39th Annual South Florida International Auto Show  - Press Day -  SAMA LUNCH  October 23,  2009

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MARCELLO SERRATO FIRST TERRY JACKSON AWARD RECIPIENT;  JAGUAR XJ SELECTED AS STAR OF THE 2009 AUTO SHOW
By Paul Borden - Photo & video by Pepe Delfino

Marcello Serrato, founder and president of Prestige Auto, was announced as the first recipient of the Terry Jackson Memorial Award and the new Jaguar XJ sedan was selected as SAMA's “Star of the Show” during press day activities at the 39th annual South Florida International Auto Show.

The Cadillac Converj and the Ford Fusion Hybrid were announced as the winners of the “Concept Vehicle of the Show” and “Green Vehicle of the Show”, respectively, during the annual luncheon.

The Terry Jackson Award was presented to Marcello for outstanding service and contributions to the Southern Automotive Media Association and the South Florida automotive community. It is named for the nationally known and respected South Florida automotive journalist who passed away in early January after a two-year fight against cancer. Marjie Lambert, Terry's wife, was recognized at the show and assisted with the presentation of the award named for her husband.

"Marcello Serrato is a most deserving recipient of the first Terry Jackson Memorial Award,” said SAMA President Ron Beasley. “He was a very important factor in the creation of SAMA and its evolution over the last three years, and he is a bridge between the auto manufacturers and automotive journalists in the eastern United States.” 

The XJ, which made its North American auto show debut here in Miami, was the selection of the SAMA panel of judges that also gave heavy consideration to the BMW 7-Series and the new Hyundai flagship, the Equus.

“The Jaguar XJ is a stunningly beautiful new luxury automobile and should prove to be very popular with American consumers,” said Beasley. “It was the obvious choice for the SAMA “Star of the Show” award.” 

The XJ becomes the third winner of SAMA's “Star of the Show” award. Previous winners were the Cadillac CTS in 2007 and the Hyundai Genesis sedan last year, both of which went on the garner Car of the Year honors with various automotive media organizations and magazines. 

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