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2021 North American Car and Truck of the Year Award Winners Announced

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Ford took home honors in both categories it was eligible for, while South Korean companies continued their recent streak of recognition.

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The North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY) have announced their list of winners for 2021.

For the fifth time in the award’s 28 year history, Ford’s F-150 pickup received Truck of the Year. The Detroit automaker also garnered recognition for its all-electric Mustang Mach E, which was named Utility Vehicle of the Year by the committee of automotive journalists.

There’s going to be an ongoing market for cars in spite of their shrinking market share.” — Karl Brauer, CarExpert.com

CarExpert.com executive publisher Karl Brauer is one of the jurors for the award. He says car companies have long struggled to make hybrid vehicles that appeal beyond their eco-friendly selling point. 

Manufacturers have a tough time doing that,” says Brauer, “and especially at a price that’s still compelling. I think the Mustang Mach E is an incredibly compelling vehicle regardless of its drivetrain, and oh by the way it is an electric vehicle.”

The Hyundai Elantra received Car of the Year, making it the fourth South Korean product to win a category in the last three years. Brauer says Hyundai committed to a major redesign and multiple versions of its sub-compact model.

Something like the Hyundai Elantra being so thoroughly redesigned and really well done,” says Brauer, “proves that there’s going to be an ongoing market for cars in spite of their shrinking market share. It’s just going to be left for the strong.”

The recognition marks the third time Hyundai has won a NACTOY category in the last three years — more than any other brand during that span.

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Alex McLenon, Associate Producer

Alex McLenon is an Associate Reporter/Producer with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.

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