March 8, 2004


South East Automotive Media Organization announces 2004 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award winners

Atlanta – The third annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced Tuesday during a ceremony at the Atlanta International Auto Show. Hosted by the South East Automotive Media Organization, the awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry.

A jury of more than two dozen professional automotive journalists from throughout North America, including CanadianDriver contributor Phil Bailey, selected the winners from 32 Concept Vehicles and four Production Preview Vehicles that made a North American debut during the 2004 Auto Show season. Unlike many other car and truck award programs, the Concept Award jurors have not been influenced by priority access or advance test-drive scheduling. The jury panel is assembled by peer selection, and the jurors do not pay or get paid to participate.

The Production Preview category is for those vehicles based on a model that has already been announced or planned for
production. Heralding a redefinition of luxury travel, the Lincoln Aviator took the 2003 Production Preview Vehicle of the
Year Award. “From SUV to Crossover in one stylish leap! Very clean design taking the look of SUVs to the 21st century.
The luxury touches are well done,” said juror Paul Abelson.

The Concept Car category presented the widest field of competitors in this year’s competition with 16 entrants.
Sure to be a retro-modern hit amongst a burgeoning market of classic car enthusiasts, the 2004 Concept Car of the Year
award went to the Chevrolet Nomad. Juror Jim Scoutten called the Nomad “One part Retro Vette, one part ’56 Wagon.”
Scoutten added his approval saying, “I’m not just voting for the Nomad, I’m a buyer if they build it!”

In the Truck & SUV category, the race was extremely close again this year. Sporting a design that blends the best of
modern style with classic utility, the winner of the 2004 Concept Truck of the Year award is the Ford Bronco.
According to juror Larry Edsall, “It’s instantly recognizable as the Bronco, an icon of American automotive design and
character, but this concept — looking as though it was sculpted from a single block of aluminum — has been brought not
only forward, but into the future.”

The Specialty Concept category recognizes those vehicles outside the normal definition of car or truck, as well as
those vehicles where the technology and not the package is the key story. A concept that many suspect will raise the bar
for the rapidly evolving SuperCar class, the Chrysler M E Four-Twelve finished with a substantial lead as 2004 Specialty
Concept Vehicle of the Year. “It’s arcs and angles create a harmony of motion in stillness, or flight. Interior surfaces
are elegant, emotional, practical, an impeccable presentation,” said juror Thom Cannell.

Of these four category winners, the Chrysler M E Four-Twelve took top honors as the “2004 Most Significant Concept
Vehicle of the Year” with the highest score among the field of strong finalists.

Additional information and details regarding the nominees, the selection process and the award winners can be found by
visiting www.northamericanconceptawards.org.

Connect with Autos.ca