Volkswagen Golf Wins Japan’s Car of the Year Trophy
HAT TRICK OF 2013 AWARDS
Winning one award a year would normally be enough for anyone; two would be a good year; but THREE is pretty exceptional – and that’s what the Volkswagen Golf has done as it picks up Japan’s Car of the Year award having already driven off with 2013’s European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year awards.
It was a first for imported cars at the Car of the Year Japan awards ceremony held at the Tokyo Motor Show’s Big Site venue; in the 34-year history of the awards, no foreign car had ever won the award - until now.
No wonder Shigeru Shoji, president of Volkswagen Japan, was all smiles as he proudly held the Japan Car Of The Year trophy he posed for the inevitable photographers (as you can see above.)
“This is a very special award for us in so many ways,” he commented, in between attempting undoubted modesty at being a record-breaker. “Firstly, our Golf 7 has become the first ever imported car to win Japan’s COTY award, and we achieved this in our 60th year since Volkswagen imports started into Japan.”
It wasn’t that big a surprise that the Volkswagen Golf picked up the award; after all, it was billed as a straight shoot-out between the German Classic and the young upstart from Honda, the Fit/Jazz for the title. But like the Carl Froch/George Groves fight, the old hand held his ground as it traded punches with the young pretender, amassing 504 votes from the 60 jurors there against the Fit/Jazz total of 373. (So, unlike Froch/Groves, the end result wasn’t as controversial!) Trailing in in third place, a mile off with 167 votes was the Volvo V40 with 167 votes.
So; a great victory for German technology as it breaks into the Asian world of winners; but who else picked up a trophy and a large bunch of flowers at the awards?
There were three minor new awards introduced this year; the Innovation Award (won by the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), the Emotional Award (this saw the Mazda Atenza - Mazda6 – take to the stage) and the Small Mobility Award shared between the jointly developed Suzuki Spacia and Mazda Flair Wagon minicars. There was also a ‘Special Achievement Award’ awarded to the Daihatsu Move for the technology developed in its front seat lift design to help senior citizens and people with disabilities.
No news as to whether or not Shigeru Shoji partied long into the night after the awards, but they could be forgiven for doing so if they did; after all, a hat-trick is a fine achievement!