The winners of the 2020 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards were announced today in Detroit.
Sixty vehicles were nominated in three categories. The list was narrowed down to three finalists in each, and a team of 50 jurors drove them all before picking the winners.
The Car of the Year went to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, over the Hyundai Sonata and the Toyota Supra. Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter says the manufacturing team in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is increasing production of the Stingray. “They’re getting ready to put on a second shift there to meet demand for this car," Juechter says. "The reception for it has been so warm and so delightful for us.”
The Kia Telluride was named Utility Vehicle of the Year. Kia Motors America President Michael Cole says the company can’t keep up with the demand that started with last year’s Super Bowl game. “We believe we’re a very hard-working brand that is providing vehicles for hard-working Americans," states Cole. "That was the mantra we almost led off with with our launch communications last year.”
The other finalists for Utility of the Year were the Lincoln Navigator and the Hyundai Palisade.
The big three domestic carmakers boasted all three finalists for Truck of the Year, including Ford’s Ranger and the Ram Heavy Duty, but the winner was the Jeep Gladiator. Jim Morrison is vice president of Jeep North America. “You can take the doors off, you can take the top off," Morrison explains, "but it had to be what a pickup truck buyer is looking for, and that is a very capable pickup truck.”
In the past, these awards have kicked off the press previews of the North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Hall, but much has changed since last year’s show.
Cobo Center is now known as the TCF Center, and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is moving the show to the summer.
The 2021 Car, Truck and Utility of the Year nominees will be announced at the Detroit auto show in June.