Credibility of ‘Car of the Year’ awards

Credibility of ‘Car of the Year’ awards
Updated 27 April 2014

Credibility of ‘Car of the Year’ awards

Credibility of ‘Car of the Year’ awards

VERY FEW would argue against the credibility of the latest announcement by World Car of the Year Awards that the Audi A3 is the title winner of 2014.
The A3 was voted as the winner by an international jury panel of 69 top level automotive journalists from 22 countries around the world.
They reflect professional media assessment without bias or vested commercial interests.
This award, however, is the exception among multitude of titles given by almost every commercial car publication in the world.
In Germany, there was a recent scandal of a car organization that fixed results of awards to suit its commercial interests, losing credibility and respect of its readers in the process.
The problem is also rife in the Middle East with some publications giving annual car awards without clear criteria of how these awards are given.
Companies that use these results in their promotion get hardly any mention in the regional media — as titles refuses to promote the choice of their competitors while pushing for their own selection.
In the region, very few cars miss being “Car of the Year” by one title or another.
There is substantial doubt that the selection process might be linked to the size of the advertising budget of certain companies not on the merits of the car.
For any “Car of the Year” award to gain any credibility, the award has to be universally recognized by the media; selected by a wide-range of professionals; and not linked or associated in any way with profit or favor considerations.
Awards also need to be based on clear criteria of innovation or trend-setting not merely “selected by our readers.”
Such conditions and criteria are still absent in the Middle East and it is better for companies to ignore announcements of awards and disregard their results — as it is obvious that using these awards for promotion is active participation in this charade and nothing but a waste of time.
-------------------
Adel Murad is a senior motoring and business journalist, based in London.
Email: [email protected]