Volkswagen Passat a finalist for North American Car of the Year

Volkswagen Passat a finalist for North American Car of the Year

December 15th, 2011 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

A new Volkswagen Passat sits on display on the deck of the Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga during a Volkswagen dinner and reception for international media in this file photo.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga-made Volkswagen Passat is a finalist for the 2012 North American Car of the Year.

It will compete against the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra for the annual award by a group of 50 automotive journalists that is coveted by automotive manufacturers.

The finalists were revealed today at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The judges selected the finalists from 17 new cars and seven new trucks. The winners of the contest will be announced Jan. 9 at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Passat, a key to VW's efforts to sell 1 million vehicles a year in the U.S. by 2018, went on sale in September.

For more, see Friday's Times Free Press.