North American Car of the Year Reveal New Welburn-designed Award



DETROIT – The North American Car of the Year jury today revealed an all-new trophy created by retired General Motors Design Director Ed Welburn to honor the most outstanding car, truck and utility vehicle of the year.

The striking cast aluminum award embodies an idealized vision of a vehicle in the same way the statue for the Oscars represents an ideal version of the human form, Welburn said.

Now in their 24th year, the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards are presented by an independent jury of distinguished automotive journalists from across the United States and Canada. The award was revealed at the December meeting of the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Michigan.

“What could be better than to have our new trophy created by one of the auto industry’s greatest designers,” said jury President Mark Phelan. “The board, jury members and sponsors are thrilled to present this work of art to the year’s best vehicles, and there’s no doubt the winning automakers will display it with pride. The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle awards are our industry’s most prestigious and highly desired. This new trophy gracefully embodies the style that has won automotive design a special place in the world of art.”

The award will have a new permanent home, to be located in the lobby of COBO Hall in Detroit, MI; the home of the North American International Auto Show. A larger version of the Ed Welburn designed award will remain enclosed with markers representing the winners of each award.

The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 at 7am ET.


The finalists for the awards are:

Car of the Year:

  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Genesis G90
  • Volvo S90

Truck of the Year:

  • Ford F-series Super Duty
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Nissan Titan

Utility Vehicle of the Year:

  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Mazda CX-9



The North American Car and Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards honor excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. Initiated in 1994, they are judged about 60 professional automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who work for magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. They are the longest-running award not associated with a specific publication, a structure that produces a diverse base of jurors.

The Utility of the Year award is new for 2017, reflecting the booming sales and growing diversity of vehicles ranging from rugged off-roaders to family hauling SUVs and minivans.

The NACTOY Awards are proudly sponsored by Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company.





Mark Phelan, President



Matt DeLorenzo, Vice President


Press Inquiries:

Lauren Fix, Secretary-Treasurer



For Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:

Rachel Withers




Paul Brian