HIROSHIMA, Japan—The Mazda2 is the 2008 World Car of the Year (WCOTY).
From an initial entry list of thirty-nine (39) new vehicles from all over the world, the overall 2008 WCOTY title was announced on Thursday March 20, 2008 at the New York International Auto Show. The Mazda2 edged out the Ford Mondeo and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to take the overall award.
Based on the recommendations of a design panel consisting of four highly respected world design experts, the Mazda2 was also voted by the jurors onto the short-list of top three design finalists, together with the Audi R8 and Volvo C30.
The WCOTY awards were officially launched in January 2004 and are initiated by, organised by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. A jury of 47 international automotive journalists selected the overall winner by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work.
Since it first went on sale in 2003 in Europe, the Mazda2 compact has enjoyed widespread popularity due to its convenient size and superb storage and functionality.
The second generation all-new Mazda2 commenced sales in Japan in July 2007, and soon drew attention thanks to its fun-to-drive, Zoom-Zoom driving dynamics, and the emphasis Mazda placed on the new generation’s desire for environmental and safety attributes and great design. The all-new Mazda2 reflects these emerging modern attitudes with stylish exterior design complemented by low running costs and excellent fuel economy, achieved by reducing the vehicle’s weight by approximately 100 kilograms (European spec).
“We are delighted that the 2008 World Car of the Year jury has chosen the all-new Mazda2 as their World Car of the Year,” said Dan Morris, Mazda’s senior managing executive officer in charge of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. “This is 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 fact that a small hatchback with a starting price of less than $20,000 has won WCOTY in 2008 shows just how good Mazda has become at building stylish, safe, sophisticated and enjoyable cars,” said WCOTY’s Australian judge, Bill McKinnon. “The Mazda2 is the complete small car package, without the usual compromises."
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