[ad#post_ad]A team of 50 judges have made their choice of short list candidates for 2011 North American Car of the Year.

For the first time in history, electric cars have made their way to the list. Bot the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF are candidates.

Here is the press release:

DETROIT, - General Motors and Nissan dominate the list of 14 cars being considered for the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The list includes two electric vehicles, Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

The awards are unique in the United States because -- instead of being given by a single media outlet -- they are awarded by automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites.

Twenty-seven new cars were eligible for the 2011 North American Car of the Year award. Earlier this week jurors voted on those they thought deserved additional consideration or what is known as the “short list” That narrowed the field to 14 semi-finalist cars, which will be on the ballot in December.

General Motors and Nissan each have three models on the short list. There are four European models, four domestic and four from Japan. Two are from Korea.

The jurors did not vote on the trucks because there were only 14 and it did not seem necessary to narrow the field from that original list.

The three car and three truck finalists will be announced on December 16th at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit. The final two winners, a North American Car of the Year and a North American Truck of the Yedar, will be announced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This is the 18th year of the awards, which are funded exclusively by the jurors. During that time:

• Domestic automakers have won North American Car of the Year nine times. European automakers have won four times, Japanese automakers have won three times. A Korean automaker has won once.

• Domestic automakers have won North American Truck of the Year 11 times. Japanese automakers have won four times. European automakers have won twice.
2011 North American Car of the Year Short List:
Audi A8
Buick Regal
Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Volt
Ford Fiesta
Hyundai Sonata/2.0T/Hybrid
Infiniti M37/56
Jaguar XJ
Kia Optima
Mazda Mazda2
Nissan Juke
Nissan Leaf
Volkswagen Jetta
Volvo S60
North American Truck of the Year Short List:
Dodge Durango
Ford Edge
Ford Explorer
Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Tucson
Infiniti QX56
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Kia Sportage
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Porsche Cayenne
Toyota Sienna
Volkswagen Touareg
Let this be the first of many. It's about time.
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