Ford (F) Takes Home 2 Honors

It’s that time of the year when automotive companies, motorheads, and industry watchers alike eagerly wait for the winners of the prestigious NACTOY (North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year) Awards. Finally, the wait is over. The results of the 2022 NACTOY Awards were announced yesterday. An independent jury of 50 automotive journalists determined the winners from the three finalists in each category (car, truck and utility vehicle) released in November.

Check Out the Winners

It was a big day for Ford F as the U.S. auto giant won two of the three awards. Ford Maverick was named as 2022 Truck of the Year while Ford Bronco took the Utility Vehicle of the Year honor. Meanwhile, Japan’s auto biggie Honda’s HMC popular Honda Civic claimed the Car of the Year win, beating the other two finalists Lucid Air and Volkswagen Golf.

The all-new Honda Civic, redesigned for the 2022 model year, is the 11th generation of America’s most popular compact car. Honda has produced around 11 million Civics in North America (more than 45% of that number in the United States). Per media sources, the jury was impressed by the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, affordability, reliability and the fact that it is a fun ride. It should be noted that this was the third NACTOY Award for Honda Civic, with the 8th and the 10th generation Civic models winning in 2006 and 2016, respectively.

Ford Maverick topped the other truck finalists — the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Rivian R1T. Ford began deliveries of Maverick in September and sold 13,258 units of the same in 2021. Meanwhile, Bronco beat fellow finalists — Genesis GV70 and Hyundai IONIQ 5 — in the utility vehicle category. Deliveries of Bronco commenced in June, with Ford having sold 35,023 units last year.

It was the second consecutive year that Ford took home two of the three coveted NACTOY Awards. Last year, Ford claimed top utility and truck wins for Mustang Mach-E and F-150, respectively. The automaker’s focus on transforming its vehicle lineup by focusing more on bigger, more profitable and popular vehicles like SUVs and trucks seems to be paying off. F currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

EV Finalists at the 2022 NACTOY Awards

While no electric vehicle (EV) won the crown this year, it marked the first time that each category included a green vehicle among the finalists, underscoring the fact that the auto industry is fast advancing toward an e-mobility future. The EV models that made through the list of finalists were Rivian’s RIVN R1T truck, Lucid Motors’ LCID luxury electric car Lucid Air and Hyundai Motors’ all-electric midsize CUV Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Rivian— the first company to bring an e-pickup to the consumer market— had unveiled prototypes of the all-electric R1T truck at the LA Auto Show in late 2018 and started deliveries of the same in September 2021. In fact, last month, MotorTrend named Rivian R1T the Truck of the Year, calling it “the most remarkable pickup truck we’ve ever driven.” The vehicle, however, failed to claim the NACTOY Truck of the Year award.

EV startup Lucid Motors, which went public in June 2021, announced in September that the company had thus far received more than 13,000 reservations for the vehicle. LCID claimed that its Lucid Air model received the longest EPA range rating for any electric car — 520 miles on a single recharge. The company began the deliveries of Lucid Air in late October.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the latest all-electric offering by the South Korea-based auto manufacturer, Hyundai. Last summer, Hyundai launched Ioniqbrand, dedicated entirely to EVs. The company confirmed launching three new electric cars under the brand within the next four years, beginning with the Ioniq 5, followed by Ioniq 6 and Ioniq 7. With a 350-kW charger, Ioniq 5 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. The vehicle emits zero tailpipe emissions and offers a driving range of up to 481 km. Built on a cutting-edge new platform, cool design and driving dynamics, Hyundai claims Ioniq 5 to be a ground-breaking electric CUV, delivering a thrilling performance.

But Gas-Powered Vehicles Rule the Show

While EV finalists made their way to the runners up position, none of the three models could get the trophy home. It was the ICE vehicles that made a clean sweep. It would probably take another year for the green vehicles to rule the award show, with various new models across all categories set to hit the market in 2022. But the fact that the 2022 NACTOY Awards had an EV finalist in each category is encouraging and marks a step in the right direction.

Quoting NACTOY president Gary Witzenburg “2021 has been a highly significant year in automotive history. We have seen ground-breaking and appealing new electric vehicles from almost every brand along with the emergence of new vehicle segments and impressive redesigns of familiar models.”

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Katherine E. Ackerman

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