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Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Passat Finalists for 2012 North American Car of the Year

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Fifty automotive journalists have selected the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat as the three finalists for the 2012 North American Car of the Year.

The finalists for the 2012 North American Truck of the Year are the BMW X3, the Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

The awards are unique in the United States because -- instead of being given by a single media outlet -- they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. The awards are financed by the jurors' dues and NACTOY does not accept advertising from automakers.

To be eligible a vehicle must be all new or substantially changed. After considering dozens of vehicles this year the jurors finally voted on 17 cars and seven trucks.

The winners of the contest will be announced on Jan. 9 at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Last year the North American Car of the Year was the Chevrolet Volt and the North American Truck of the Year was the Ford Explorer.

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