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2007 North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Announced

DETROIT, Dec. 13 - An international group of automotive journalists has selected the Honda Fit, the Saturn Aura and the Toyota Camry as finalists for the 2007 North American Car of the Year. The Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7 are finalists for the 2007 North American Truck of the Year.

The awards are unique in the United States because - instead of being given by a single publication, radio or television station - they are given by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.

The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors that include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. To be eligible, vehicles must be "all new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model.

Steve Laughman, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, was responsible for counting the ballots, which jurors sent directly to the accounting firm. The results were announced today at a news conference during a luncheon held by the Detroit Economic Club and the North American International Auto Show.

However, Laughman remains the only person who knows the winners, which
will be announced January 7th at the North American International Auto Show.

Although the winners are disclosed at a news conference at NAIAS, the
show does not give the awards.

The jurors represent outlets such as the Toronto Star, Car and Driver magazine, AutoWeek, The Chicago Tribune, MotorWeek, USA Today, Autoline Detroit,, Road & Track magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, Consumer Guide, the Boston Globe, Automotive News, Popular Mechanics and Fortune.

Last year the 2006 North American Car of the Year was the Honda Civic,
and the 2006 North American Truck of the Year was the Honda Ridgeline.

Domestic automakers have been named "North American Car of the Year"
six times. Japanese cars have won three times. European cars have won four

Domestic automakers won "North American Truck of the Year" eight times, Japanese automakers have won three times (Honda and Acura took two of those) and European automakers have won twice.

In the totals above, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep are counted as domestic automakers. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are included in the European category,
even though Volvo is owned by Ford, and Mercedes is part of DaimlerChrysler.

While more than 60 new vehicles were eligible, jurors finally voted on 11 cars and 15 trucks.

Nominees for the 2007 North American Car of the Year:

Chrysler Sebring
Dodge Caliber
Honda Fit
Infiniti G35
Jaguar XK/XKR
Lexus LS 460
Mercedes S-Class
Nissan Altima
Nissan Versa
Saturn Aura
Toyota Camry

Nominees for the 2007 North American Truck of the Year

Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Audi Q7
Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
Chevrolet Silverado
Dodge Nitro
Ford Edge
GMC Acadia
Honda CR-V
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Wrangler
Mazda CX-7
Saturn Vue Green Line
Toyota FJ Cruiser

SOURCE North American Car of the Year Organizing Committee
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