Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas, accepts the hardware from Tony Swan of Car and Driver

For just the third time in the 17-year history of the North American Car and Truck of the Year, one manufacturer has taken home both pieces of etched glass. Ford's 2010 Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect have yielded the hardware for the Dearborn automaker here at the Detroit Auto Show, with the Fusion emerging victorious over the shortlisted Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf, and the Transit Connect besting the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback.

The last time a single manufacturer won both the Car and Truck of the Year awards was back in 2006, when Honda did double duty with its Civic compact and Ridgeline pickup. In total, a U.S. automaker has won the car award nine times, and the truck award, 11 times. Official press release after the jump.


Related Gallery2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Related Gallery2010 Ford Transit Connect

[Source: Ford]

Follow our coverage of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show live all day on Twitter at http://twitter.com/therealautoblog


FORD SWEEPS N.A. CAR AND TRUCK OF THE YEAR AWARDS

* Ford swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), winning both prestigious awards for the
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the 2010 Ford Transit Connect, respectively
* It is the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both awards
* The Ford Fusion Hybrid is America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway
* The Transit Connect is an industry-exclusive vehicle developed to be a smart new choice for small business owners; it offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans, generous and accessible cargo space, and the agility and maneuverability to operate in crowded urban areas

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2010 – Ford Motor Company scored a historic doubleheader today, capturing both the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2010 Ford Transit Connect, respectively, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). It is only the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both titles.

"Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers," said Mark Fields, president of
The Americas.

The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards recognize vehicles based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. A jury of 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada vote for the vehicles, which must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous model to qualify for the award.

The Fusion Hybrid edged out finalists including the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf/GTI to win the North American Car of the Year award. It is the fourth hybrid vehicle in 17 years to win recognition as North American Car (or Truck) of the Year. It also is the second hybrid win for Ford – the most hybrid wins for any automaker. The Ford Escape Hybrid was named North American Truck of the Year in 2005.

The Transit Connect bested finalists including the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback to win the North American Truck of the Year award. It is the sixth Ford truck to win the award – the most wins of any automaker in the 17-year history of the awards program. It also is the second year in a row that Ford has captured the title. Last year, top honors went to the 2009 Ford F-150.

Fusion Hybrid a winner out of the gate
The North American Car of the Year award is the latest in an impressive string of awards and accolades for the Fusion Hybrid. Most recently, the vehicle was honored as CAR and DRIVER Magazine's "10Best" Cars for 2010, one of AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2010 All-Stars, and the entire Fusion lineup captured the acclaimed MOTOR TREND Car of the Year® award.

The all-new Fusion Hybrid arrived in dealers in March, complete with a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy.
The Fusion Hybrid also offers drivers a way to be more connected to the hybrid driving experience thanks to Ford's SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster execution that helps coach them on how to optimize the performance of their hybrid.

Other class-exclusive technologies and features that set the Fusion Hybrid apart from the competition include Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), Ford SYNC®, SIRIUS Travel Link™ and more total passenger and luggage capacity than the Toyota Camry.

Despite the slump in overall industry sales, 2009 was a record-breaking year for the Ford Fusion. Sales are at an all-time high, with the Fusion Hybrid accounting for almost 20 percent of total Fusion retail sales. Perhaps even more significant, more than 60 percent of Fusion Hybrid sales have been to customers coming from import brands – mostly Toyota and Honda.

Awards and accolades for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid include:

* MOTOR TREND Car of the Year Award
* One of CAR and DRIVER Magazine's "10Best" Cars for 2010
* One of AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2010 All-Stars
* 2009 "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
* 2009 Ward's Interior of the Year Special Achievement Award for Best Graphic Display for SmartGauge with EcoGuide digital instrument cluster
* Great Car for the Long-haul Salesman by Kelley Blue Book kbb.com
* One of America's Top 40 New Cars by MOTOR TREND magazine
* Rated the No. 1 Hybrid Family Sedan by CAR and DRIVER in a recent comparison test by the magazine
* 2009 and 2010 Editors Choice for Fuel Sipper by CAR and DRIVER Magazine
* Best Hybrid for the Money in the Midsize Car segment by cars.com
* One of 2009 Top 10 Green Cars by Kelley Blue Book kbb.com
* The Detroit News Readers' Choice Award for "Best Value"
* 2010 Consumers Digest Best Buy
* Detroit Free Press 2010 Car of the Year
* 2010 Most Environmentally Progressive Car of the Year by Earth, Wind & Power
* 10 Best Engine by Ward's Auto World

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is built at Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant.

Transit Connect fills unmet needs of small businesses and fleets
The Transit Connect was brought to the U.S. to fulfill the unmet needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs, offering them a new vehicle choice with significantly improved fuel economy, generous and accessible cargo space, and the agility and maneuverability to operate in crowded urban areas.

Powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, the
Transit Connect offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans, delivering an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

The Transit Connect also has more than double the cargo-carrying capacity of the Chevrolet HHR Panel, making it suitable for a broader range of commercial-use applications. And it offers commercial users a cargo payload of up to 1,600 pounds – a larger payload than the full-size Dodge Ram 1500 standard-cab short-box pickup truck.

The Transit Connect also is available with the industry-exclusive Ford Work Solutions™, a suite of affordable technologies that provides customers with connectivity, flexibility, visibility and security to better run key aspects of their business.

On Transit Connect, Ford Work Solutions delivers three innovative features:

* A wireless in-dash computer that provides full high-speed Internet access, Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calling and navigation. The system also allows customers to print invoices, check inventories and access documents stored on their home or office computer networks right on the job site.
* Tool Link™, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system that enables customers to maintain detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment.
* Crew Chief™, a fleet tracking, telematics and diagnostics system that provides dynamic location and performance data fleet owners need to more efficiently manage their vehicles, quickly dispatch workers to job sites, monitor driver performance for safety and economy, and keep detailed vehicle maintenance records.

Awards and accolades for the 2010 Ford Transit Connect include:

* 2010 Editors Choice for Vans by CAR and DRIVER Magazine
* Detroit Free Press 2010 Truck of the Year
* The Detroit News 2010 Truck of the Year
* 2010 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award for Best Workhorse Vehicle
* A Great Car for the Small Business Delivery/Utility Worker by Kelley Blue Book kbb.com

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect is built at the Ford Otosan Kocaeli Plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.

# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.