The 16th edition of the AUTOBEST Gala Awards took place last week in Lisbon, Portugal, inside the modernized bullfight arena of Campo Pequeno. `It is the first time when the bulls are in the audience and we, humans, are in the arena to make the show!` said Dan Vardie, Founder and Chairman in his inaugural speech. More than 2000 paper bulls shape been placed in the spectator area.
Among the 100 guests, top level executives and officials attended the ceremony, such as Luca de Meo, SEAT CEO, Ulrich Schumacher, Vice President Human Resources and Labor, member of the board of Opel Group, Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Design Officer VOLVO cars, Dr. Aled Williams, Program manager EURO NCAP and Bertrand Blaise, Senior VP of PSA Group.
The Gala in Lisbon has also included an original gourmet menu inspired from the AUTOBEST concept and the Grand Finale winner of the night. The creator of this one of kind menu is the talented chef Igor Martinho.
SEAT ATECA was voted “AUTOBEST 2017”, becoming the first SEAT model in the AUTOBEST history to win. Also, was the first European/ international award for SEAT.
Luca De Meo, SEAT CEO expressed his pleasure on the prestigious award. “The Ateca was our main player in 2016, achieving important awards and doubling the sales forecast. The AUTOBEST panel’s recognition is a source of pride for SEAT because it shows that our range, which in 2017 will be strengthened with the launch of the new Ibiza and the SEAT Arona, is widening in the right direction”.
Ilia Seliktar, President of the Jury, AUTOBEST Co Founder: “This was a very close competition, and voting from 31 Jury members from as many European countries is a first for AUTOBEST. The SEAT Ateca convinced the Jury members in all respects giving it the lead in the overall points in the ranking. As a SUV, The Ateca was one of the fourth of this segment present in the Final 5, as a clear expression of our Jury capacity to adapt always to the latest trends in Europe. On behalf of the Jury members and myself, I would like to congratulate all the people involved in the project.”
Dan Vardie, AUTOBEST Founder & Chairman: “The victory of SEAT Ateca is representing premieres for both SEAT and AUTOBEST. With a clear victory coming from the 31 Jury members from as many European countries, Ateca is taking the first AUTOBEST award in the history of the competition. But also the first European motoring award in the history of the Spanish brand. The Ateca is a very convincing expression of SEAT’s `Created in Barcelona` concept, a new brand philosophy pioneered by the Spanish producer. With Ateca and the other models coming on, SEAT is placing itself in the core of new trends of motoring. Well done SEAT!”
The “SMARTBEST 2016” award went to Peugeot for “i-cockpit”. `Thank you very much on behalf of Peugeot, I’m very happy and very proud to receive this award. This prize is rewarding the ability of Peugeot to go even further in thinking the driving cabin environment in order to offer a super automotive experience. First bricks of the future autonomous car but also technologies dedicated to the comfort and safety of our already numerous costumers.` said Hugues Nouvel de la Flèche, International Press Officer PEUGEOT in accepting the award.
The “COMPANYBEST” 2016 award went to Adam Opel AG. “COMPANYBEST is possible through the efforts of a highly capable Opel team. We have started to reinvent ourselves. Our 37,000 employees
in Europe are making the difference. And with our battery electric Ampera-e, Opel is
revolutionizing electro-mobility in Europe. The jury recognized that with its range of more than 500 kilometers it significantly outperforms its segment rivals currently on the road and makes electric mobility fully feasible for every day”, said Ulrich Schumacher, on stage in Lisbon. With “ECOBEST 2016” as first award, Ampera-e/ Chevy Bolt opened a long list of international awards, demonstrating the power of a real game changer for electromobility.
“MANBEST 2016” winner was PSA CEO, Carlos Tavares who send a very emotional video message –please visit www.autobest.org. Been present at the Lisbon festivity, Bertrand Blaise, the PSA Vicepresident said in accepting the award on behalf of Mr. Tavares: `I would like to give you a few words. 35 years dedicated to the car industry, and 5 under the races, including this week for the Monte Carlo historic. Great CEO, great car racer and tonight I would like to thank all of you in the name of all PSA group employees – all of us are Autobest friends. Thank you!`
“DESIGNBEST 2016” went to the remarkable designer Thomas Ingenlath, chief designer of VOLVO. `What an honour! On behalf of Volvo but as well personally, as you can imagine, working for this brand with this passion means driving every day with a lot and lot of energy which can be exhausting over the time so that is certainly a great reward and it refill my batteries to continue this nice work with this great brand. Thanks a lot AUTOBEST Jury!` said Ingenlath on the AUTOBEST Gala stage
“SAFETYBEST 2016” has been awarded to EURO NCAP organization. In a video statement Andrew Miller, EURO NCAP Chairman said: “I’m not able to be with you to accept the Safety Best Award 2016 on behalf of Euro NCAP. My program manager Aled Williams is attending in my place to accept this honour on our behalf. As we go through the new assisted and autonomous driving technology, Euro NCAP is again reforming its featured ratings to reassure the consumers are provided with the best comparable safety rates. Quite a challenge! I thank the AUTOBEST Jury members to acknowledge our efforts.”
The AUTOBEST organisation was established in 2001 with the revolutionary concept of “best buy car” available on the European market. A total of 31 European nations is now represented in the Jury, covering the vast majority of the European population. For a car to become an AUTOBEST winner, it must represent the best offering 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 to decide the winner.
PR Director AUTOBEST