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January 01, 2008

2008 Urban Wheel Finalists Announced

Urbanwheelawardslogo An independent panel of automotive journalists has cast its votes for the finalists of the 2008 Wheel Awards, which will be held January 15, 2008, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, in conjunction with Press Preview Week of the North American International Auto Show.

Celebrities Rosie Perez and Kevin Frazier will co-host, leading a star-studded cast of famous presenters to honor automotive manufacturers, executives, suppliers, dealers, advertising agencies, and motorsports organizations who have contributed to diversity in the industry.

Uwalogo_2 The Urban Wheel Awards brings together top leaders in the auto industry with the multicultural community that represents their true customer base," says Randi Payton, president and CEO of On Wheels Inc. and founder of the awards. "Inclusion of all its customers is critical to building bridges to the multicultural community and to recognizing the contributions of minorities in the industry."

Award categories include Company of the Year, African-American, Asian, and Latino automotive executives of the year, as well as minority Supplier of the Year. Commitment to diversity is also recognized in the racing arena, with the Diversity in Motorsports award. New to the program this year is the Urban Dealer of the Year award.

In addition to honoring people and organizations, Urban Wheel Awards are also presented for the best new car and truck designed to suit the needs of urban drivers. Finalists are named based on the tally of votes by the panel of judges, once they've reviewed all of the nominations. The judges include more than 15 automotive journalists from multicultural, automotive trade, and general market media.

The most popular automotive advertisements geared toward African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos for 2007 will also be presented at the ceremony. The award, based on online viewing and voting, will be given to the advertising agency that produced the creative work. Consumers are encouraged to vote at

The 12th Annual Urban Wheel Awards finalists are:

African-American Executive of the Year
Bennie Fowler -- VP, Quality of the Ford Motor Company
Marshilia Snoddy -- Zone Manager for Process Improvement, Southwest Zone of the American Honda Motor Company
Ed Welburn -- VP, Global Design of the General Motors Corporation

Asian Executive of the Year
Takeshi Abe -- Henry Ford Technical Fellow of the Ford Motor Company
Ray G. Young -- Group VP, GM Global Finance of the General Motors Corporation

Latino Executive of the Year
Dave Mondragon -- General Manager, Ford Motor Company Southwest Region of the Ford Motor Company
Victor Nacif -- VP Design, Business Aspects of the Nissan Design America

Supplier of the Year
Detroit Chassis
Ewie Co. Inc.

Company of the Year
Ford Motor Company
General Motors

Car of the Year
Chevrolet Malibu
Honda Accord
Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Truck of the Year
Buick Enclave
Chrysler Town & Country
Infiniti EX35

Diversity in Motorsports
National Hot Rod Association
STAR Motorsports
Urban Youth Racing School

Urban Dealer of the Year
Bill Perkins Automotive Group
Mike Pruitt Honda
Southaven Pontiac/Buick/GMC

For more information about the 12th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, to obtain tickets, call (313) 963- 2209.


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