Ford of Europe is “COMPANYBEST of 2008”
Ilia Seliktar, Co-Founder of Autobest, is the new leader of the Jury
(October 5-th, 2008)
Chevrolet Aveo, Dacia Sandero, the new Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Lancer and the new Renault Symbol / Thalia are the five finalists for Autobest 2009 competition. “Again, we have great 5 cars in the final round. Autobest Jury members will have a difficult mission to decide the winner!” declared Ilia Seliktar, Co-Founder and the new leader of Autobest Jury. Last year, Fiat Linea won the laurels.
Ford of Europe is awarded “COMPANYBEST 2008” for the important investments in the Autobest region, notably in Romania. Last year, Ford of Europe managed to take over the former Daewoo Plant in Craiova, South of Romania, aiming to produce 300.000 units by 2012 and a similar number of engines. Next year the production of Ford Transit Connect will start. By 2010, a completely new B segment car will be exclusively manufactured there.
Luca de Meo, Chief Marketing Officer of Fiat Group and also the CEO for Alfa Romeo and Abarth brands, was elected “MANBEST 2008”. The Fiat executive’s performance in the automotive business is outstanding. He was behind the success of the Fiat brand with the incredible 500 leverage everywhere. De Meo is also credited with the revival plan for Abarth brand. “Luca de Meo is one of the most competent, efficient and charismatic young executives we have nowadays in the industry. He is a great communicator, having the right language to make everybody enthusiastic about his projects”, stated Dan Vardie, Chairman of the Autobest Association.
The new Seat Ibiza Ecomotive is becoming the “ECOBEST 2008”. It is the first car ready for street homologated for 98 grams/ km CO2 having five doors and air-conditioned system. Following the recent developments in Europe, “ECOBEST” award is becoming more and more important for the customers worldwide. The new Ibiza Ecomotive managed to get the award in front of other outstanding cars such as the new Ford Fiesta Econetic or Toyota iQ. It is worth mentioning that Autobest organization introduced this award from the very beginning of its existence, back in 2001, well before actual frenzy for green cars.
“SAFETYBEST 2008” award goes to Toyota for its premieres in this field. The new iQ is the first car in the world with a rear-window curtain airbag and the new Avensis is showing unprecedented level of safety for this segment.
Been introduced just two years ago, “TECHNOBEST” award is getting higher attention from both industry and customers in the region. “TECHNOBEST 2008” is going to Skoda for the “simply clever” twin-door featured in the new Skoda Superb. It is a practical, impressive technical achievement made by the Czech company.
“This year’s DESIGNBEST award will be announced at the beginning of December in conjunction with AUTOBEST 2009 winner announcement.
“Autobest Among Emerging Markets Association is announcing some changes in the functioning of the Jury. Due to other new international responsabilities, Dan Vardie will act only as Chairman of the organization, not being a voting member of the Jury anymore. He is replaced by Andrei Taflan, a leading motoring writer in Romania, Editorial Director for several auto magazines. In the meantime, the new Autobest Jury board is having three of the Co-Founders, Petros Soutsis from Cyprus, Rudy Karpat from Slovakia and Ilia Seliktar from Bulgaria, which is assuming the leadership of the Board. “It comes the right moment to pass my duties as a voting member of Autobest Jury to a younger, brilliant Romanian journalist. Andrei was always very close to Autobest, from the legendary launching event in Geneva Motor Show, back in 2001. He is the right man for this job. Ilia Seliktar is my closest fellow and friend in the Association and the Jury. There is no other person who can lead better the Jury. I fully support him in his new position!” Dan Vardie said. “It is a kind of “mission impossible” to replace Dan Vardie, not only the best known motoring writer of Autobest region, but a successful publisher for auto magazines and not only. He managed to make Autobest the second largest independent Jury of Europe but also to promote our countries, making the car industry to pay attention to our region in a period of time when not so many executives were interested to come here. I am honored to lead the Autobest Jury having Dan as Chairman. In the name of the Autobest Jury, thank you, Dan, for everything you have done for our incredible project!”, stated Ilia Seliktar.
AUTOBEST organization is the only international independent jury focusing on the emerging markets countries. To become an AUTOBEST winner, a car must be the best offer for the average customer in the region. Price, service network, spare parts distribution and versatility are the most important criteria in the voting process. Design and new high-tech gadgets are coming on the second place as importance. AUTOBEST is using a complex matrix of 13 criteria in deciding the winner.
The AUTOBEST Jury is also paying attention to the efforts that automotive industry is making. Investments, new work opportunities for the population, spending funds for ecological initiatives, the support for the emerging regions of Europe are carefully checked and appreciated by the Jury.
For this year, AUTOBEST members of the Jury are coming from 15 countries in the region and represent a virtual market with more than 300 million people. Each member of the Jury is an outstanding motoring journalist, a respected voice in his country.