Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Tesla's decision paves the way for a non-electric car to take home the win.

We aren't thrilled by Tesla's odd choice to excuse itself, and the Model 3, from competing for the 2018 North American Car of the Year award (NACTOY).   As reported by the Detroit News, the automaker's apparent reasoning seems far from being completely straight-forward - at least to us.

But even more upsetting is that the withdrawal of the Model 3 from the running means that the only remaining semifinalists in the "car" (all categories, as a matter of fact) category are a ton of non-electric cars, which means that unlike last year when the Chevrolet Bolt took home the crown, this year an electric car won't be able to carry the torch and pull off a repeat.

Update (6:10 PM ET):  The Detroit News has updated its story on the behest of Tesla.  InsideEVs has learned that Tesla had not "withdrawn" the Model 3 from the competition, but rather it declined to enter the much in-demand EV for the NACTOY award - due to its focus on many other events/happenings already on its plate today.

However, with vehicles like the Hyundai IONIQ in the running, there's still a chance that a line/family of cars (including a plug-in version) could represent. But we won't see a standalone electric win this year.

*The new 2018 Nissan LEAF arrives too late to the party be in the running this year.

As for Tesla's reason for withdrawing the Model 3 from NACTOY running, the Detroit News says the automaker stated that it's

"...focused on scaling up production and could not have a car available for jury testing."

If The Hyundai IONIQ Happens To Win, Then BY Connection The IONIQ Electric Would Also Win, Since It's Grouped Into The Greater IONIQ Family/Line

If The Hyundai IONIQ Happens To Win, Then BY Connection The IONIQ Electric Would Also Win, Since It's Grouped Into The Greater IONIQ Family/Line

Not even one single car could be spared? That doesn't seem possible.  We can probably put this firmly in the "we don't want early copies of the Model 3 to be in 3rd party hands just yet", as has been the case for any review of the car since it launched in late July - or perhaps some functionalities/software issues have yet to be smoothed out/updated, and Tesla just didn't want to deal with those types of PR headaches.  Who can tell for sure?

Anyway, here's the list of 2018 NACTOY semifinalists, as assembled by the Detroit News.

Car

  • 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • 2018 Audi A5 Sportback
  • 2017 BMW 5-series
  • 2018 Honda Accord
  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq
  • 2018 Kia Rio
  • 2018 Kia Stinger
  • 2018 Lexus LC500
  • 2017 Porsche Panamera
  • 2018 Subaru Impreza
  • 2018 Toyota Camry

Utility

  • 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
  • 2018 Audi Q5/S5
  • 2018 BMW X3
  • 2018 Buick Enclave
  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2018 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2018 Honda Odyssey
  • 2017 Jeep Compass
  • 2017 Kia Niro
  • 2018 Land Rover Discovery
  • 2017 Mazda CX-5
  • 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2018 VW Atlas
  • 2018 VW Tiguan
  • 2018 Volvo XC60

Truck

  • 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
  • 2018 Ford Expedition
  • 2018 Lincoln Navigator
Source: Detroit News