There was an audible "Wooohhhh" sound when they announced the Hyundai Genesis as the 2009 North American Car Of The Year moments ago, marking the first win and nomination for a Korean automaker.
The Genesis benefited from the new factor as well as the fact one of the other nominations, the Ford Flex, is barely a car and based on a familiar platform. As much as we were holding out for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, we hope, like a pre-Departed Martin Scorsese, they're just happy to be nominated. Score one for the Koreans. You can read our Hyundai Genesis review for our impressions.
Unlike other award ceremonies, we'd point out, the NACTOY is an actual contest with real journalists nominating and voting for the vehicles so this isn't just a headline grabber.