Mazda2. Click image to enlarge

New York, New York – The Mazda2 has been named the 2008 World Car of the Year by a jury of international automotive journalists. The announcement was made at the New York Auto Show.

The jury also named the BMW 118d with “EfficientDynamics” as the 2008 World Green Car of the Year, and the Audi R8 as 2008 World Performance Car and 2008 World Car Design of the Year.

Also known in some markets as the Demio, the Mazda2 – a model not sold in Canada – was chosen from an initial entry list of 39 vehicles nominated by 47 jurors. The final three contenders were the Ford Mondeo, Mazda2 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious award recognizing the Mazda2/Mazda Demio as the 2008 World Car of the Year,” said Dan Morris, Mazda’s senior managing executive officer in charge of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. “This is a wonderful recognition which Mazda2 car owners and Mazda employees alike can celebrate worldwide. The all-new Mazda2 is exceeding our highest expectations, demonstrating it can compete and win against the best compact cars in any market in the world and is earning glowing praise at home and globally, having also won a number of Car of the Year awards around the globe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, New Zealand and the RJC Car of the Year award in Japan.”

The original Mazda2 first went on sale in 2003 in Europe; the all-new, second-generation model went on sale in Japan in July 2007.

Previous winners of World Car of the Year were the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3 Series in 2006 and the Audi A6 in 2005.

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