points to distribute among the car nominees and 25 points to distribute among the truck nominees. No vehicle may be given more than 10 points and that may only be done once, and vehicles can be given no points. It therefore is possible that winners could be everyone’s second or third personal choice.

Last year’s truck winner, the Ford Explorer, like all of this year’s ‘truck’ finalists was built form a car platform. There’s more irony still. In 2010, the North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Transit Connect – an outright commercial vehicle, according to its maker. SeeAnd the North American Truck of the Year is, well, a Car!

To be fair it’s a long standing problem, compounded by multi-billion automaker marketing budgets that attempt to square the circle in various ways. First it was trucks, real trucks with car like qualities; then, crossovers built from cars but with truck-like capabilities; now not a minivan or a truck but a multi-activity vehicle, whatever that is.

Abraham Lincoln once successfully argued a case by posing the following question: If I call the tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? The correct answer Lincoln averred was four, since calling a tail a leg, doesn’t actually make it one. Lincoln won the case…

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About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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