12th Annual Urban Wheels Awards Named

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The end of the year is just around the corner and it is time to hand out awards to those who deserve them. In the auto industry, there are a lot of accolades being showered this season. And one of these is the 12th Annual Urban Wheels Awards which was created to recognize different personalities in the auto industry which has made their presence felt in the industry.

Recently, The Auto Channel reported that the nominees for the said award have been named. The awarding will be held at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan on January 15, 2008. The said event will be held in connection with the Press Preview Week of the forthcoming North American International Auto Show.

Actress Rosie Perez and Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight will be hosting the event. At the said awarding ceremony, awards will be given to auto manufacturers, executives, suppliers, advertising agencies, dealers, and even motorsports organizations.

Randi Payton, President and Chief Executive Officer of On Wheels Inc, the organizer of the show, had this to say: "The Urban Wheel Awards brings together top leaders in the auto industry with the multicultural community which represents their true customer base. Inclusion of all its customers is critical to building bridges to the multicultural community and to recognizing the contributions of minorities in the industry."

One of the awards to be given out during the event is for the African American Executive of the Year. Nominated for the award were Bennie Fowler, VP for quality with Ford; Marshilia Snoddy, Zone Manager for Process Improvement for Southwest Zone with American Honda Motor Company; and Ed Welburn, VP for Global Design at General Motors.

For the Asian Executive of the year, only two were nominated. Takeshi Abe, Henry Ford Technical Fellow at Ford and Ray G. Young, Group VP for General Motors Global Finance were shortlisted for the award.

Two executives were also nominated for the Latino Executive of the Year award. Dave Mondragon, the general manager of Ford Motor Company Southwest Region, and Victor Nacif, VP for design, business aspects with Nissan Design America, was nominated.

When it comes to automakers, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors were shortlisted. It is interesting to note that Asian automakers were not included in the nominees. But for the Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Malibu is the only vehicle from the Big Three to be nominated. It will be vying for the award against the Honda Accord and the Mercedes-Benz C Class which can be equipped with .

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