Germany leads World Car Award nominations

The countdown has begun for the World Car of the Year Awards, with the jury releasing a list of the ten finalists January 30.

Germany has by far the most automakers represented in the shortlist, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen all making an appearance. The US and Japan tie for next place, with two entries courtesy of General Motors - the Chevrolet Cruze and Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (Buick Regal), alongside Japan's Mazda3 and Toyota Prius. South Korea also makes the list with the Kia Soul.

The jurors' next step is to re-evaluate the "top ten" cars, narrowing the list down to three in preparation for a final round of voting in February. They will rate each vehicle in terms of overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. The top three finalists will be announced at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 2.

The 2010 World Car of the Year and the 2010 World Performance Car are major prizes in the automotive calendar, handed out by a jury of 59 automotive journalists from around the world. The awards will be presented on April 1 at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.

The 2010 World Car of the Year Nominees
In alphabetical order

Audi Q5
Chevrolet Cruze
Kia Soul
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Opel/Vauxhall Insignia / Buick Regal
Porsche Panamera
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Polo