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?

  • June / July:   Nomination of new jurors
  • September: List of eligible vehicles established by jurors.
  • September to January:   Jurors drive and evaluate eligible vehicles if they have not already done so on various press trips.
  • January:  First round of voting. 
  • March:  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 car eligible for the overall World Car of the Year?

  • A new car must be available in a minimum number of markets before being considered.
  • Specifically, the vehicle must be available for sale prior to January 1st of the award year on atleast two continents.

  • Candidates for the World Car Design of the Year are taken from the World Car eligible list.

What makes a car eligible for the World Performance Car?

  • Eligible cars must:

    a. Have a specific and overt performance or sports orientation

    b. Be all new or substantially revised.

    c. Be available in quantities of at least 1000 per year

    d. Be available for sale in at least one major market during calendar year 2006.

What makes a car eligible for the World Green Car?

  • All-new or substantially revised.

  • In production and for sale in at least one major market between January 1 - December 31, 2006. 

  • OR, the vehicle/technology may be a prototype or experimental vehicles with near-future application (i.e. will go on the market soon) provided that it has been released for individual or press fleet evaluations in quantities of ten or more. 
  • The following “green” criterion are satisfied:

  • In addition, the cars must satisfy one of the following "green" criterion:
  • a. Tailpipe emissions equal to or better than California SULEV or US EPA Tier 2, Bin2, or Euro V regulations, or equivalent.

    b. Fuel consumption equal to or lower than 5.0 L/100km (47.6 mpg US) combined (55% City + 45% Hiway) or equivalent.

    c. Use of an advanced powerplant technology aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility (e.g. - hybrid)

How are cars nominated ?

  • Each jury member submits a proposed list of eligible vehicles for consideration.

  • A provisional list is circulated to manufacturers to ensure no car has been overlooked and to confirm regional availability deadlines.
  • The final list is confirmed by mid-late fall.

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?