• Country: Luxembourg
  • Name: Gerhard Kuntschik, President of the Jury Country: Austria Capital: Vienna Population: 9,097,759 Auto Park: 240.000 new registrations (2021)
  • Name: Xavier Daffe Country: Belgium Capital: Bruxelles Population: 11,239,755 Auto Park: 5,9 millions
  • Name: Ilia Seliktar, Honorary President of the Jury and Co-Founder member of the board Country: Bulgaria Capital: Sofia Population: 6,856,602 Auto Park: 2.5 million, year import and registration of new cars - 35 000, second hand - 250 000. Name: Leonid Seliktar Country: Bulgaria Capital: Sofia Population: 6,856,602 Auto Park: 350,000 new vehicles.
  • Name: Ozren Adamović Country: Croatia Capital: Zagreb Population: 3,88 million Auto Park: 1,968,370
  • Name: Petros Soutzis, Co-founder & Vice President of the jury Country: Cyprus Capital: Nicosia Population: 1,141,166 Auto Park: 900,000
  • Name: Vladimir Rybecky Country: Czech Republic Capital: Prague Population: 10 515 669 Auto Park: 6 293 125 registered cars (average age 15,58), 610 405 registered light commercial vehicles, 186 905 registered trucks, 20 489 registered buses (end of the year 2021). Registrations in 2021: 206 876 new cars, 19 660 new LCVs, 8 679 new trucks, 1 367 buses. Car production in 2021: cars 1 105 223, trucks 1 262, buses 4 947.
  • Name: Mikkel Thomsager Country: Denmark Capital: Copenhagen Population: 5,700,000 Auto Park: 2,278,000
  • Name: Tommi Petteri Lempinen Country: Finland Capital: Helsinki Population: 5,300,000
  • Country: France
  • Name: Ioannis Stavropoulos Country: Greece Capital: Athens Population: 10,815,197 Auto Park: 5.200.000 cars, exclude taxi (is about 34.000) LCV and HCV
  • Name: Robert van Ginneken Country: Holland Capital: Amsterdam Population: 17,5 million Auto Park: 9 million of which 400.000 BEV and 145.000 PHEV
  • Name: Gábor Szécsényi Country: Hungary Capital: Budapesta Population: 9,617,512 Auto Park: 4,000,000
  • Name: Achim Stahn Country: Germany Capital: Berlin Population: 83,000,000 Auto Park: 47,700,000
  • Name: Dave Humphreys Country: Ireland Capital: Dublin Population: 6,378,000 Auto Park: 2,515,322
  • Name: Alessio Viola Country: Italy Capital: Rome Population: 60,795,612 Auto Park: 36,900,000
  • Name: Krumislav Barzov Country: Macedonia Capital: Skopje Population: 2,058,539 Auto Park: 400,000
  • Name: Anthony Alfred Darmanin Country: Malta Capital: Valletta Population: 425,000 Auto Park: 410,000 Registered vehicles, approx. 10,000 new vehicles registered each year
  • Name: David Andersen Country: Norway Capital: Oslo Population: 5,136,700 Auto Park: 3 milion
  • Name: Szczepan Mroczek Country: Poland Capital: Warsaw Population: 37,773,915 Auto Park: 25,000,000
  • Name: José Caetano Country: Portugal Capital: Lisbon Population: 10,347,892 Auto Park: 4,480,000
  • Name: Dan Vardie, Founder & Chairman Country: Romania Capital: Bucharest Population: 19,237,691 Auto Park: 8,9 millions
  • Name: Suspended – Petr Menshikh Country: Russia Capital: Moscow Population: 143,975,923
  • Name: Mladen Alvirović Country: Serbia Capital: Belgrad Population: 7,209,764 Auto Park: 2,200,000
  • Name: Rudolf Karpat, Co-founder Country: Slovakia Capital: Bratislava Population: 5,415,949 Auto Park: 2,725,538 Name: Michal Karpat Country: Slovakia Capital: Bratislava Population: 5,5 milion Auto Park: 3,436.018 cars and LCV registered , 2021 sales: 75.700 cars and LCV
  • Name: Matjaz Korošak Country: Slovenia Capital: Ljublijana Population: 2,061,085 Auto Park: 1,100,000
  • Name: Joan Dalmau Country: Spain Capital: Madrid Population: 46,786,605 Auto Park: 29.9 million vehicles
  • Name: Felix Björklund Country: Sweden Capital: Stockholm Population: 10,23 million Auto Park: 4,887,904
  • Name: Markus Rutishauser Country: Switzerland Capital: Bern Population: 8,306,200 Auto Park: 4,503,339
  • Name: Okan Altan Country: Turkey Capital: Ankara Population: 85 million Auto Park: 25,385,084 (End of 2022, February)
  • Name: Richard Aucock Country: United Kingdom Capital: London Population: 64,511,000 Auto Park: 37,000,000
  • Name: Oleg Vasylevskyi Country: Ukraine Capital: Kiev Population: 42,031,000 Auto Park: 10,950,000 cars and commercial vehicles

The AUTOBEST organisation celebrated the 20th edition of Awards Gala04 / 10 / 2021

  • AUTOBEST announces a new partnership with VINFAST
  • ECOBEST Challenge 2021 will take place on 5-7th November in Terrassa, Spain
  • The European organisation is launching AUTOBEST Think Tank led by the legendary designer Frank Stephenson, the newly inducted DESIGNBEST Hall of Famer
  • Dr Gerhard Kuntschik becomes the new President of AUTOBEST, having Petros Soutzis as the new Vice President of the Jury
  • Ilia Seliktar is continuing to serve AUTOBEST as a Honorary President of the Jury and as a Co-Founder member of the board

The 20th Anniversary edition of the AUTOBEST Gala Awards took place last Thursday, 30th September in Barcelona, Spain, in the La Llotja del Mar, a landmark of the city and one of the architectural jewels of Europe. The unusually late date for the event was due to the pandemic situation around the continent.

Dan Vardie, Founder and Chairman of AUTOBEST said: “We cannot dream more for our celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the AUTOBEST Gala, probably the most important motoring media event of Europe and the world. The SEAT Leon is the AUTOBEST Best Buy Car of Europe, the ultimate accolade in the car industry, giving to the majority of European consumers the best independent, authentic, professional assessment of the top new models coming in Europe.

“We entrusted Barcelona and Spain as the place of our historic event. We are so happy to be in La Llotja del Mar, a landmark of Barcelona, one of the places making Europe so proud for its heritage. I want to express our gratitude for all the people who contributed to this fantastic event. Personally, I want to thank Wayne Griffiths, who proved the best host we can dream of!”

On stage, receiving the supreme European accolade, Wayne Griffiths, CEO of SEAT and CUPRA said: “Winning the AUTOBEST award for ‘Best Buy Car of Europe 2021’ is an incredible recognition for the development team. A car designed, developed and produced in Barcelona; this award gives us renewed strength to look confidently into the future while reinforcing the significance the Leon has in the market. To be able to accept the award in person, on behalf of the entire team is a tribute to the hard work from everyone involved and what better setting than La Llotja del Mar, where great artists such as Gaudí, Miró and Picasso crafted their skills.”

The Anniversary celebration was opened by three legends of the automotive world who sent fantastic video messages: Ratan Tata, a member of the AUTOBEST Hall of Fame (see video here), Carlos Tavares, CEO Stellantis (see video here) and Luca de Meo, CEO Renault group (see video here), both MANBEST Hall of Famers. “As Carlos and Luca said in their speeches, AUTOBEST is not anymore only an independent motoring media giving an insight of the industry with awards, making European consumers to understand what is the best and helping to make their choice. Today AUTOBEST is also a Think Tank exploring the options for the future of the Car, of the mobility!,” Dan Vardie stated.

This new AUTOBEST initiative –another world first- will go deeper into the new concept cars scrutinising what technologies, innovations, design trends, devices and more will represent the future becoming real and useful for consumers in the coming years. A new AUTOBEST Committee with the name ‘The Future is here’ will be led by the legendary designer Frank Stephenson, newly inducted in DESIGNBEST Hall of Fame.

When Dan proposed me in front of all the AUTOBEST members to lead this elite Think Tank, I said yes immediately. There was no point to reflect, I want in. This is something unique and it is an honour to work with so many brilliant people!,” said Frank Stephenson. The research will result in a globally unique award called ‘The Future is here’ but also in many other initiatives.

AUTOBEST also announced a new strategic partnership with VINFAST. “Today VINFAST is on a journey having a strong strategy for electromobility. We discovered that we share the same vision on how things will develop. We both share the concept of `inclusive in diversity`. Both organisations believe that future of car is only electric and we need to give everybody a fair choice to join this. Finally, we believe that technology should empower people onboard and be simple to use,” said Dan Vardie.

Tran Thi Hong Bich, Chief Operating Officer of VinFast Europe said: “The strategic partnership with AUTOBEST for which we are honoured, is one of the first steps in VinFast’s strategy of international cooperation and global expertise sharing. We are committed to providing smart electric cars with premium, eye-catching designs, in line with the development trends in the European and global markets.”

VINFAST is becoming the official partner for ECOBEST Challenge, another project designed by AUTOBEST. It is the first independent, real-world check of the green credentials of the most popular EVs currently on sale in Europe. The ECOBEST Challenge 2021 will be held in Terrassa, Spain, on the 5th to 7th of November. The results of all the measurements will be communicated during a press conference in a major European city, to be announced at a later date. Spanish Jury member, Joan Dalmau was named the Project Manager for this very ambitious AUTOBEST program.

Ilia Seliktar, the President of the Jury announced his retirement from the Jury, leaving the place to Dr Gerhard Kuntschik who succeeds him as President. Ilia was named Honorary President of the Jury, a lifetime position. Speaking on stage, Ilia Seliktar said: “Dear colleagues, in everyone’s life comes a time when you have to give way to the younger ones. These 20 years with my friends from Autobest were some of the best and most rewarding of my life. I will always be with you in the future as Co-Founder and Honorary President of the jury composed of the best automotive journalists in Europe. And don’t forget, albeit slightly from the side, but Big Brother will watch you.”

Gerhard Kuntschik said: “It was certainly a bit of surprise when our Chairman Dan asked me to become the new president of the jury when our friend Ilia will move into semi-retirement. I can assure you that I acknowledge this honour immensely and I feel proud to assist Autobest in the upcoming events and challenges in the best possible way. But I may also add that I will appreciate the support of all of you and look forward to embarking on a new journey together!

Rudi Karpat, the representative of Slovakia, also announced his retirement from the Jury. Both Ilia and Rudi will continue as Co Founders, members of the board of AUTOBEST organisation. “It was a privilege having Ilia and Rudi as Co-Founders and to support me in all the endeavours of AUTOBEST during the time. Together with them and Petros, we worked continuously to build what is AUTOBEST today. I count on their support in the future as much as in the past,” added Dan Vardie

Petros Soutzis, Co-Founder and the representative of Cyprus was named Vice President of the Jury. “Tonight, I feel like we are doing a strong Restart at all levels, and it is a great honour and challenge for me to take over as Vice President. I am sure that in this new smart era will all be smart enough to take out the best of it. Thank you Dan,” commented Petros Soutzis.

All the changes in the leadership of the Jury will become effective from January 1st, 2022.

At the same time, Felix Björklund, becomes the new Swedish Jury member, effective immediately. Leonid Seliktar and Michal Karpat, are the new Jury members for Bulgaria and Slovakia, respectively, starting in January 2022.

The 20th Anniversary edition was conducted by ‘Mr B and Miss A‘ as the hosts introducing the awards. The two fictional cartoons, property of AUTOBEST, were introduced at last year’s Gala in Mainz, Germany. Mr B is short for Mr AutoBest. Miss A is coming from Artificial Intelligence and is neither a robot nor a car, but a smartwatch with voice enhancement. The two characters developed a great relationship on-screen in introducing all the ten prizes in an original way – all the cartoons are on www.autobest.org The two worked hand in hand with the charming Liv von Boetticher as MC of the Gala. The animated videos were produced by Animaize.com

With the celebration of two decades, AUTOBEST honoured on stage six longtime friends: Christian Stein, Frank Klaas, Jasna Stilinovich, Jean-Charles Lievens, Prof Sir Ralf Speth and Zoltan Kaszas. These people from the car industry across various positions and companies have been supportive to the organisation over two decades.

The European organisation reconfirmed the commitment for the AUTOBEST Charity Fund with the aim of selecting young talents, passionate about cars and mobility to educate and train them at the highest professional level. AUTOBEST will cooperate with the School of Media and Performing Arts of Coventry University, UK. 

AUTOBEST Jury want to thank to all the representative of the winners of Gala to be in La Llotja taking over the awards. Also, the Jury is extending the appreciation for all the guests coming from more than 34 countries to participate to the special event.

For next year edition of Gala, AUTOBEST is eager to go to Strasbourg, France at a date to be announced later. Obviously, this is pending on the evolution of the pandemic situation.

More on the AUTOBEST Awards Gala 2021, including comprehensive video footage, is on the www.autobest.org official site.


The AUTOBEST organisation was established in 2001 with the revolutionary concept of “best buy car” available on the European market. A total of 32 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.       



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