December 20, 2002

Women’s auto journalist group announces award finalists

Detroit, Michigan – Women in Automotive Journalism (WAJ) has announced the finalists for its first “Top New Vehicle” and “Top Automotive Feature” awards. WAJ, a group of influential, U.S.-based, women auto writers, columnists, test-drivers and editors who cover the auto industry, focused on performance, safety, interior functionality and comfort as key criteria for selecting the finalists. The Award winners will be announced January 9th, 2003.

This is the first time that a large group of women automotive journalists has come together to speak with a collective voice to single out and honour what they see as the “cream of the crop” of the overwhelming choices of 2003 automotive offerings.

“Anything designed for women is better for mankind,” says Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine and chair of the 9-member Steering Committee* that conceived and developed the awards. “There are a lot of automotive awards out there. These are the only awards that will provide consumers with insight and reasoned judgment — from a woman’s perspective — on vehicle performance, functionality and comfort,” Jennings added.

Top Vehicle and Top Feature Finalists

The finalists are listed below and are featured in more detail on the awards website —

“Top 2003 Vehicle” Finalists “Top 2003 Automotive Feature” Finalists
* Honda Civic Hybrid * Arm rest/activity table – Honda Pilot
* Infiniti G35 * Four-wheel steering -GM trucks and SUVs
* Mini Cooper * Hybrid Engine – Honda Civic
* Nissan Murano
* Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix
* Volvo XC90

The winners of the “Top New Vehicle” and “Top Automotive Feature” will be selected from the finalists by the nearly 50 authorized jurors who have been approved by the WAJ Steering Committee. Voting will be done through the awards website (, which can be accessed publicly; however, only authorized journalists will have access to the password-protected “cast your vote” section of the site.

All U.S.-based women journalists, including reporters, writers, editors and photographers whose primary responsibilities are covering the auto industry were invited to be considered as authorized jurors. A juror may not receive a significant portion of her income from an automotive manufacturer, supplier or dealer, nor have a professional relationship with auto companies or dealers that could be construed as a conflict of interest.

The accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche will tabulate the votes and hold them secretly until the day of the event.

The award announcement is held in conjunction with the “What Women Want in the Cars They Drive” breakfast, sponsored by the Women’s Economic Club of Detroit (WEC). Following the awards presentations, automotive journalists/husband-and-wife-team Anita and Paul Lienert will lead a discussion with the nearly 500 professional women (and a few good men) expected to attend the breakfast.

Steering Committee Members: Chair, Jean Jennings, Editor-in-Chief, Automobile Magazine; Terry Barclay, Executive Director, Women’s Economic Club; Mary Connelly, Journalist, Automotive News; Anne Doyle, Communications Consultant; Michelle Krebs, Journalist, AMI Auto World; Anita Lienert, Journalist, Detroit News; Sue Mead, Independent Auto Writer; Jackie Mitchell, Editor, Auto Industry Multicultural Network Newsletter; Jayne O’Donnell, Journalist, USA Today and Woman’s Day.

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