Mazda Motor Corp. is racking up awards. And the most recent auto industry darling is Mazda2 which was dubbed the 2008 World Car of the Year by a jury of international auto journalists. The announcement was made at the much-concluded New York Auto Show.
Mazda2, also called Demio, Mazda 121, Mazda Metro, and Ford Festiva mini wagon, is actually a small minivan or tall station wagon which was launched in 1996. The car was chosen by 47 jurors from an initial entry list of 39 vehicles. The top three cars picked includes Ford Mondeo, Mazda2 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, according to CanadianDriver.
In 2003, the original Mazda2 first went on sale in Europe. In 2007, however, the all-new, second-generation model went on sale in Japan. To note, as of 2005, 892,000 units had been sold around the globe since introduction.
?We are honored to receive this prestigious award recognizing the Mazda2/Mazda Demio as the 2008 World Car of the Year,? said Dan Morris, Mazda?s senior managing executive officer in charge of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.
Morris added: ?This is a wonderful recognition which Mazda2 car owners and Mazda employees alike can celebrate worldwide. The all-new Mazda2 is exceeding our highest expectations, demonstrating it can compete and win against the best compact cars in any market in the world and is earning glowing praise at home and globally, having also won a number of Car of the Year awards around the globe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, New Zealand and the RJC Car of the Year award in Japan.?
The BMW 118d with ?EfficientDynamics? was also named as the 2008 World Green Car of the Year, and the Audi R8 as 2008 World Performance Car and 2008 World Car Design of the Year.
Previous winners of the World Car of the Year title include the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3 Series in 2006 and the Audi A6 in 2005.
The quality of Mazda parts is gradually recognized in the industry previously dominated by American and European cars. Matter of fact, last year, the seven-passenger sport utility Mazda CX-9, racked up more awards than any other SUV.
The SUV was named the North American Truck of the Year, Kelly Blue Book’s Best New Family Vehicle, Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year, and ‘s Family Car of the Year. Watchers in the industry say that the SUV is one of the best family vehicles to hit the market in a long time.