February 12, 2004
World Car of the Year Awards program launched
Toronto, Ontario – The World Car of the Year Awards (WCOTY) program was officially
launched at the opening of the 2004 Canadian International Auto Show. The awards
program, which will recognize and reward automotive achievements and excellence on a
global scale, will be administered by a non-profit corporation with a Steering
Committee of international automotive journalists.
Steering Committee members Akira Fujimoto (Editor-in-Chief, Car Styling magazine,
Japan), Graham Johnson, (Editor-in-Chief, UK & International Press Automotive
Magazines Division, England), and Gerry Malloy (contributor, Toronto Star newspaper
and MSN Autos Canada) together launched the awards at a press conference on
They will be joined by fellow Steering Committee members: Dan Carney (contributor,
Motor Trend, European Car, Sports Car International – USA); Matt Davis (Europe based
correspondent for AutoWeek in the US, Auto Express and Octane in the UK, Gente
Motori in Italy and Genroq in Japan); Peter Robinson (European correspondent,
Autocar (UK)/Wheels/Car & Driver – Italy), and TV producer and host C. Van Tune,
(NBC, ESPN, MSNBC, – USA).
The first task for the Steering Committee will be to establish the processes and
procedures for defining and voting on the candidates for the awards. This will take
place during March and April 2004.
The inaugural “World Car of the Year” will be announced in February 2005. The
Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), in Toronto has been chosen as the host site
of the first awards ceremony. That venue was selected for several reasons, including
the neutrality of Canada as a car-producing nation. There is, however, no direct
involvement by the CIAS in the program itself.
Graham Johnson stated, “We do not intend for WCOTY to be, nor do we perceive the
awards as being, in competition with ANY existing national, regional, or
Malloy added, “We hope that WCOTY will complement existing award programs in two
ways: by broadening the scope beyond their respective continental or national
boundaries; and by heightening consumer awareness of COTY awards in general.”
The awards program will be adjudicated by an international panel comprising
approximately 55 jurors; all automotive journalists of significant stature within
their own regions, from all of the world’s major automotive markets. They represent
Japan, England, Italy, China, Thailand, France, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Norway,
India, Australia, New Zealand, as well as the USA and Canada.