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Detroit, MI -- Nearly two dozen of the leading concept styles and vehicles unveiled this past year at auto shows around the world are contenders for Automotive News Concept Car of the Year Awards. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2002 during the AutoWeek Design Forum dinner program at Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center in Detroit, Mich.

The fourth annual Automotive News Concept Car of the Year Awards celebrate innovation in four categories: Environmental Concept, Interior Concept, Exterior Concept and Concept Car of the Year.

"We're excited to add the Concept Car of the Year Awards to the dynamic AutoWeek Design Forum agenda,'' said Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications, Inc., the Detroit, Mich.-based parent company of Automotive News and AutoWeek. "The Design Forum provides the ideal venue to recognize exceptional styling and design throughout the auto world while previewing vehicles of the future for industry leaders and consumers.''

Automotive News Concept Car of the Year finalists are:

Environmental - Citroen Osmose, Smart Crossblade and Suzuki Covie

Interior - Audi Avantissimo, Bertone Filo, Ford Forty-Nine, Ital Twenty Twenty, Porsche Carrera GT, Renault Talisman and Toyota Pod

Exterior - Chrysler Crossfire, Fioravanti Vola, Honda Dual Note, Nissan GT-R, Pininfarina Osee, Porsche Carrera GT and SEAT Tango
Concept Car of the Year - Chrysler Crossfire, Honda Dual Note, Porsche Carrera GT, Renault Talisman and Volvo Safety Concept

Innovation, production feasibility, production cost and consumer value will be considered in selecting the first, second and third place concept vehicles in each category. Additional information about each finalist is available online at www.automotivenews.com .

The Design Forum's evening agenda will also highlight the AutoWeek Editors' Choice Awards. First, second and third place honors will be announced for the Best in Show, Most Fun, Most Significant and Best Concept vehicles of the 2002 North American International Auto Show.

The AutoWeek Design Forum is geared to automotive and non-automotive professionals and students alike. The full-day schedule will feature presentations by six influential design professionals: Chris Bangle, chief of design, BMW AG; Ian Callum, director of design, Jaguar; Fabrizio Giugiaro, manager of styling and prototypes, Italdesign; John Hoke, global design director, NIKE; Bob Lutz, chairman, North America and vice chairman, product development, General Motors and Thomas Semple, president, Nissan Design America. Rounding out the Design Forum agenda are tours of the 2002 North American International Auto Show, a late afternoon reception and the dinner program. Registration is $250 for professionals and $99 for students. Online registration is available at www.autoweek.com .

The Design Forum and Concept Car of the Year Awards are sponsored by Johnson Controls. VIP sponsors are Deloitte & Touche, Michelin and the City of Sunderland.
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