A group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada has selected the 2004 Toyota Prius as the 2004 North American Car of the Year and the 2004 Ford F-150 as the North American Truck of the Year. The awards honour vehicles that establish new benchmarks in areas including design, innovation, safety and handling. Now in their tenth year, they are the only independent, international awards in North America. Instead of coming from a single publication they are given by veteran automotive journalists representing newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Most of those journalists have been covering the auto industry for at least two decades. The winners were announced January 4th at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, although the auto show is not otherwise involved. The jurors considered 17 cars and 13 trucks. The three car finalists were the Toyota Prius, Mazda RX-8 and Cadillac XLR. The three truck finalists were the Nissan Titan, the Ford F-150 and the Cadillac SRX. The jurors voted early in December, sending their ballots to Deloitte. The firm counted the ballots but kept the winners secret until the news conference, when the sealed envelopes containing the names of the winners were opened by Tony Swan, the executive editor of Car and Driver magazine and a juror. The Prius received 298 points, compared to 167 for the RX-8 and 113 for the XLR. The Ford F-150 received 317 points, compared to 249 for the Titan and 198 for the SRX.