The big winners of the North Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards for 2021 were announced last week, and together they represent a microcosm of the changes shaking up the automotive industry at present. We take a look.
2021 Car of the Year: Hyundai Elantra
The heavily redesigned Elantra took top honours in a category that is nowhere near the juggernaut it once, many consumers having departed it, perhaps permanently, for the more practical confines of the SUV format. And yet, the Hyundai’s many qualities are a reflection of the overall excellence of the cars that remain.
For automakers that are not the U.S. Big Three, the new realities of the car segments are that there is opportunity in the fact that the Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai models that populate it have fewer competitors to fight over the market share that remains. And that market share, though much reduced, is still substantial. Time will tell if the continued commitment of Asian automakers will have constituted a smart bet.