The 2009 North America Car and Truck Of The Year finalists, announced today, features the Hyundai Genesis, the first finalist from a Korean automaker. The awards will be presented at January's Detroit Auto Show.

The Hyundai Genesis will have stiff competition for 2009 North American Car Of The Year from the Ford Flex and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, but is probably just happy to be nominated.

The Truck Of The Year is a standoff between the 2009 Ford F-150, 2009 Dodge Ram and the diesel Mercedes ML320 BlueTec. Both diesels are the first diesels in the award's 16-year history to make the final cut.

For those keeping score at home, the best vehicles in North America for 2009 according to the motoring press are either American trucks/crossovers, German diesels or a Korean luxury car. Noticeably absent from this list is a Japanese car or truck, especially given the Japanese have won TOTY four times and COTY three times.


Last year the Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda CX-9 were last years winners in the car and truck categories, respectively.

[Source: Automotive News sub. req.]