Auto News for Sept. 26 – GM, Kia, Hyundai Top Awards List

  The judges have winnowed down the list of candidates for North American Car/Truck/Utility vehicle of the Year from 44 to 29 semifinalists. As always, the top prizes will be announced at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, but what is different this time around is that Sport Utility Vehicles will get their own category. GM has the most vehicles on the remaining list with seven followed by Hyundai/Kia with four.

Making the cut for Car of the Year were:

Acura NSX

Audi A4

Buick LaCrosse

Cadillac CT6

Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Bolt

Genesis G90

Hyundai Elantra

Jaguar XE

Kia Cadenza

Lincoln Continental

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman

Toyota Prius Prime

Volvo S90

Utility Vehicle of the Year Nominees:

Audi Q7

Buick Envision

Cadillac XT5

Chrysler Pacifica

GMC Acadia

Infiniti QX30

Kia Sportage

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

Jaguar F-Pace

Mazda CX-9

Nissan Armada

Truck of the Year Nominees:

Ford F-Series Super Duty

Ford F-150 Raptor

Honda Ridgeline

Nissan Titan (½ ton) 

Here are my early predictions:

The 2017 Acura NSX supercar and NSX GT3 racecar will be featured at multiple events throughout Monterey Automotive Week.

The 2017 TITAN half-ton builds on the foundation of design innovation established by the original Titan full-size pickup, including bed and cab features that are now industry standard, and the rugged workhorse sensibility of the new TITAN XD.

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

 Car of the Year will be the Acura NSX, while the GMC Acadia will capture the SUV category. The Truck of the Year is a tough call, with the Nissan Titan edging out the others in a close race.

 GM is offering buyouts to about 400 smaller dealers ahead of a new incentive program that takes effect on New Year’s Day. Automotive News says smaller dealers may not be allowed to have new cars in their showrooms but only take orders on line. Those dealers represent less than 10 percent of Cadillac’s business and sell less than 50 of the branded vehicles a year. In virtually all cases, they also offer other GM brands.

 Just an update on an earlier story… Members of a larger Canadian auto workers union have approved a new four year contract with General Motors. Talks are continuing with Fiat Chrysler.