Eric D. Lawrence
| Detroit Free Press
Ford Motor took two of three of the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards announced Monday.The Hyundai Elantra, Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang Mach-E were picked to receive the awards for car, truck and utility vehicle, respectively.Ford cheered the news, noting it’s the first time since 2014 the same brand has won multiple North American vehicle of the year awards.“This recognition for Mustang Mach-E and F-150 is validation not only for our brand, but also for our Ford team, which continues to innovate and deliver on its commitment to creating must-have products and services,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of the Americas and International Markets Group, said in a statement. “The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards are among the most prestigious in the industry and such an honor serves as a capstone achievement for years of hard work for the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 teams.”Fallout: US Capitol rioters are being identified and fired from jobsTough times: Despite stimulus, fewer than 4 in 10 Americans could pay for an emergency $1,000 expenseFord bested Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the truck category, where the Ram 1500 TRX and Jeep Gladiator Mojave were finalists, and the Dearborn automaker was also tops in the utility category, where the electric Mach-E faced the Land Rover Defender and Genesis GV80. Hyundai beat out the Nissan Sentra and Genesis G80 to take the car award.Jose Munoz, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America, called it a wonderful way to start 2021 as he thanked the award jurors during the presentation.”We’re really so proud of this tremendous recognition. I want to thank also Hyundai Motor Co. for providing us such a great car and our dealers who are really providing the top customer experience,” Munoz said.Here’s what a few of those connected to the awards had to say about the winners:Karl Brauer, executive publisher at CarExpert, who votes on the awards, said that “with bold styling and an impressive list of standard high tech features, along with multiple configurations that include hybrid and high-performance models, the Elantra confirms Hyundai’s serious commitment to the compact car segment.”Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan, another voter for the awards, said, “The Mach-E future-proofs a legendary name, and adapts key Mustang design elements to the popular SUV body style. The Mach-E oozes new technology.”He also had this to say about the F-150, that “it’s America’s best-selling vehicle, and the new 2021 model does everything better than the 2020 model, including offering the F-series’ first hybrid, a flexible model that can power your house, a worksite, or deliver an EPA-rated 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving.”The announcement, in partnership with the North American International Auto Show, was done virtually rather than at Detroit’s TCF Center because of the COVID-19 pandemic.U.S. and Canadian auto journalists picked the winners from a field of nine finalists and 27 semifinalists.Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Eric D. Lawrence on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence.