Saturday, October 24, 2015

Toyota and Lexus Top Auto Focus People's Choice Awards


The Philippine automotive market’s best-selling standard midsize SUV, the Toyota Fortuner and Lexus’ luxury compact SUV, the new NX200t, nailed the prestigious “Automobile of the Year” title in their respective categories at the Awards Night of the “2015-2016 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards” (AFPCA) held last Friday, October 16, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom of the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City. Both are first-time winners of the top award.

The AFPCA, which is now on its 11th year, is a nationwide public poll to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models and is organized by Sunshine Television (STV). The public poll ran from April 1-September 30, 2015. As in the previous year, the unique selection process involved the incorporation of poll results with unit sales to yield a final overall score for each of over 140 models in the Official Entry List. Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the official sanction of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The data covered only “Completely built” and “New imported” units that were put in for new registration with the LTO from January-September 2015. So-called grey market vehicles were excluded.

The AFPCA scoring system was updated this year to favor public votes. Votes from the 6-month poll on a popular social networking site now carried a weightier 80% factor with unit sales were subject to 20% weight. The combined tally of both constituted the consolidated total score from which the rankings in 22 (11 Standard and 11 Luxury) individual Model of the Year and the separate Automobile of the Year categories emerged. With January-September 2015 sales of well over 14,000 units and a consolidated score of 2,923.4 points, the Toyota Fortuner topped the Standard Model category, while the Lexus NX200t top-scored with 1,113 overall points in the Luxury Model classification. The Toyota Vios, still the industry’s top-selling model with more than 25,000 units sold year-to-date, drew a bye in this year’s contest by virtue of its elevation to the AFPCA Hall of Fame as the first and only 3-time winner of “Automobile of the Year” honors in the Standard Category”

The Standard Category awards were dominated by Toyota Motor Corporation Philippines (TMCP) which cornered 6 of the 11 “Model of the Year” titles: Wigo (Subcompact); Corolla Altis (Compact Sedan); Innova (Multi-purpose Vehicle/MPV); Fortuner (Midsize SUV); Prado (Large SUV) and HiAce (Van). The Corolla Altis, Innova, and HiAce have now retained their titles for 4 straight years. Also, on account of 6 previous “Midsize Model of the Year” titles, the Camry was given exception with distinction in this year’s race via induction into the AFPCA Hall of Fame.

Ford Philippines bagged 2 awards: EcoSport (Compact SUV) and Ranger (Pickup). The Honda Accord (Midsize Sedan), Subaru WRX STI (Sports Car) and the Peugeot 3008 (Open) completed the list of Standard “Model of the Year” honorees.

In the Model of the Year - Luxury Category, Lexus Manila did even better than last year by reeling in 7 awards: IS350 (Luxury Compact); ES350 (Luxury Midsize Sedan); LS460L (Luxury Large Sedan); RCF (Luxury Sports Car), NX200t (Luxury Compact SUV), GX460 (Luxury Midsize) and LX570 (Luxury Large SUV). Along with TMP’s Toyota Alphard (Luxury Van), the Lexus IS350, ES350, LS460L and LX570 are now the first back-to-back annual winners in their categories.

Volkswagen Philippines landed 2 awards: Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact) and Touran (Luxury Multi-purpose Vehicle/MPV). Rounding out the luxury honors list was the Volvo V40 Cross Country in the Luxury Open classification.

During the same evening, due recognition was also conferred upon winners of the “2015-2016 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards” (AFMCA), a second but equally important component of STV’s Automobile Industry Merit Program. The distinct purpose of AFMCA is to further recognize the automobile industry’s continuing efforts to provide car owners and motorists with the best on-board features, styling, performance and overall value. A select group of recognized motoring media professionals and practitioners comprised the AFMCA voters’ panel in a poll that subscribes to stringent criteria. To earn a Media’s Choice award, a particular model must receive at least 51% or more the total votes cast in that model’s specific performance category. The strict rule accounted for the fact that only 40 of the 88 award categories yielded winners. The winners in their respective performance categories were:

Best Safety Features: 10 Awardees
Honda Jazz (Subcompact); Subaru WRX STI (Sports Car); Ford Explorer (Large SUV); Porsche Cayenne (Luxury Large SUV); Honda Mobilio (MPV); Volkswagen Touran (Luxury MPV); Kia Carnival (Van); Toyota Alphard (Luxury Van); Ford Ranger (Pickup), Subaru XV (Open)

Best Value-for Money: 9 Awardees
Suzuki Swift (Subcompact); Volkswagen Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact); Ford Mustang (Sports Car); Isuzu Mu-X (Midsize SUV); Volkswagen Touareg (Luxury Midsize SUV); Nissan Urvan (Van); Honda Odyssey (Luxury Van); Isuzu DMax (Pick-up); Mitsubishi ASX (Open)

Best Engine Performance: 9 Awardees
Volkswagen Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact); Mazda 3 (Compact); BMW 5-Series (Luxury Midsize Sedan); Subaru WRX STI (Sports Car); Porsche Macan (Luxury Compact SUV); Volkswagen Touareg (Luxury Midsize SUV); Ford Explorer (Large SUV); Volkswagen Touran (Luxury MPV); Toyota Alphard (Luxury Van)

Best Design: 12 Awardees
Honda Jazz (Subcompact); Mercedes Benz A-Class (Luxury Subcompact); Mazda 3 (Compact); Mazda 6 (Midsize Sedan); Peugeot RCZ (Sports Car); Nissan XTrail (Midsize SUV); Toyota FJ Cruiser (Midsize SUV); Volkswagen Touareg (Luxury Midsize SUV); Ford Explorer (Large SUV); Volkswagen Touran (Luxury MPV); Kia Carnival (Van); Volvo XC70 (Luxury Open)

The Awards Night was graced by top officials of the country’s car manufacturers and distributors, the auto industry’s two lead organizations, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Association of Vehicle Importers & Distributors (AVID), as well as motoring media professionals.

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