Top Three Finalists Announced in All World Car Award Categories


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AND NOW THERE ARE THREE ...

GENEVA, March 2 -- At a press conference hosted by Bridgestone Corporation, BASF SE and the New York International Auto Show at the Geneva International Motor Show, the top three finalists for the World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards were announced today.

The winners will be declared at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 1, 2010.

From an initial entry list of thirty (30) new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of ten finalists, the top three contenders for the overall 2010 World Car of the Year title are, in alphabetical order: the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Polo.

To be eligible for the overall World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, on at least two continents during 2009.

Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of fifty-nine (59) top-level automotive journalists from twenty-five (25) countries around the world. Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. All hold significant stature within their own regions and countries. For more details about our jurors, and their outlets, please visit our web site: www.wcoty.com and choose "Juror Details".

The top three finalists for the 2010 World Performance Car award are, in alphabetical order: the Audi R8 V10, the Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3

While the winner of the overall World Car award must excel in a broad range of attributes, the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation while satisfying the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car of the Year award.

Entrants may be chosen from that list of eligible vehicles, or they may be newly introduced variants that satisfy the same criteria, but are derived from existing rather than brand-new models. In all cases, they must have a minimum annual production rate of five-hundred (500) vehicles.

The World Green Car* award is presented by Bridgestone Corporation (Japan) who announced their sponsorship earlier this year. Ryoji Yamada, General Manager of Brand Management said, "We are very pleased and honored to sponsor the 2010 World Green Car of The Year......We hope that this sponsorship will help underscore to those in the automotive industry as well as to consumers that tires can help vehicles be more fuel efficient. Through our environmentally friendly "Ecopia" tire brand we expect to help drivers achieve better mileage, and therefore contribute to a more sustainable mobile society".

Due to the complexity of some of the 'green' technologies, three (3) green experts were appointed by the World Car Steering Committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate and then create a short-list of finalists for review by the fifty-nine (59) jurors in their second round of voting in February. The three green experts were in alphabetical order: Sam Abuelsamid (representing North America), Dean Slavnich (representing Europe) and Tadashi Tateuchi (representing Asia).

The fifty-nine (59) member jury chose the following top three finalists for the 2010 World Green Car* award: the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo)

Cars eligible for the 2010 World Car Design of the Year award, presented by BASF SE, are taken from the list of World Car candidates. A design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors. The design experts were: Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan), Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy), Gernot Bracht (Germany), Sam Livingstone (UK) and Tom Matano (USA). Jurors then voted on the experts' recommendations. The top three design finalists as chosen by the jurors are, in alphabetical order: Chevrolet Camaro, Citroen C3 Picasso and the Kia Soul. This is the fourth time that a Citroen design has been in the top finalists' position for the World Car Design of the Year Award. Citroen also won the overall title in 2006 for its C4 design.

Prime Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy, has joined forces with the World Car Awards to form a unique research partnership that will provide strategic reports in 2010, analyzing global automotive media coverage.

Now in their seventh year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (Japan) and Matt Davis (Italy / USA) are the co-chairs; John McCormick (USA), Jens Meiners (Germany) and Gerry Malloy (Canada) are the directors. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.

  For additional information, visit our web site (www.wcoty.com).

  About BRIDGESTONE CORPORATION

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About PRIME RESEARCH

PRIME Research International, a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy, has joined forces with the World Car Awards to provide strategic studies in the fields of automotive assessment criteria and automotive awards. PRIME Research is a well-trusted research partner for the automotive industry with a broad range of automotive clients. Its full picture approach, which provides strategic benchmark information and SWOT analyses on over 100 brands and over 10,000 different automobile models, sets the standard in automotive media research.

About the 2010 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Ushering in the latest motor trends, the 2010 New York International Auto Show will unveil an expansive collection of cutting-edge design and extraordinary innovation. More than four floors of displays from the world's automakers will feature the newest vehicles and futuristic concept cars. More than 1,000 cars and trucks will be on display. NYIAS is North America's first and largest-attended auto show. The first exhibition was held in 1900 at Madison Square Garden. Today, the Show represents the nation's largest new vehicle market, accounting for over 840,000 new vehicle registrations in 2008. NYIAS is owned and produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.

  Important Show Dates
  Press Preview            March 31 and April 1
  Public Sneak Preview     April 2
  Public Show Dates        April 2 - 11

*The World Green Car award was established in 2004 and is part of the overall World Car of the Year Awards program that is international in scope. It should not be confused with the Green Car of the YearŽ award handed out in the United States by Green Car Journal.

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