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Inaugural Earth, Wind & Power Car & Truck of the Year Winners' Announced

For Immediate Release

DETROIT, January 10, 2009 – Today, the inaugural Earth, Wind & Power Awards (EWP) were presented at the 13th Annual International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY), the largest automotive awards show in the industry. Held at the MGM Grand Detroit on the eve of press week of the North American International Auto Show, the black-tie gala was host to more than 600 industry leaders and media.

Produced and hosted by Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Earth, Wind & Power Magazine, with co-host Kevin Smith, editorial director of, the duo announced the winners for the most eco-friendly car and truck of the year.

The ICOTY jury, made up of 16 nationally-renowned automotive journalists, selected the 2009 eco-friendly vehicles with final ballots tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates to ensure accuracy and credibility. And the winners are:

Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Ford Escape Hybrid

Accepting the honor of EWP Car of the Year on behalf of Volkswagen of America was Chief Operating Officer Mark Barnes. Frank Davis, Executive Director North American Product Development accepted the EWP Truck of the Year Award on behalf of Ford Motor Company.

The mission of the EWP Awards is to recognize vehicles driven by a power source that help reduce global warming, are conducive to promoting a cleaner environment and support the mission to achieve energy independence through alternative sources.

“With global warming and foreign oil dependence a mainstream concern today, more people are turning to fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles,” says Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY creator and producer. “It’s become of vital interest to consumers, automakers, and the future of our planet to produce vehicles that are compatible with our environment.”

In addition to the EWP Awards, the second annual EARTH ANGEL Award was presented to Honda Motor Company. Sponsored by Bridgestone, the award honors the automaker making the most progress with environmental initiatives and partnerships on a worldwide level.

In addition to the ICOTY awards, Road & Travel Magazine presented its annual Lifetime Legend Award, honoring veteran automotive journalist Warren Brown, a long-time contributor to The Washington Post. The sixth annual Legend Award was sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

Sponsors for the 2009, black-tie VIP & Media Reception that preceded the show were: Chrysler LLC, General Motors Corporation, State Farm, Subaru of America, American Honda, Audi of America, Hyundai of America, Mazda NA Operations, BorgWarner Inc., Continental, Mercedes-Benz USA, and U-Haul International.

2009 media partners include, MSN Autos, Yahoo! Autos, Consumer Guide Automotive, Autobytel/, ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine, AOL Autos, and Earth, Wind & Power Blogazine, all of which will provide post event coverage.

The ICOTY Awards were founded in 1996 by Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of RTM. Coined the “Academy Awards of Cars,” ICOTY has become the largest auto awards show production in the United States. Its unique theme was created to celebrate the emotional connection between car and consumer and to recognize automakers that most successfully accomplish that goal through the design and marketing of their vehicles. Today, many automakers use the ‘emotional connection’ theme in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

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