Auto Interiors Mag Names Winners for Annual Awards
17 May 2000Magazine Names Winners for Car & Truck Interior of the Year
DETROIT - Auto Interiors magazine has selected the Audi TT Coupe and Mazda MPV as the winners for the publication's inaugural Car & Truck Interior of the Year Awards. The winners were selected from a field of six outstanding finalists, including the Ford Focus and Toyota Echo in the passenger car category, and the BMW X5 and Dodge Dakota Quad-Cab Pickup in the light truck category. Using the criteria of interior appearance, functionality, innovation, and overall impression, the magazine screened some 49 new vehicles before making its selection, said Richard Lebovitz, the magazine's co-publisher/editor. "Both production passenger cars and light trucks, including imports, introduced in North America for the 2000 model year were considered," said Lebovitz. The vehicles had to be all-new or represent a significant redesign to be eligible. Appearance factors that figured in the judging included interior styling, color and materials, and fit-and-finish. Functionality included comfort, convenience and safety features. And innovation included both surprise and delight features and better mousetraps -- notable improvements over previous vehicles. Lebovitz said the wow! factor figured into the magazine staff's overall impression of the vehicles. "Each of the finalists offers something fresh and original," he said. In naming the Audi TT Coupe the Car Interior of the Year Award winner, the editors said, "From its brushed aluminum radio cover to its folding cargo cover, the TT is fun and functional. Impeccable quality provides a solid, rattle-free ride, and a variety of safety features lurk just beneath the surface. But the engineering doesn't stop with safety. After just a short time in the TT, it becomes apparent that much thought went into the design of every switch and control in the entire vehicle." Of the Mazda MPV, named the Truck Interior of the Year Award winner, the editors said, "The MPV earned top honors because it boasts a set of amenities that makes spending hours on the road sound like fun. Moreover, the MPV's interior layout can morph to suit almost any need. The right-hand seat in the middle row slides from side to side, creating either a faux captain's chair arrangement when separated, or a small bench with an aisle to the rear when together, while the versatile third row seat folds and flips into four different positions. The winning Car and Truck Interior of the Year and finalists were honored at the magazine's annual awards banquet, held May 16, 2000, at The Atheneum Suite Hotel in Detroit. This year's banquet sponsors were Johnson Controls Inc., Collins & Aikman, Delphi Automotive Systems, Faurecia, Lear Corp., and Sommer Allibert. The banquet is held in conjunction with the 2000 Automotive & Transportation Interiors Expo, slated May 16-18 at Detroit's Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center. Atlanta-based Auto Interiors is a publication of Bill Communications, Inc., the country's fastest-growing publisher of influential business magazines, a producer of major conferences and expositions, and owner of numerous web information delivery sites on the Internet. The company publishes more than 45 business publications and produces 31 leading business conferences, exhibitions and events from its headquarters in New York City and its division offices in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. Bill Communications is a subsidiary of VNU-USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based VNU, an international publishing and information company that employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide and has annual revenues of more than $2.8 billion.