The Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 were named 2013 North American Car and Truck of the Year by a panel of automotive journalists.
The ATS faced the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord in the finals for 2013 North American Car of the Year, while the Ram 1500 was up against the Ford C-Max and Mazda CX-5 in the truck/utility finals.
This is Cadillac’s first and General Motors’ fifth car of the year award. Chrysler Group earned the top truck honor for the third time.
“This is a very meaningful honor for the entire Cadillac team, especially the men and women who build the ATS in Lansing, Michigan, and our dedicated and talented designers and engineers,” Bob Ferguson, GM vice president, global Cadillac, said in a statement. “A car like ATS is the result of incredible commitment and focus. That’s the only method for creating a great performing luxury car.”
The awards are judged by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada — representing magazines, newspapers, Web sites, TV and radio.
Judging criteria include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
Seven automakers had multiple nominees for the awards, led by Ford Motor Co. with four: the Ford Fusion, Escape and C-Max and the Lincoln MKZ. Nissan North America had three: the Nissan Altima and Pathfinder and the Infiniti JX35.
The others are General Motors with the Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Motor Sales’ Toyota Avalon and Scion FR-S, Chrysler Group’s Dodge Dart and Ram 1500 pickup, American Honda with the Honda Accord and Acura RDX and BMW’s 3 series and X1.
The other contenders were the Subaru BRZ, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe and Audi Allroad.
Last year, Hyundai won North American Car of the Year for the second time with the Elantra. Hyundai’s Genesis won the award in 2009.
With the ATS win, American automakers have taken the car honor 11 times. European automakers have been selected four times and Japanese automakers have won three times. A Korean car has won twice.
The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque nabbed the truck award in 2012, the first time Land Rover won the honor.
Domestic automakers, however, have dominated the North American Truck of the Year award with 13 wins after the Ram 1500’s victory. Japanese automakers have been selected four times and European automakers have won three times.