Korean Manufacturer Earns a Place in Finals for First Time in 16-Year History of Award
Detroit, 12/18/2008 When Hyundai introduced the all-new Genesis at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, it promised to shatter automobile paradigms by offering a sedan with capabilities and features comparable to the world's leading premium sports sedans. That claim was underscored today when the North American Car of the Year jury announced Genesis as one of the three finalists in its annual quest to name the most outstanding and significant new car, besting competitors such as Nissan GT-R, Audi A4, Dodge Challenger and BMW 1-Series.
"We are extremely proud of the Hyundai Genesis," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America acting president and chief executive officer. "It's our flagship vehicle. It is the ultimate expression of the engineering excellence found in all of our products. We are honored to be named a finalist for this prestigious award."
This year the jurors considered more than 50 new vehicles before selecting the top three cars and top three trucks. Genesis' spot in the North American Car of the Year finals marks the first time a Korean manufacturer's product has made it to the final three.
U.S. domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year eight times. Japanese automakers have won three times. European automakers have won four times. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Ford Flex are the other finalists this year.
The North American Car of the Year award is decided by a jury of 50 independent, full-time automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. This is the 16th year of the awards, which were inspired by the prestigious European "Car of the Year" awards. The U.S. program is administered by an organizing committee and is funded exclusively with dues paid by the jurors. Jurors judge the cars on a number of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.
The winner will be named at next month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11, 2009.
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 790 dealerships nationwide.