NEW YORK – WardsAuto editors James M. Amend and Tom Murphy combine to win a prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award for editorial excellence in the category of technical content.

The winning package consisted of a trio of emerging-technology stories focused on light-vehicle fuel efficiency and high-end infotainment.

Amend’s “48V: Industry’s Next Power Play” took a close look at why automakers are on the verge of switching from 12-volt to 48-volt electrical architectures, what it will mean for vehicle performance, how it will affect suppliers and who will be among the first movers.

Neal judges called the story compellingly written with a global perspective detailing automakers’ motivation to adopt 48V. They also singled out excellent use of charts and infographics to explain the sophisticated new technology.

A second piece from Amend, “New 9-Speed Pushes Tech Limit, GM Says,” took on one of the more mysterious of automotive technologies, the automatic transmission, providing chapter and verse on its inner workings.

Murphy’s “Four Amps, 34 Speakers Drive Bose Panaray,” deconstructed Bose’s new audio system in the Cadillac CT6 and details both the company’s and its customers’ strategies in the increasingly competitive landscape of in-vehicle infotainment at various price points.

Neal Awards judges said the Bose report made sense of a complicated audio setup, explained why it should exist and whether it would be worth the asking price.

Each of the three pieces also reflected an editorial maxim at WardsAuto, which calls for reporters to provide relevant information to engineers but also make it easily understandable to the less initiated, such as analysts and marketers, and to explain its potential impact on the auto industry overall for both groups.

WardsAuto delivers a package of well-written, well-researched articles,” Neal Awards judges said. “Its in-depth piece on the 48-volt electrical system, an emerging issue that its readers are facing, was especially well done. It explains a key issue facing the auto industry with expert detail in a readable story.”

The Jesse H. Neal Awards, which were created by Connectiv in 1955, recognize and reward editorial excellence in business publications. They are named after Connectiv’s first managing director, who remained active promoting the business-to-business publishing industry throughout his life.

Each Neal Awards entry goes through a 2-tier screening process to reach the finals, a notable recognition in itself. The Board of Judges includes 12-18 professionals knowledgeable in all aspects of business journalism and scores entries in three areas: journalistic enterprise, extent of service to the field and editorial craftsmanship.

This year’s awards were presented during a recent luncheon at Pier Sixty in New York City.

jamend@wardsauto.com