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Car and Truck of Year candidates announced
The polls are closed and jurors' votes for the 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are being counted with the finalists scheduled to be announced Thursday.

The 50 journalists who serve as jurors for the awards finished voting on Dec. 10. The three car finalists and three truck finalists will be announced at the Detroit Economic Club's annual auto show luncheon on Dec. 18.

Candidates for the 2009 North American Car of the Year are the: Audi A4; BMW 1 Series; Cadillac CTS-V; Dodge Challenger; Ford Flex; Honda Fit; Hyundai Genesis; Jaguar XF; Lincoln MKS; Mazda6; Nissan GT-R; Pontiac G8; Toyota Venza; and Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

Candidates for the 2009 North American Truck of the Year are the: BMW X6; Chevrolet Traverse; Dodge Ram; Ford F-150; Honda Pilot; Infiniti FX35/50; Kia Borrego; Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec; Nissan Murano; Subaru Forester; and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Once the finalists are announced Thursday, jurors will cast a second vote for their top choice for each category. The winners will be announced on the first press day of NAIAS 2009 on Jan. 11. Until that time only officials from the Detroit office of the accounting firm of Deloitte will know the winners.

As in the past, jurors, who are from across North America and cover everything from the business of the auto industry to the nuts and bolts of the car, had 25 points to distribute among the car nominees and 25 points to distribute among the truck nominees. No vehicle could receive more than 10 points.

On the second ballot, jurors will have 10 points to distribute for car and 10 points for truck. All 10 points can be awarded to one vehicle or split among the three finalists in each category.

Vehicles are honored for setting new standards and new benchmarks in their class. Top criteria in the competition are value for the dollar and affordability. Vehicles also are judged on general design, safety, fuel economy, handling and general roadworthiness, performance, comfort, assembly quality, functionality, technical innovation, driver satisfaction and price.

2009 North American Car of the Year Candidates

Audi A4 Jaguar XF
BMW 1 Series Lincoln MKS
Cadillac CTS-V Mazda6
Dodge Challenger Nissan GT-R
Ford Flex Pontiac G8
Honda Fit Toyota Venza
Hyundai Genesis Volkswagen Jetta TDI

North American Truck of the Year Candidates
BMW X6 Kia Borrego
Chevrolet Traverse Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTec
Dodge Ram Nissan Murano
Ford F-150 Subaru Forester
Honda Pilot Volkswagen Tiguan
Infiniti FX35/50
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