General Motors took home the 2014 North American Car of the Year award with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the 2013 North American Car of the Year award with the Cadillac ATS. General Motors could make it three in a row with the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, and while there are a handful of other GM vehicles on the Car of the Year short list – my safe money is on the 6th generation Camaro.
Update: It has been brought to my attention that the North American Car and Truck of the Year website has not been updated to reflect that VW Golf winning for 2015. The current process is for the 2016 year, so while GM wont be winning 3 in a row, they would be winning 3 in 4 years. My apologies for the error.
2015 North American Car of the Year Short List
There are ten vehicles on the 2015 North American Car of the Year short list, including the Chevrolet Camaro, the BMW 7 Series, the Cadillac CT6, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Chevrolet Volt, the Honda Civic, the Kia Optima, the Mazda MX5, the Nissan Maxima and the Toyota Prius. There are some very heavy hitters on that list, including a handful of vehicles that will almost certainly be among the bestselling cars in the US market such as the Civic and the Optima –and the next generation of the bestselling hybrid in America with the new Prius.
It is tough competition, but based on the importance of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to the North American auto industry coupled with the jurors’ preference for performance vehicles (as displayed by the Corvette taking the trophy last year), the Camaro has a good chance of taking home the biggest title in the US market.
The Camaro has In-House Competition
While I believe that the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro could win the 2015 North American Car of the Year award, it has some tough competition from within the General Motors lineup. The new Cadillac CT6 not only ushers in a new rear-drive large luxury sedan, but also the beginning of the new naming process for the premium American brand. The Cadillac ATS took home the NACOTY award in 2013 and if not for the Camaro being involved in the same contest, the CT6 might be my favorite in betting on the 2015 winner.
Also, while I would be shocked to see the Malibu going beyond the short list, there is a chance that the new and improved 2016 Chevy Volt could grab enough votes to make it into the finals. However, with the new Volt only being sold in a few select markets, the jurors might go for a car with more widespread appeal across North America.
No Truck/Uility Repeat for GM
While General Motors has a good chance of winning their third straight North American Car of the Year award, the company will definitely not be winning a back to back Truck or Utility of the Year award. There are 12 vehicles on the truck/utility vehicle of the year short list, but not a single one of them is from GM.
Running for the 2015 Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year award are the Ford Edge, the Honda HRV, the Honda Pilot, the Hyundai Tucson, the Jeep Renegade, the Kia Sorento, the new Lexus RX lineup, the Mazda CX3, the Nissan Titan XD, the Tesla Model X, the Toyota Tacoma and the Volvo XC90. The only trucks in the battle are the Nissan and the Toyota, and while the Titan XD has been heavily acclaimed, the Tacoma has long been one of the most popular small trucks in America – which will continue into the next generation.
The next phase of the award is the announcement of the finals, at which point the top three vehicles in each class will be announced, with the winners being announced on the opening day of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.