Hyundai, Ram Split Car, Truck of the Year Awards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – It was a big day for Hyundai Motor America as the company took home both the North American Car of the Year and North American Utility Vehicle of the Year awards Monday morning.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Hyundai Kona Electric won the award for Utility of the Year, while Genesis – Hyundai’s luxury brand – won Car of the Year for its G70.

“This is only our third year as a new brand and having this sort of recognition here means a lot. It means a lot to our worldwide team of designers, technicians, engineers and all those boots on the ground. You can’t imagine how much this means for us and the brand,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, global brand head for Genesis, at the awards ceremony. “I can’t see exactly what’s in store, but I think there’s much, much more to come.”

The G70 beat out the Honda Insight and Volvo S60 and V60 for the award. The Kona, meanwhile, beat out the Acura RDX and Jaguar I-Pace, for the Hyundai brand’s third award for the North American award.

“We are especially happy to win as we were up against two great competitors. This is the third time Hyundai has won the vehicle of the year award and it’s something that means a lot to us,” said the president of Hyundai USA, William Lee. “We developed the Kona to be affordable, timeless and functional. It was those attributes that formed the platform for our electric models.”

Taking home the award for North American Truck of the Year was the Ram 1500, which beat out the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500.

“I’d like to thank the judges for seeing what we at FCA have seen in Ram. It’s a great recognition of the work of the men and women at FCA: our engineers, designers and the people who are building it on the shop floor,” said Reid Bigland, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ head of U.S. sales and the Ram brand. “What’s most gratifying for me is that consumers are seeing what the judges see in this vehicle. The last three months in a row, our Ram 1500 sales have been up over 20% and in December alone were up a whopping 47%.”

A panel of 54 independent judges representing print, digital, radio and broadcast media in the United States and Canada selects winners of the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards. Nominees grade vehicles on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value.

“We want to thank every automaker for taking the time and effort to work with us throughout the year as our jurors rigorously tested, evaluated and debated the best new vehicles on the market,” said the organization’s president, Lauren Fix. “Now in our 25th year, we are proud that both automakers and consumers recognize the value our awards provide to new car buyers.”

Pictured: The Genesis G70 won the North American Car of the Year award Monday morning in Detroit.

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