The 2009 Green Car of the Year, the Jetta TDI, could also be named the 2009 North American Car of the Year. After winning the top honor in LA a month ago, the Jetta TDI joins the Ford Flex and the Hyundai Genesis as finalists for the NACOTY award that will be handed out at the start of the Detroit Auto Show next month. The diesel love extends to the North American Truck of the Year, where the finalists are: the Dodge Ram, the Ford F-150 and the Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC. While the 50 judges will be picking from a long list of characteristics (read 'em after the jump), you can choose your favorite for whatever reason you want. So:

What's your choice for 2009 Car of the Year?
Jetta TDI712 (57.4%)
Ford Flex105 (8.5%)
Hyundai Genesis117 (9.4%)
None of those, thanks306 (24.7%)

How 'bout for Truck of the Year?
Dodge Ram112 (10.6%)
Ford F-150258 (24.3%)
Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC448 (42.3%)
Something else242 (22.8%)


If you chose "none of the above," please let us know what your choice is in the comments.

[Source: NAIAS]


PRESS RELEASE:

Finalists Announced for 2009 North American Car and North American Truck of the Year Awards

Finalists for the 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were announced today (Thursday, Dec. 18) at the Detroit Economic Club's annual auto show luncheon.

The finalists for the 2009 North American Car of the Year honors are the Ford Flex, Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Finalists for the 2009 North American Truck of the Year award are the Dodge Ram, Ford F-150 and the Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC.

Between now and the opening of NAIAS 2009, the 50 journalists who serve as jurors will vote again ranking the finalists. Winners will be announced at the show's first press conference on Sunday, Jan. 11.

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


* bold indicates finalists

NewsFlash and ShowTalk Go Digital
This year, the Auto Show's key industry publications are being designed and delivered in a digital format. This move reflects the Auto Show's commitment to deliver both event and industry-related news in a more timely and productive way. The new approach to NewsFlash and ShowTalk is part of a larger auto show communications' initiative that will be implemented beginning in 2009. Experience more at the new Auto Show web site, www.naias.com.

About the North American International Auto Show
Rod Alberts - Executive Director
Entering its 21st year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most - up close and in one place. One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. The NAIAS Web site can be accessed at www.naias.com.