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Hyundai Genesis, Ford F-150 win awards at the Detroit auto show

Sun, 11 Jan 2009

On Sunday of the Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai Genesis won the 2009 North American Car of the Year award, nipping the Ford Flex by a miniscule nine-point margin. The redesigned Ford F-150 pickup, the odds-on favorite in the truck category, was named 2009 North American Truck of the Year.

Genesis beat out the Flex and the third-place finisher, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, despite being the first Korean car ever nominated for the award. On the truck side, F-150 easily outdistanced the all-new Dodge Ram, with the Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec taking third place in the balloting.

The winners are chosen by a panel of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. The criteria include innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value.

Hyundai officials were clearly surprised--and pleased--by the result. H.S. Lee, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Corp. and the leader of the team that developed the Genesis, accepted the award on behalf of the Korean automaker. Hyundai officials were particularly pleased given what they said was an extremely strong field of competitors.

By Bob Gritzinger