Right after the Camry Hybrid was named 2007 Green Car of the Year, Toyota dedicated the award to Dave Hermance, the company's lead engineer on hybrid projects who died in a private airplane crash less than a week ago. Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal
and sponsor of the award, made the presentation to Ed La Rocque, Toyota's national car marketing manager. La Rocque thanked the magazine and then acknowledged the contributions that Hermance made to the hybrid's development. The Camry Hybrid beat out four other finalists that included the Honda Civic GX, Lexus LS450H, Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec and Saturn Vue Green Line. Voting were four magazine editors and a diverse field of seven outside judges that included the legendary hot rodder Carrol Shelby and representatives from environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, National Resource Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists. One of the voters told AutoblogGreen that the Camry's mainstream attraction was a leading factor in the decision.