Wheels of the year

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The Indian Car of the Year and Indian Motorcycle of the Year awards were a well-contested affair

The year-end festivities got off to a spirited start this past week as the Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) and Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY) awards were presented at a glittering ceremony at The Grand in New Delhi. In a short span of five years, the awards – modelled on similar events in America, Europe and Japan – have earned spurs for being the most credible and sought-after in the country.

The competition took into consideration new cars and motorcycles launched in India in the calendar year (existing models with cosmetic facelifts or small mechanical changes do not qualify), which were then evaluated by an 11-member jury, comprising journalists from various automobile magazines. The numerous stringent parameters included price, fuel efficiency, design, comfort, safety, manoeuvrability, performance, functionality, environmental responsibility and driver/rider satisfaction, besides technical innovation. To enhance transparency, the evaluation system was based on a simple voting system wherein each jury member was given 25 twenty-five points to allot to at least four cars with a maximum of 10 ten points for any one of them. The evening witnessed an impressive gathering of people from the automotive industry as they basked in musical performances by veterans Sivamani, Louis Banks and Niladri.

In the end it was a classic case of Goliath vs. David, as the most talked about car of the year, Tata Nano, emerged Indian Car of the Year, in the face of stiff competition that included Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Jazz, Fiat Linea, Fiat Grande Punto, Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Mahindra Xylo, Skoda Superb, Tata Indigo Manza and Toyota Fortuner. Receiving the award from Raghupati Singhania, vice-chairman and managing director, JK Tyre & Industries (who sponsored the event), P.M. Telang, MD (India operations), Tata Motors, recalled with pride tinged with nostalgia, “The dream of Ratan Tata to launch a car for the common man has borne fruit; the journey so far has been full of challenges, some of which we are still in the process of surmounting.” In the motorbike section, Kawasaki Ninja 250R was declared winner as the Indian Motorcycle of the Year, which was then received by Eric Vas, president (new projects), Bajaj Auto.





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