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Monday, January 11, 2010

Ford Fusion Hybrid is North American Car of the Year



Ford Sweeps Honors as Transit Connect is Named N.A. Truck of the Year




#NAIAS - Capping a sweet introductory year, the commercially well-received Ford Fusion Hybrid won top critical honors this morning as it was named the North American Car of the Year by a jury of 49 automotive journalists.


Ford's mid-sized hybrid sedan, which helped boosts Ford's overall sale performance in an otherwise dismal 2009, has been praised for its smooth operation, fuel economy, looks and interactive information system that helps drivers modify their behind-the-wheel behavior to increase  fuel economy.

Ford dealers sold 15,554 Fusion Hybrids last year, making it the third best-selling gas-electric model in the market behind the industry's perennial leader, Toyota's Prius, the the new and lower-priced compact Honda Insight hybrid.

The North American Car of the Year Award is considered meaningful because it does not represent the judgment of a single publication or media outlet but is bestowed by an independent panel of journalists, including freelance writers and editors and those representing a wide variety  newspapers, magazines and on-line publications.


The 17-year-old award  recognizes what the judges feel are the  most significant vehicles of the year in terms of technical innovation, design, user friendliness, safety, handling and value.

This year's award marks the fourth time - and the second time for Ford - that a hybrid has won since the first gas-electric car was sold in North American in 1999. The Ford Escape Hybrid was named truck of the year by the panel in 2005.

Edmunds is represented on the panel by editors from Inside Line, Auto Observer and Edmunds.com.



Judges also selected Ford's Transit Connect commercial van, introduced in the u.s. last year after several years of success in the European market, as the North American Truck of the Year.

This marks only the third time the same automaker captured both car and truck award in the same year. Honda was the first to do so, in 2006, followed by General Motors in 2007.

 

Posted by John O'Dell January 11, 2010, 7:32 AM

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