NEW YORK, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The MAZDA MX-5 was declared the 2016 World Car Design of the Year at a press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show, Bridgestone Corporation, and Autoneum.
Mazda Motor Corporation is no stranger to the World Car Awards program – now in its 12th year. The Mazda2/Mazda Demio was the 2008 World Car of the Year. While the Mazda3 (2014), Mazda6 (2013) and Mazda2/Mazda Demio (2008) have all earned "Top Three in the World" status in the World Car Design of the Year category as voted by our 70 plus international automotive journalists that made up the jury in those years.
"What a wonderful honor, to have the Mazda MX-5 named World Car Design of the Year," said Masahiro Moro, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation. "As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one-million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever. Our design team has pushed the boundaries of what people thought possible with our KODO – Soul of Motion language. While I accept this award on behalf of the company, I do so representing every Mazda employee, retail partner and customer around the world who has ever felt the joy of driving a pure roadster. We say 'Driving Matters' in our advertising, and we prove it in our cars."
The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award, are meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries.
Candidates for the design award may be on the overall World Car of the Year list OR may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016. Candidates may be pre-production or all-new production.
A design panel consisting of six highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors. The design experts were:
Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – Freelance design journalist)
Anne Asensio (Vice-President, Design - Dassault Systemes)
Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School)
Patrick le Quément (Designer and President of the Strategy Committee, Sustainable Design School)
Sam Livingstone (U.K. - Car Design Research and Royal College of Art)
Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco)
The experts commented that, "The new MX5 design is exciting, distinct and fresh. It's a design that wholly fits with being the unique small sports-car this Mazda is. It captures the spirit of the first generation MX5 design but introduces a very leading twenty-teens aesthetic whilst remarkably also connecting visually to its sibling designs. An exceptional design in all ways."
Mazda opted for modern, progressive direction to redefine the 4th generation MX-5. It visually communicates agility, light weight and maintained the MX-5 heritage. It still looks MX-5 100 meters away, only this one instantly recognizable as 4th generation at that distance."
The 73 World Car Awards jurors then voted on the expert's recommendations in February and their ballots were tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.
A short-list of three finalists was then announced earlier this month at the Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month: the Jaguar XE, the Mazda CX-3 and the Mazda MX-5.
Previous winners of the World Car Design of the Year award were the Citroen C4 Cactus (2015), the BMW i3 (2014), the Jaguar F-Type(2013), the Range Rover Evoque (2012), the Aston Martin Rapide (2011), the Chevrolet Camaro (2010), the Fiat 500 (2009), the Audi R8 (2008), the Audi TT (2007) and the Citroen C4 (2006).
The Road to World Car began in Frankfurt on September 15, was followed by a four and a half day stop in Los Angeles for test-drives of the North American, Japanese and Swedish contenders in November, continued in Geneva with the Top Three in the World announcement, and finally ended today with the declaration of the winners in five categories at the New York International Auto Show.
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between World Car and the New York show, and the third consecutive year that the World Car Awards have retained their ranking as the number one automotive awards program in the world in terms of media reach.
The Global Trends Report, co-presented by Prime Research and Autoneum, was presented just before the winners' press conference. Autoneum CEO Martin Hirzel said, ""The findings of the Global Trends Report show clearly that sound inside the driver cabin has major influence on the overall evaluation of a car. Since decades, we from Autoneum are experts in the field of noise reduction for vehicles. Our lightweight and multifunctional products support the car manufacturers to reduce emission, noise and heat and thereby lead to an enhanced driving comfort for the end-customer. The global need for our products confirms us in further focusing on driving innovation in acoustic and thermal management solutions."
The World Car Awards media breakfast and winners' press conference at the New York International Auto Show is presented by Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. This is the 8th year Bridgestone has sponsored World Car of the Year. "The future of the auto industry will be built on innovation, performance and sustainability – from automakers and also their suppliers," said Mike Martini, president, original equipment tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. "Bridgestone invests heavily in research and product development to ensure that we continue to deliver world-class products in collaboration and partnership with automakers around the world."
As the global nature of the industry continues to strengthen, and the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, World Car is proud to be a part of this amazing journey along with the New York International Auto Show, Prime Research, Bridgestone, Autoneum, KPMG and Newspress.
About World Car Awards
The World Car Awards (WCA) are more than just an awards program. The WCA's judging panel is made up of 73 prominent automotive journalists from around the world that form a global community of experts. The jurors ensure the integrity and credibility of the awards but also serve as an important resource for the industry with a focus on excellence and innovation on a global scale.
Autoneum, with its headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland, is the globally leading producer of vehicle acoustics and thermal management systems. The company develops and manufactures components, modules and complete systems for interior and engine bay as well as heatshields and underbody shields. Customers include leading automobile producers in the key markets of Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Autoneum is represented at around 50 locations in over 20 countries and employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, of whom about 5% are in Switzerland. The company is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol AUTN).
About the New York International Auto Show
Owned and operated by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the New York Auto Show is an awesome combination of new ideas, technological innovation, exceptional concept cars and nearly 1,000 of the latest new cars and trucks. Over one million visitors are expected to visit the show this year to see what is truly possible from the automotive industry.
Important 2016 Auto Show Dates
Automotive Forum: March 22
Press Preview, March 23 & March 24 (credentials required)
Public Sneak Preview, Friday, March 25
Public Show Dates, Friday, March 25 – Sunday, April 3
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS WITH THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
THE ROAD TO WORLD CAR:
BEGAN IN FRANKFURT SEPT. 15, 2015. ENDS IN NEW YORK MARCH 24, 2016.
FOLLOW OUR 70+ INTERNATIONAL JURORS : wcoty.com #wcoty2016
SOURCE New York International Auto Show