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What are the World Car of the Year Awards?

  • Initially conceived and created March 2003. Officially launched January 2004.
  • A program initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world.
  • Administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of distinguished automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. First Steering Committee established in January 2004 in Detroit, USA. Head office based in Toronto, Canada.
  • Intended to complement, not compete with those existing national and regional COTY awards, which are inherently different in scope.
  • No affiliation with, nor is it in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.

When do the awards take place?

  • Spring: Jury selection begins
  • June / July:   Jurors nominate eligible vehicles.
  • August to November:   Jurors drive and evaluate eligible vehicles
  • November / December:  First round of voting. 
  • January:  Final round of voting.
  • April:  World Car winners announced at the New York International Auto Show.

Who are the jury members?

  • Volunteer jury of close to 50 distinguished automotive journalists, representing the world’s most significant automotive outlets.
  • All hold significant stature with their own regions and countries, which include: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.
  • Appointed for one, two, or three year terms to provide continuity.
  • Jurors must conduct regular road-tests as part of their on-going professional work.

What makes a vehicle eligible?

  • A new car must be available in a minimum number of markets before being considered.
  • Specifically, the vehicle must be available in a minimum of five countries spread over at least two or more continents by January 1st of the award year.

How are vehicles nominated?

  • Each jury member submits a proposed list of eligible vehicles for consideration.
  • A provisional list is circulated to manufacturers to ensure no vehicle has been overlooked and to confirm regional availability deadlines.
  • The final list is confirmed by mid-summer of each year.

What is the voting process?

  • Jurors are provided with WCOTY Rating Forms, describing 20 separate parameters to be considered – everything from styling and quality to performance and safety.
  • Each parameter is rated from 1 to 10, in half point increments, using a standardized Subjective Rating Scale, to promote consistency.
  • First round of voting establishes the Top-Ten list of eligible vehicles.
  • Second round of voting chooses winners. Five key parameters are used on ballot: merit, value, safety & environment, significance and emotional appeal.
  • Ballots tabulated by the international accounting firm of KPMG.

Specialty Awards:

  • The World Car of the Year Awards are intended to reflect today’s auto industry and market trends. Accordingly, three specialty awards were added to the World Car of the Year awards line-up in October 2005.

    The three specialty awards are: World Green Car, World Performance Car, and World Car Design of the Year.

    Performance, design, and environmental responsibility are all key elements in the success of a vehicle on a global scale. It is appropriate that exceptional achievement in those specific areas be honored with their own awards.
  • A panel of international experts in each of the environmental and design fields is chosen to assist the jurors by developing the short lists of finalists from the array of eligible candidates in each of those categories. However, the 46 member jury themselves determined the top three finalists in the World Performance Car category.

How to contact the World Car of the Year Awards?