AUTOBEST organization celebrated the 12th Anniversary
The Athens 2013 festivity host an impressive ceremony with no less than 9 awards
The 12th edition of AUTOBEST Gala Awards took place on the 4th of February in the Aristotelis Ballroom of the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa hotel in Athens, Greece. “We have chosen this location, namely one of the countries that is very affected by the economic crisis, in order to implement the new vision of the Autobest Jury and going to the next level, as we like to call it. Moreover, it is a sign that we are close to our public and we share a particular expression of solidarity toward it, now that we are in the middle of an economic crisis” stated Ilia Seliktar, the AUTOBEST President. Many high – level officials attended the ceremony, such as John Fleming, Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Laurens Van Den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design Renault and also prominent political figures: the former Prime Minister of Romania, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and the Greek minister of transportations – Kostis Chatzidakis.
Ford B-MAX was voted “AUTOBEST 2013”. With a total of 830 points. The winner overtook Skoda Rapid – no 2 with 736 points and Peugeot 301 coming third, with a total of 662 points. 7 members of the Jury placed B MAX on the first place, 3 members voted Rapid as their no 1, but no one voted first for 301. No less than 5 Jury members placed Fiat 500 L on the first spot, but was only for Italian car to arrive on 4-th place with 638 points. Finally, Dacia Lodgy with 636 points came on 5-th, but extremely close to no 4 and not far from no 3 of the rankings, making the closest bottom – up podium in the AUTOBEST history.
“I remember when Ford B-Max was just an idea and, just as many others, some become reality, some don’t. We decided that we should build a car without the B pillar. And that was the moment when we thought about the factory in Craiova, Romania. It has to be said that the B MAX has excellent manufacturing quality, and winning the AUTOBEST 2013 title represents a confirmation that the purchase of the factory in Craiova was a very inspired decision. I take this opportunity to thank all those who were involved in making this acquisition; the then Romanian Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu”, stated John Fleming, Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs
“B-MAX is a brilliant, intelligent new car. Is the expression of a new breed of products Ford is introducing in Europe and the first car without a B pillar but …with two B pillars in the doors! The quality is impressive and the 1.0 l Ecoboost engine – AUTOBEST been the first international Jury who awarded this incredible engine- is completing the portrait of a best buy car. Manufactured in our region, in Ford Craiova plant, Romania. But is also the expression of our new “Next Level” approach philosophy. With B-Max we show to European customers that a best buy car can be also cool! ”,Mr. Ilia Seliktar, AUTOBEST President, stated.
Andrew Palmer, Executive Vice President Nissan Motor Co, “MANBEST 2012” had his message projected to the audience in the Aristotelis Ballroom: ” I am honored to receive this highly prestigious award from AUTOBEST. 2012 was an excellent year for Nissan in Europe, where Juke and Qashqai achieved impressive sales. This distinction you give me motivates me even more for the future and, besides me, the entire company, to earn other awards from the AUTOBEST jury. ”
Accepting the COMPANYBEST award Cesare Antonio Ferrara, CEO, FIAT Serbia said: “FIAT has been running the joint venture company with the Republic of Serbia since 2008. We are the largest investor in Serbia, with total investments exceeding 1.2 billion Euro, of which 350 million Euro has been used for the total reconstruction of the plant. Fiat Automobiles Serbia is also one of the largest employers in the region, with more than 2,500 employees and an additional 1,000 employed within our suppliers, so I would like to thank the jury of the Autobest organization who have recognized our efforts in making the old Serbia factory become one of the largest and most modern in Eastern Europe.”
French motorsports world champion Yvan Muller received the SPORTBEST 2012 award on behalf of the former Chevrolet World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) team. “We are delighted to have received this highly prestigious award from the AUTOBEST jury. In the name of our global Chevrolet team, I would like to thank our drivers and everybody at RML for the outstanding job, the commitment and the spirit shown during the eight years of our partnership and presence in the WTCC,” said Vijay Iyer, Director, Communications, Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe.
SAFETYBEST 2012 award was going to VW for the Multicollision brake system introduced in standard on the new Golf 7. The award was received by Steven Sirtis, a VW Greece member, who wanted to thank the AUTOBEST jury for having chosen Athens as the venue of this event.
Upon receiving the “ECOBEST 2012” distinction for the implementation of various green technologies in the range of Peugeot and Citroen vehicles, Christian Chapelle said “PSA is very determined to implement these technologies, and in order to do that, our new models have the most advanced solutions to reduce emissions, namely latest hybrid technologies. “
“TECHNOBEST 2012”award is going to the new Range Rover, that is the world’s first SUV with a lightweight al -aluminium body structure. Fiona Pargeter – Head of Global PR Communications Jaguar Land Rover and Alex Heslop – Chief Programme Engineer Jaguar Land Rover, thanked the Autobest jury for the award.
Laurens van den Acker, Chief designer of Renault group and Chief Creative Officer was elected “DESIGNBEST 2012”. ”Many people believe that behind a great design is just a person. But there is a team which sometimes manage to come with a remarkable car. On my behalf and the Renault group design team want to thank to AUTOBEST Jury for the prize.” stated Van Den Acker.
With this edition – the 12-th in the Jury history – AUTOBEST organization is introducing a new award. “We are introducing the first European award to choose the SMART infotainment on board of our cars. This is probably the award most expected by the consumers now and in the years to come. And the winner is coming as big surprise. But I can tell you, all the Jury members agreed, Dacia Media NAV is the winner of “SMARTBEST 2012” for such a simple, intuitive, touch screen based navigation / multimedia system coming to a unbeatable price.” said Dan Vardie, AUTOBEST founder & Chairman and the initiator of this award.
Dacia Media NAV is the winner of the “SMARTBEST 2012” award, the distinction having been received by Jean-Marc Deroche: “We thank the Autobest jury for this award, which demonstrates the appreciation of our products on a very important market segment.”
The Gala was introducing a remarkable show with Athens flash mob dancers. The pinnacle of the entertainment was Eleftheria Eleftheriou, the famous singer who represented Greece in the last edition of Eurovision contest. She started her performance with “Aphrodisiac” hit, as a tag name for the entire Gala evening.
The AUTOBEST Jury would like to thank all the readers from the region for encouraging the project. Also, we would like to thank the PR responsible within the automotive industry for providing all the support in organizing meetings and drive tests of the new products.