We've just received word that judges for the North American Car and Truck of the Year have released their list of finalists for the upcoming 2015 awards. Thanks to our editor-in-chief, Marty Padgett, who sits on the panel, we've got the inside scoop.
To be eligible for consideration, a vehicle has to be either completely new or "substantially changed from the previous model and must go on sale shortly after the announcement of the award, which is early in January". Also, vehicles have to have moderately good distribution: cars should have projected North American sales of around 5,000 units per year at minimum, and trucks should meet a 2,000-unit threshold.
Based on what they've seen so far, North American Car and Truck of the Year judges have pared a longish list of 2015 models down to 10 cars and 13 trucks/SUVs, each vying for top honors.
As you'll see below, the car list is a bit light on Detroit models, with Chrysler and Ford the only domestic brands to make the cut. Three other models come from Europe, while the remaining five hail from Asia.
The Big Three fare somewhat better on the truck and SUV list, nabbing six of the 13 spots. European marques appear three times, Asian brands four times.
The 2015 winners will be announced in January, likely around the time of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Until then, peruse these 23 finalists and debate their merits (or shortcomings) in the comments below.
2015 North American Car of the Year (Short List)
Hyundai Genesis sedan
2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year (Short List)
UPDATE: Ford confirms the Edge will not go on sale by January 2015, which means it's now been removed from the NACTOY short list.