To put a punctuation mark on a day when the company named a new CEO, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Tuesday placed three vehicles on the list of six finalists for the Automotive Press Association’s North American Car and Truck of the year awards. The Chevy Silverado, the Corvette Stingray, and the Cadillac CTS were among the six finalists.
The remaining finalist for car of the year is the Mazda3 and the Acura MDX from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) joins the Jeep Cherokee from Chrysler Group LLC as the other finalists in the truck of the year category. Winners will be announced on January 13th at the Detroit Auto show.
A total of 28 cars and 18 trucks and SUVs were considered by the association in making the final selections. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was shut out of the finalist list, continuing a string of poor showings for the country’s second largest car maker. Ford recently placed poorly in three quality surveys. In the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, the brand rated well below average. In the 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, it rated below average. And in the new Consumer Reports reliability study, Ford ranked 26th on a list of 28 brands.
And the Cadillac CTS may have impressed the journalists who got to take the cars for a spin, but Cadillac owners rate the brand barely better than average on the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey and below average on the J.D. Power Dependability Survey. Motor Trend magazine named the CTS its “Car of the Year” last month. But the Cadillac brand barely affects luxury brand leaders like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
In September we note that the Acura MDX from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) was one of the cars (actually a luxury SUV) that Americans do not want to buy. The MDX got rave reviews (there’s nothing like giving a journalist a chance to drive a vehicle he or she probably can’t afford to buy), but sales have been slow.
GM’s appointment of Mary Barra as the company’s new CEO got the former “Government Motors” party started today, and the announcement of the finalists for these awards was the icing on the cake.