2015 Volkswagen GolfThe Volkswagen Golf has been awarded the 2015 North American Car of the Year title in a ceremony ahead of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show’s opening day.

The Golf beat two other finalists, the Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis, after 57 jurors voted in a secret ballot recently. The VW Golf succeeds the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray as the latest North American Car of the Year.

Winning the NACOTY prize will be a real boost for Volkswagen of America, which is pinning its hopes on the revitalized 2015 Golf range to drive forward its US sales. The full Golf range won the title, including the hot GTI range-topper.

It was clearly a surprise to the VW team – they shouted with joy when the announcement was read out!

2015 Ford F-150

The 2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year was also awarded – to the Ford F-150. It again beat two other finalists, the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC, to take the NACOTY award.

Judges praised the innovative aluminum structure that cuts weight, improves strength (and, an insider told us, adds around $2,000 to the unit cost of the vehicle…).

The Ford F-150 takes over the title of North American Truck/Utility of the Year from 2014’s winner, the Chevrolet Silverado.

NACOTY history

The North American Car & Truck/Utility of the Year Awards first ran back in 1994. That year, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class scooped the cars prize, and the Dodge Ram was awarded best truck.

Since then, domestic makers have won the car category 12 times, with foreign brands winning it nine times – Europeans have taken it four times, Japanese automakers have won three times and Korean brands have scooped it twice (Hyundai taking the honours both times).

Domestic automakers have been even more successful in the truck/utility category, winning it 14 times against foreign brands’ seven trophies. Japanese automakers have taken it four times against the Europeans’ triple victories: Korean car makers have never won the truck/utility prize.