Auburn Hills, MI – The new Ram 1500 has been named 2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year by a panel of automotive experts. The award is unique and considered by many to be one of the world’s most prestigious based on its diverse mix of 49 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada who serve as the voting jurors.
The winners were announced at a news conference today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“For the Ram Truck Brand, this ranks as one of the proudest days in our history,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. “Every truck-maker aspires to win the North American Truck/Utility of the Year. I tip my hat to the folks who worked behind the scenes to make the 2013 Ram 1500 a technological triumph.
“In no other truck will you find Ram’s incredible combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency – 25 miles per gallon (9.4 L/100 km) — Pentastar and HEMI engines matched to TorqueFlite 8-speed transmissions, air suspension. Uconnect Access and 12 fuel-saving technologies that have raised the bar in the full-size pickup segment.”
This is the 20th year of the awards. The Ram has won North American Truck of the Year honours just once: in the award’s inaugural year 1994.
The 2013 Ram 1500 marks a milestone for Ram as this truck delivers a truckload of pioneering and fuel-saving systems. Equipped with a choice of engines, including the legendary 5.7L Hemi V8 engine or the award-winning Pentastar V6 (for best-in-class fuel efficiency), the Ram 1500 offers, eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and active air suspension.
Ram engineers changed every area of the truck – from a newly designed frame to new engines and transmissions to a new interior with the next-generation Uconnect access system.
To be eligible, a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year, the jurors finally narrowed the field to the 11 cars and 10 trucks/utility vehicles on which they voted.
Early in December the jurors voted on those short-list vehicles, sending their ballots directly to Deloitte & Touche in Detroit.
On those ballots jurors were given 25 points to distribute among the cars and 25 points to distribute among the trucks. However, no more than 10 points may be given to a single vehicle and those maximum points may be given to only one truck and one car. Jurors must use all their points.
That vote narrows the field to three cars and three trucks. Those finalists were disclosed at a luncheon held by the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.
Then the jurors voted again on those three cars and three trucks/utility vehicles.
In that vote jurors have 10 points for the cars and 10 points for the trucks. All 10 points may be given to a single vehicle or they may be divided up. All the points must be used.
This year, to reflect the growing numbers of crossover vehicles in the North American market, jurors voted to change the name of North American Truck of the Year to North American Truck/Utility of the Year.
The awards are financed by the jurors’ dues and the organization does not accept advertising or fees from automakers.