Detroit, Michigan – The finalists for the 2011 North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year have been named. The awards are determined by 49 journalists with the winners announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

The three finalists for the North American Car of the Year award are the Chevrolet Volt, Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf, while finalists for the North American Truck of the Year are the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

To be eligible, a vehicle must be all-new or substantially changed. Rather than given by a single media outlet, the awards are named by a coalition of automotive journalists from Canada and the U.S. who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and Web sites.

The 2011 awards mark the 18th year. Among North American Car of the Year winners, domestic automakers have won nine times, European automakers have won four times, Japanese companies three times and a Korean automaker has won once. Among trucks, domestic automakers have won eleven times, Japanese automakers four times, and Europeans twice. In 2010, the awards went to the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Transit Connect.

The 2011 car finalists were narrowed down from the Audi A8, Buick Regal, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata, Infiniti M37/56, Jaguar XJ, Kia Optima, Mazda2, Nissan Juke, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen Jetta and Volvo S60.

The 2011 truck finalists were narrowed down from the Dodge Durango, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Tucson, Infiniti QX56, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Kia Sportage, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Porsche Cayenne, Toyota Sienna and Volkswagen Touareg.

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