The Road to World Car journey concluded today at the New York International Auto Show with the declaration of the VOLKSWAGEN POLO as the 2018 World Urban Car:
2018 marks the sixth time that the company has won a World Car award in our 14 year history. Volkswagen AG has previously won top “World Car of the Year” honours a total of four times: in 2013 (Golf), 2012 (Up!), 2010 (Polo) and 2009 (Golf VI).
“The whole team at Volkswagen is delighted to have won the 2018 World Urban Car award with the Polo,” said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design. “With around 17 million units sold, the Polo is one of the most successful compact cars of all time and a pillar of the brand. And the sixth-generation, based on the MQB platform, is even sportier and more grown up than its predecessors.”
This year’s winner was chosen from an initial entry list of eight cars from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists as announced in Geneva earlier this month: the Ford Fiesta, the Suzuki Swift and the Volkswagen Polo.
The World Urban Car award was introduced last year because it’s an award whose time has come. World Car vice-chairman, Mike Rutherford, commented, “Everyday cars in many – perhaps most – parts of the world will have to become smaller if road and parking space is to be found for them in increasingly packed towns and cities whose populations are swelling annually.” Last year’s inaugural World Urban Car winner was the BMW i3 (94Ah).
Vehicles in all award categories are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 82 top-level automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. Through their respective outlets they collectively reach an audience of many millions world-wide. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulates the jurors’ ballots.
The Road to the World Car began in Frankfurt on September 19, 2017 and was followed by our first-ever Tokyo Test Drive conducted at the BMW Tokyo Bay facility in October giving jurors yet another opportunity to evaluate contenders that might not be available in their home markets. Then, the fourth annual “L.A. Test Drives” took place across a six day period in November with a record number of 35 jurors participating. The “Top Three In The World” finalists were announced earlier this month at the Geneva motor show. The Road to World Car journey ended today at the New York International Auto Show with the declaration of the winners in all categories.
2018 marks the 12th year of World Car’s partnership with the New York show, and the fifth consecutive year that the World Car Awards have retained their ranking as the No.1 automotive awards program in the world in terms of media reach. “The New York International Auto Show is proud of the tradition it has built with the World Car Awards to recognize the ‘best of the best’ in the auto industry”, said John LaSorsa, chairman of the New York International Auto Show. “Over the past 12 years this awards program has grown to become one of the most coveted honors for the world’s automakers.”
The Global Trends Report, co-presented annually by Prime Research and Autoneum, will also be announced during the New York show press conference and media breakfast. The report is the culmination of research and insights across the past six months. Autoneum CEO Martin Hirzel said, “Trends such as electromobility or autonomous driving shape the automobile future and offer great opportunities for Autoneum. As global market and technology leader in acoustic and thermal management, Autoneum is developing and manufacturing innovative products and technologies for the mobility of tomorrow. For example, our multifunctional, lightweight components are particularly suited for use in electric vehicles, as they help to reduce the vehicle’s weight which is significantly increased by the battery. Thanks to our innovation leadership and advanced production processes, Autoneum is well-prepared for the automobile future.”
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of World Car’s relationship with Bridgestone. “At Bridgestone, we are focused on delivering sustainable mobility through innovative tire technologies and solutions that address global trends in transportation,” said Shannon Quinn, president, original equipment tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “We are proud to join the World Car of the Year organization again this year in celebrating the very best in automotive excellence.”
As electrification, autonomous driving, connectivity and A.I. continue to enhance the industry, World Car is proud to be a part of this amazing journey along with the New York International Auto Show, Prime Research, Bridgestone, Autoneum, KPMG and Newspress – our official media partner.