Weekly auto agenda: Leaf launch and auto prize finalists

Electric cars are set to hit the roads in the US within the coming days, with both the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt competing for the attention of potential buyers. On December 16, the six finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards will be unveiled.

Nissan Leaf US Launch
December 11 (expected)

Various sources have reported that the first US deliveries of the Nissan Leaf could be as soon as this weekend, ahead of the Japanese rollout.

Chevrolet Volt auction ends
December 14
Detroit, Michigan, US

The first Chevrolet Volt is being auctioned online by General Motors, with the proceeds going to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Expect to pay a premium to own the first one - bidding currently stands at over $180,000 (€136,000).

North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists unveiled

December 16
Detroit, Michigan, US

Three car and three trucks in the running to win the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year competition will be revealed December 16, ahead of the winner's announcement in January. There are currently 14 semi-finalists, with GM and Nissan boasting the most contendors.

Nissan Leaf Japan Launch
December 20

After months of anticipation, Nissan will launch its long-awaited Leaf in Japan December 20. It will go up against the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in Japan and the Chevrolet Volt in the US as one of the world's first mass-produced electric vehicle. The European launch in selected markets is slated for early 2011.

23rd North American International Auto Show
January 10-23
Detroit, Michigan, US

NAIAS is the biggest event on the North American motoring calendar and draws visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. With Detroit looking healthier than it has for a few years now, guests can expect to see a renewed focus on innovation and more aggressive attempts from North American automakers to oust foreign competitors from some of the turf they've grown to occupy.

North American Car and Truck of the Year Ceremony
January 11
Detroit, Michigan, US

The 2011 edition of these awards is the 18th iteration and will be selected, as always, by a panel of leading automotive journalists from across the US and Canada. This year, electric cars have been included for the first time, and in case you're interested, US automakers have won the car award nine times, European automakers have won four times, Japanese automakers have won three times and a Korean automaker has won once.

29th Tokyo Auto Salon
January 14-16
Chiba, Japan

Japan's answer to the massive SEMA enthusiast show in Las Vegas is billed by organizers as the largest such show in the world. With over 600 vehicles in display, it promises to showcase the best of Japan's varied and advanced after-market industry, with live entertainment from top musicians and appearances by well-known drivers.

89th European Motorshow Brussels
Brussels, Belgium
January 15-23

With a focus on light commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles and motorcycles, the European Motorshow Brussels isn't a major show but it could see some new vehicles making their European debuts. Like other shows, attention is expected to be focused on electric vehicles for this, the 89th edition of the event.

Search for used cars