Detroit, Michigan – Six finalists have been named for the 2009 North American Car of the Year and the North American Truck of the Year awards. The winners will be named during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, 2009.

Finalists for the North American Car of the Year award are the Ford Flex, Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Jetta TDI, while the nominees for the North American Truck of the Year are the Dodge Ram, Ford F-150 and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC.

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI marks the first time in 16 years that a diesel-powered car has been a finalist for the award.

The 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. The winners are judged by 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada, representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and websites.

To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantial changed from the previous model. For the 2009 awards, the jury considered more than 50 vehicles, and settled on 14 cars and 11 trucks before naming the top three in each category.

For 2008, the awards were given to the Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda CX-9.

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