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January 22, 2009

2009 Detroit Auto Show Awards

Among the many highlights of the 2009 North American International Auto Show are the collection of honors and awards that are bestowed upon members of the automotive industry as well as upon their mechanical creations. Two highly distinguished award events now being celebrated for the 13th year are the prestigious Road & Travel vehicle awards created and produced by Courtney Caldwell, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Road & Travel Magazine, and the Urban Wheel Awards, presented by  And let's not forget the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, which are now in their 16th year!

2009_ford_f150 Members of the press were buzzing during media days with talk of the award-winning vehicles, and by the time the Urban Wheels Awards were presented, it was clear that Ford and Hyundai were the big winners of the year, with Ford garnering the North American Truck of the Year award for its all-new 2009 F-150, a Earth, Wind, and Power award for its Escape Hybrid, AND the Urban Wheels Truck of the Year award for its delicious new Flex, and Hyundai winning the North American Car of the Year as well as the Urban Wheels Truck of the Year award for its breathtaking new Genesis sedan.

Read on to find out more about the remaining award winners!

North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards
2009_hyundai_Genesis_NACOTY The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are decided by a jury of 50 independent, full-time automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. The North American Car and Truck of the Year 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. This is the 16th year of the awards, which were inspired by the prestigious European "Car of the Year" awards. They are administered by an organizing committee and are funded exclusively with dues paid by the jurors who judge the vehicles on a number of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar.

2009 American Car of The Year: Hyundai Genesis
2009 North American Truck of The Year: Truck: Ford F-150

2009 Road & Travel Award ICOTY Winners
Main-icoty-header The International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) presented by Road & Travel Magazine honored the top vehicles of the 2009 model year, awarding the car and truck that best reaches beyond power and performance by tapping into lifestyle compatibility and how well automakers achieve that goal. Produced with all the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards the entertaining and unique event hosted over 500 industry leaders, VIPs, and media to celebrate the night's winners and enjoy the festivities. The elegant black-tie gala, held Saturday, January 10th at the MGM Grand Detroit, was the anticipated kick-off event of press week for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Each year, winners are selected by the ICOTY jury, a group of 16 nationally renowned automotive journalists and editors, whose final ballots are tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates to ensure accuracy and credibility.

2009_Lone_Star_Edition_Dodge_Ram_1500_front  The mission of the ICOTY Awards is to honor new vehicle models that reflect lifestyle compatibility and how well automakers achieve that goal through the design and marketing of the vehicle. From excellence of design to technological superiority the top honor for the 2009 International Car of the Year went to the Nissan GT-R. The Dodge Ram 1500 took home the top prize for International Truck of the Year.

LAAS08_2009-Nissan_GT-R-5042bsAccepting the honor of International Car of the Year on behalf of Nissan North America was Motohiro Matsumura, president, Nissan Technical Center North America. Scott Kunselman, VP Jeep/Truck Product Team, Chrysler LLC, accepted the International Truck of the Year Award on behalf of Dodge, this was Dodge's sixth ICOTY win.

As one of the most respected writers in the industry and a fighter for equality, Warren Brown became the sixth recipient of the Lifetime Legend Award, sponsored by Ford Motor Warren-brown Company. A veteran automotive journalist for nearly 30 years with The Washington Post, Brown has provided words of wisdom to many from his firsthand experiences in some of the world's most impressive vehicles. AskPatty staff members have had the wonderful privilege of spending time with Warren and have learned much from this very cool guy's words of wisdom.

One of the night's highlights was the debut of the Earth, Wind & Power Awards, which honored the most environmentally friendly car and truck of the year. The mission of the EWP awards is to recognize vehicles driven by a power source that help reduce global warming, are conducive to promoting a cleaner environment and support the mission to achieve energy independence through alternative sources. The jury awarded this environmental ingenuity to the Volkswagen Jetta TDI as the EWP Car of the Year, and the Ford Escape Hybrid as the EWP Truck of the Year.

"With global warming and concerns about dependence of foreign oil becoming mainstream, more people are turning to fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles," said Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY creator and producer. "It's become of vital interest to consumers, automakers, and the future of our planet to produce vehicles that are compatible with our environment."

Honda_logo In addition to the EWP Award, Honda Motor Company was recognized with the second annual Earth Angel Award, as the most environmentally progressive automaker. Sponsored by Bridgestone, and co-presented by Mike Martini, president, consumer OE, Bridgestone Americas, the award honors the automaker showing the most progress with environmental initiatives and partnerships on a worldwide level.

Road & Travel Award summary:
International Car Of The Year:  Nissan GT-R
International Truck of the Year: Dodge Ram 1500
Lifetime Legend Award:  Warren Brown, Washington Post
Earth, Wind & Power Award:  Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Earth, Wind & Power Award: Ford Escape Hybrid
Earth Angel Award - Most Environmentally Progressive Automaker: Honda

Urban Wheels Awards
Urban_wheels_award_large The 13th Annual Urban Wheel Awards honored individuals and organizations for diversity in the auto industry. Held Tuesday evening, January 13th, 2009, at the Detroit Opera House, awards were presented to the Company of the Year, Executive of the Year, Urban Car, and Urban Truck of the Year.  This year, the star-studded event, known as "The Academy Awards of the Auto Industry" replaced the traditional red carpet with a green carpet for celebrities and other notables to walk.

2009_Ford_Flex To be considered for an award, nominees must have furthered diversity in their employment practices and in the community through marketing, employment, public relations, manufacturing and/or corporate activities. Initiatives and goals toward achieving diversity in corporate, communications, supplier development, dealership development and/or manufacturing areas are evaluated. The multicultural market also must be incorporated in business planning, corporate culture and corporate giving. Consumers also play a role in the Urban Wheel Awards, picking their favorite diversity-oriented auto ads through online voting.

2009_Hyundai_Genesis_s Co-hosts Sheryl Lee Ralph (acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage) and Tony Plana (award-winning star of ABC's Ugly Betty, filmmaker and stage director), led a star-studded cast of local and nationally known presenters including comedian Henry Cho and Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick through the evening's festivities.

The 13th Annual Urban Wheel Awards recipients are:
Executive of the Year: Jocelyn K. Allen - VP, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, OnStar
Company of the Year: Mitsubishi Motors North America Manufacturing
Car of the Year: Hyundai Genesis
Truck of the Year: Ford Flex
Diversity in Motorsports: Sprint

The Diversity Advertisements of the Year Awards honors campaigns designed to appeal to the African-American, Asian-American, or Latino markets. These segments must be launched by October of prior year, and demonstrate a respect for, and sensitivity to, the cultures they are designed to address.  The ads must also deliver a compelling message in an effective manner.   If you want to watch the ads, you can review all the nominees here:

African-American Diversity Broadcast Ad of the Year: UniWorld Group, Inc. - Lincoln MKS - "Mad Crazy Love"
Latino Diversity Broadcast Ad of the Year:  GlobalHue - Chrysler 300C - "Mano"
Asian Diversity Broadcast Ad of the Year: AdAsia Communications- Subaru WRX STI - "Wooden Dummies"
African American Diversity Print Ad of the Year: UniWorld Group, Inc. - Ford Flex - "Push It Good"
Latino Diversity Print Ad of the Year: Accent Marketing - Chevrolet Aveo - "La Solucion Es Simple"
Asian Diversity Print Ad of the Year: AdAsia Communications - Subaru Tribeca - "Carps"

Congratulations to all these award winners of the 2009 North American International Auto Show!

Jody-devere_president_askpatty Jody DeVere
President and CEO

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