While last year saw two Japanese models (produced in Europe) picked as nominees for the European Car of the Year (COTY) award, there are none in this year’s list of 7 nominees. However, Asian brands are still represented as the Stinger by Kia is among the seven.
The Korean GT sportback model is attracting a lot of attention as it is progressively introduced in various markets. It is said to ushering in a new dynamic era for Kia Motors, the culmination of a years-long journey that began when the GT Concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Incidentally, Naza Kia Malaysia will also offer the model sometime in 2018.
37 models were picked as candidates for the European COTY and they included the Japanese models like the Honda Civic, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Subaru XV and Impreza, and Suzuki Swift and Ignis. Three other Kia models were the Picanto, Rio and Stonic while Hyundai’s candidates were the Kona and i30. In keeping with the ever-increasing popularity for crossovers and SUVs, 21 of the 37 models were such vehicles
The judging is done by a jury of 60 members this year, representing 23 European countries. National representation on the jury is related to the size of the country’s car market and its importance in car manufacturing. France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain each have 6 members; other countries, proportionally fewer.
Unlike many other COTY events, the European COTY has only one award. Eligible models are selected from all the newcomers over the previous 12 months.
They must be essentially new models, not simply changed cosmetically or by the installation of new engine or a transmission. They are considered irrespective of their country of origin but must be production cars available in at least 5 European countries at the time of voting.
The European COTY is probably the oldest event of its kind, having started in 1964. That first year, the Rover 2000 was the winner while the reigning title-holder is the Peugeot 3008. The 2018 COTY will be announced at the Geneva Motorshow in March next year.