DETROIT - For the second consecutive year, a car from General Motors Corporation has taken top honors in the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards, as announced today at the opening of the North American International Auto Show.

The Chevrolet Malibu was chosen by this year's media jury from a field of 15 cars and 13 trucks. GM vehicles captured four of the final six candidate spots for the awards; last year the Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Silverado were winners.

"This award is the result of our intensive efforts to put a renewed emphasis on design, execution and craftsmanship into our cars and trucks," said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman. "We're honored that both automotive journalists and consumers are recognizing our efforts. The fact we had four of the six finalist vehicles is more than we could have hoped for."

The NACTOY awards are given annually by prominent automotive journalists who evaluate the vehicles on factors including value for the dollar, innovation, handling, performance, safety and driver satisfaction. This year's jury consisted of 45 automotive journalists from throughout the United States and Canada.

The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu delivers strong performance, fuel economy and refinement, wrapped in Chevrolet's global signature design. A broad range of detailed, well-appointed and efficient models is offered, including a fuel-saving Malibu Hybrid model. Sales of the new Malibu began last November.

"Our goal with the 2008 Malibu was to give customers a stylish, uncompromising package that can challenge even the most formidable competitors in the midsize segment," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "Customers are getting that message, because the new Malibus are selling faster than we can put them on dealers' lots."

Starting at $19,995 in the U.S., the Malibu had a 99-percent increase in retail sales this past December. The 2008 Malibu was designed and engineered for sale not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, Mexico, Israel and the Caymen Islands.

Other 2008 Model Awards for Malibu:

In early December, Car and Driver magazine published its "10 Best Cars" for 2008, and the Malibu, along with the Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Corvette, all made the list. The Malibu was also chosen by Kelley Blue Book as "Best Redesigned Vehicle for 2008."