Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was voted “MANBEST 2015”
Bucharest, October 22, 2015 – The Fiat Tipo/Aegea, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Opel/Vauxhall Astra have been announced as the finalists for the European “AUTOBEST 2016”. These five cars will compete for the new prize of “Best Buy Car of Europe in 2016”. The jury of 26 will make their final assessments in the coming weeks and cast their votes, with the winner being announced on December 15.
For the first time, AUTOBEST is releasing a new logo of “European AUTOBEST 2016 Finalist”. All 5 manufacturers are entitled to use the logo in all of their respective communication and promotion campaigns in the lead up to the announcement of the AUTOBEST 2016 winner. “This new step in our strategy is a clear sign of the new European dimensions of the Jury.” explained Dan Vardie, Founder and Chairman of AUTOBEST organisation.
On November 25/26, the European AUTOBEST Jury will go to the NAVAK proving ground near Belgrade, Serbia, for the Final 5 test. “At AUTOBEST we perform some of the most relevant, complex driving tests in the motoring media. Over the last number of years, the car industry has noticed the high quality of NAVAK centre, its excellent organisation and the very professional approach of our Jury members,” stated Ilia Seliktar, President of the AUTOBEST Jury.
The Jury honours Olivier Francois with the “MANBEST 2015” award for his outstanding career at Fiat and later at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In his capacity as Chief Marketing Officer, he proved to be one of the most creative executives in the industry, developing new marketing approaches. “Olivier is the “king” of advertising on both sides of the Atlantic. He led the creative teams of FCA brands inventing the most sought-after video clips during record-breaking multi-million audiences that the American Superbowl provides,” commented Dan Vardie. He went on to say: “Once, Sergio Marchionne said: `Many people tell me that I am crazy. You know what? I know someone in the company even more crazy then I am! It was Olivier!”
The “SAFETYBEST 2015” award goes to the new Opel Astra IntelliLux LED Matrix Light. The matrix light technology is a breakthrough in the car lighting systems. After extensive tests performed by many of the AUTOBEST Jury members, the system proved to be so effective it earned the nickname ‘magic’. It is the merit of Opel for introducing this brilliant technology in the middle of the European motoring, the compact segment. It is the first manufacturer democratising high-end technologies in such a sensitive chapter of safety.
In a press conference held on the eve of IAA Frankfurt, AUTOBEST announced the increase from 15 to 26 represented countries. This is a new stage under the “Next Level Approach” strategy inaugurated one year ago. The new 11 members of the Jury are all outstanding motoring writers, respected voices in their countries, car experts and trendsetters able to completely assess future trends. They represent Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Nederlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. AUTOBEST is keeping the same philosophy of having only one journalist representing each country. No less than 91 % of the European population is represented by the Jury.
The enlarged Jury began work immediately after the press conference by casting preliminary votes for all of the awards. The major change in Jury rules for 2015 refers to the minimum price for a completely new model to be eligible. The entry limit for a standard price new model is now 20,000 Euro (excluding all local taxes).
The AUTOBEST Jury is also paying attention to the efforts the automotive industry is making. Investments, new automotive job opportunities for people, spending funds for green cars and technologies, the support for different regions of Europe are carefully checked and appreciated by the Jury. New in-car technologies and connectivity are also under the scrutiny of the Jury. In total, eight awards are dedicated to the aforementioned achievements: MANBEST, COMPANYBEST, ECOBEST, DESIGNBEST, TECHNOBEST, SAFETYBEST, SMARTBEST and SPORTBEST. Today AUTOBEST is releasing the first two, “MANBEST 2015” and “SAFETYBEST 2015”. The remaining awards will be communicated at a later date.
Next year’s AUTOBEST Awards Gala will be held in Milan, Italy, following the development of the Jury. Highly regarded as the most important annual independent automotive events in Europe, the Gala is held in a different city each year. This means that every European country represented in the Jury has the opportunity to host the AUTOBEST Awards Gala once in every 26 years.
Each year the AUTOBEST Awards Gala bring together the top executives of various companies. Therefore, it has become one of the only annual European events where competitors gather at the same table with great pleasure. The AUTOBEST Awards Gala has evolved over 15 years from a distinguished dinner at a five-star location to a European Gala with world-class artistic content, gourmet menu and a unique Grand Finale for the AUTOBEST Award. Customers from around Europe can get in contact with the lottery organised by AUTOBEST, which allows their participation at the Gala.
The AUTOBEST organisation was created in 2001 with the revolutionary concept of “best buy car” available on the European market. To become an AUTOBEST winner a car must represent the best offer for most European customers. Price, service network, spare parts distribution and versatility are the most important criteria in the voting process. Design and new technologies are becoming important criteria for voting. AUTOBEST uses a transparent voting system, with a complex matrix of 13 criteria in order to decide the winner.
PR Director AUTOBEST