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Awards Judging Underway in Taupo

28 February 2005

AA Motoring Excellence Awards Judging Underway in Taupo

The inaugural AA Motoring Excellence Awards judging is taking place this week at the Taupo Track. During the week close to 100 vehicles will be put through their paces by a panel of expert judges as they determine the winners in various categories.

Two of the most hotly contested categories will be the National Bank Excellence in Medium / Large Vehicle and the GE Money Excellence in Safety.

The National Bank Medium / Large Vehicle category is a very strong field with 13 entries including the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Peugeot 407 and Volvo V50 Wagon. This is the family vehicle section and the results will be of great interest to consumers in the market for a safe, comfortable, efficient family car.

The Excellence in Safety Award is not based on nominations but on the independent ANCAP crash testing program which rates the safety of vehicle from one to five stars. A number of vehicles received five stars during the past 12 months and these are being assessed to determine which one should receive the National Bank Excellence in Safety Award this year.

AA Technical Services General Manager, Stella Stocks, said judging criteria took into account a range of 'real-world' factors. "It is not a matter of driving the wheels off a car around a track. We have to evaluate specific aspects of each vehicle within its class, comparing it with similar vehicles and looking at the overall intended purpose and customer base for that vehicle," she said.

"We're delighted with the judging panel we've been able to assemble. Judges are leading motoring journalists Brian Cowan, Jacqui Madelin, David Linklater, Rob Maetzig and Phil Hanson, Rally Driver Emma Gilmour and Presenter Mark Leishman.

"Winners will be announced at a Gala dinner at the Langham (formerly Sheraton) Hotel in Auckland on Friday 18th March," she said.


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