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AA Autocar Car Of The Year Awards

AA Autocar Car Of The Year Awards

The Automobile Association and NZ Autocar magazine are pleased to announce the formation of a unique annual Car of the Year Award’s event. The inaugural event is scheduled for March 29, 2003, at a Gala Evening to be held in Auckland’s Sheraton Hotel.

This initiative is the result of both organizations recognizing that within New Zealand motoring, there is currently no definitive Car of the Year award specifically designed to provide consumers with unbiased information that helps them to make an informed decision when purchasing a new vehicle. The Automobile Association, which has over 900,000 members, sees this new annual AA Autocar Car of the Year Award as an essential aid to the motoring public. It will provide valuable information in key areas such as safety, quality design, and innovation, assisting the consumer in choosing a new vehicle from the various categories on offer.

Mr Brian Gibbons, AA’s Chief Executive stated, “the key to these awards is having an independent panel of judges who, under controlled conditions, subject vehicles to rigorous back-to-back testing, the results of which are audited by our technical department for enhanced consumer confidence”. New Zealand Autocar magazine has also historically used ‘back-to-back’ vehicle testing in its own Car of the Year award, and “we strongly believe that together we will establish a new benchmark Car of the Year Award, benefitting AA members and the car buying public alike”, said Mr Gibbons.

A panel of six judges has been selected under the chairmanship of Doctor Peter Louisson, NZ Autocar’s road test editor and NZ Doctor Newspaper’s motoring correspondent. The full panel of judges will include: Helen Bain, motoring writer for the Dominion Post; Rob Maetzig, motoring writer for The Daily News, New Plymouth, and President of the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild; Paul Owen, chief editor of Autocar Magazine; Brian Cowan, freelance motoring writer; and Peter Gill, National Business Review motoring writer, plus a surprise guest judge.

Mr Mark Petch, publisher of New Zealand Autocar, said, “ we will henceforth discontinue our magazine’s Car of the Year Award in favour of the new joint AA Autocar initiative. This new award builds on the existing AA-Autocar partnership which currently produces the AA Autocar quarterly magazine. We see this enhanced COTY event as being not only an annual highlight within the motoring industry but one that in future will also generate broad public interest.”

Mr Petch said there will be winners in each of ten individual categories, from which the overall Car of the Year will be selected. There will also be an AA members’ choice. “In the Summer edition of the AA Autocar quarterly magazine, we invited AA members to select the new vehicle costing up to $50,000 they would most like to own, and we have been inundated with responses. The wide variety of readers’ choices to date suggests stiff competition for the forthcoming awards.”

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