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November 18, 2013

Toyota Vios is Auto Focus People's Choice Back-to-Back Winner

The Philippine automotive market’s best-selling model, the Toyota Vios subcompact sedan once again received the much-coveted “Automobile of the Year” title at the Awards Night of the “2012-2013 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards” (AFPCA) held last Thursday, November 7, 2013 at The Venue of the SM Mall of Asia. The Vios accomplished the first ever back-to-back win for the top award in the 9-year history of the AFPCA, which was first launched in 2005.

The AFPCA, organized and conducted by Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp. (STV), is a nationwide public poll to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models. It was supported by AGC Philippines, the Vistamar Hotel & Beach Resort, and with the Philippine Star as media partner. The public poll ran from July 1-September 30, 2013. 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 model in the 2013 Official Entry List. Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the consent of, and upon the request by 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 2013. “Used imported” and grey market vehicles were excluded.

In the AFPCA scoring system, unit sales carried a 60% weight factor, while votes from the 3-month on-line poll on Facebook were subject to a 40% weight. The combined tally of both constituted the consolidated total score from which the top point leaders in 21 (11 Standard & 10 Luxury) individual Model of the Year and the separate Automobile of the Year categories emerged. With January-September 2013 sales of well over 11,000 units and a consolidated score of 6,871 points, the Toyota Vios again vaulted atop a banner field of 150 makes and models offered by the country’s duly recognized auto manufacturers and distributors.

Ray Butch Gamboa, STV Chairman and CEO expressed satisfaction with the AFPCA roster of winners which he considered “a true reflection of what automobiles we will usually see on the streets day-in and day-out.” He added: “The only tweak we believed was on order this year was a top-down, third party review of the Model of the Year classifications and where each entry properly belonged. We left this up to an independent panel of recognized motoring media specialists to work out. They opted for a “Multi-purpose Vehicle” in lieu of the “AUV” model category. And, since all large sedans were currently in a luxury price range, they did away with the standard classification. Another change saw the 3 previous van classes, Minivan, Luxury Minivan, and Full Size Van, simplified into 2: Van and Luxury Van. A few movements from one model classification to another came out of the review. Each one to where each should be, as they said.”
In the course of winning the top “Automobile of the Year” Award, the Toyota Vios dominated the “Model of the Year” race in the subcompact category with the fast growing Mitsubishi Mirage as runner-up. Via a late September sales surge, the MINI Cooper Hatch became the “Luxury Subcompact of the Year” just ahead of the Audi A1 Sportback.

In the Compact category, the Toyota Altis ran away from the Hyundai Elantra, and the BMW 3-Series repeated as top Luxury Compact with the Lexus IS350 lurking closely behind it.

The Toyota Camry maintained its’ strangle hold on the Midsize Sedan plum with the Mazda 6 emerging as runner-up. The Lexus ES350 was a first-timer in the Luxury Midsize Sedan category over the Mercedes Benz E-Class.

As the prime choice of voters, the Porsche Panamera overhauled the stronger sales performance of the Chrysler 300C and claimed the Large Luxury Sedan title.

Both were launched late last year but have quickly gained in popularity. But riding on a much stronger sales performance, the Toyota 86’s vaulted past the more muscular Ford Mustang in the Sports Car category. In the Luxury Sports Car race, voters determined the outcome. With sales figures virtually even, the Chevrolet Camaro revved up just enough votes to hold off the Porsche Carrera 911 S.

In the newly designated Multi-purpose Vehicle (MPV) division, formerly the AUV category, the Toyota Innova took top MPV honors by turning in double the sales of and triple more votes than the venerable Mitsubishi Adventure. Yet another 1st place title went Toyota’s way when the Hilux out-pointed the all-new and fast growing Ford Ranger to carry off the “Pickup of the Year” award.

A fight to the finish ensued as a previous year’s winner again locked up the “Compact SUV of the Year” award with a tad more unit sales and votes than the Honda CRV. In the Luxury Compact SUV classification, the Lexus RX350 reprised last year’s triumph and beat the BMW X3.

Mitsubishi’s top selling Mitsubishi Montero Sport again successfully withstood the challenge posed by the Toyota Fortuner in the Midsize SUV category. Among Luxury Midsize SUV’s, the BMW X5 topped the Mercedes Benz ML Class by receiving the public voters’ nod.

The most popular of the Large SUV’s was the Ford Explorer followed by the iconic Mitsubishi Pajero. For “Large Luxury SUV of the Year”, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and the runner-up Nissan Patrol Super Safari finished 1-2 as in 2012.

The Toyota Hi-Ace and the Nissan Urvan were the winner/runner-up tandem anew for the simplified “Van of the Year” category. For “Luxury Van” honors, last year’s winning two-some was also the 1st placed Toyota Alphard and 2nd placed Honda Odyssey. And with the Hi-lux out-dueling a fast-closing Ford Ranger, for “Pick-up of the Year”, Toyota racked up its’ 9th 2013-2014 AFPCA Model of the Year award.

In the Open category, the Subaru XV was a dominant winner against the Mitsubishi ASX, while in the Luxury Open class, the Audi Q3 managed to squeak past the BMW X1.

The 2013-2014 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards concluded with Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. hauling in 9 of the 21 Model of the Year awards to go along with the prized Automobile of the Year title.

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