DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Chevy Volt has been named the 2011 North American Car of the Year.
The electrification of the automobile and signficant international contenders were dual themes for the prestigious 2011 North American Car of the Year Award, announced at the Detroit Auto Show during the first press preview day on January 10th.
The finalists for North American Car and Truck of the Year were announced last month, with the Chevolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata all contending for the title as Car of the Year, as selected by a panel of automotive journalists.
The winner was announced during a news conference January 10th at the start of press days at the North American International Auto Show. This is the 18th year of the award.
The top three were selected from a pool of more than a dozen models, both foreign and domestic. The Volt and Leaf mark the first time electric vehicles have been named as finalists.
The win by the Chevrolet Volt makes this the fourth time GM has won the award. Most recently, the Chevrolet Malibu took top honors in 2008.
The award for North American Car of the Year, and companion North American Truck of the Year, are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet, they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and websites.
To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or "substantially changed."
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