DETROIT (Jan. 10, 2005) —The Chrysler 300/300c was named the North American Car of the Year and the Ford Escape Hybrid the Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.
The picks were made by 48 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada at the annual Detroit show. It was the second year in a row that a hybrid vehicle was chosen by the group. Last year the Toyota Prius was the North American Car of the Year.
A hybrid uses an electric motor to boost or temporarily replace a conventional gas or diesel engine, resulting in reduced emissions and better fuel economy.
Each year since 1994 a jury of automotive journalists representing newspapers, magazines and television has honored a new car and a new truck that set the new standard in their segments in areas including innovation, value for the dollar, safety, ride and handling.
Early in December the journalists voted on 17 new cars and 12 new trucks, with the ballots sent to accounting firm Deloitte & Touche in Detroit. Finalists' names were released Dec. 13. Car of the Year finalists were the Chrysler 300/300C, the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette. Truck of the Year finalists were the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Ford Freestyle and the Land Rover LR3.