January 11, 2009

Hyundai wins Car of the Year

South Korean automaker Hyundai has been awarded the North American Car of the Year for its Genesis luxury sedan.

The Genesis beat out the Ford Flex crossover and the diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI for the award, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Hyun Soon Lee, Hyundai's vice chairman, said the car lives up to its name.

The Genesis, is Hyundai's first luxury sedan, is the company's first rear-wheel-drive car and is powered by Hyundai's first V-8 engine.

The Ford F-150 was chosen as the North American Truck of the Year. The F-150 beat out the Dodge Ram pickup and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC diesel sport utility vehicle for the award.

The F-150 has been the nation's best-selling vehicle for decades, the newspaper noted.

Our team spends a whole lot of time with customers to understand how they use their vehicles, said Ford President Mark Fields.

To be eligible for the award, vehicles had to be either all-new or substantially changed from the previous model. This year, more than 50 vehicles were eligible.

The winners were chosen by a jury of 50 full-time auto journalists.