The Car of the Year is an international award, judged by a panel of senior motoring journalists across Europe. Its object is to acclaim the most outstanding new car to go on sale in the 12 months preceding the date of the title.
The Car of the Year has a new look with the smart new logo seen about. It replaces the 'poppet valve' design that has been used for more than 30 years. See More
An expert, independent judgement of all new cars on the European market.
The Car of the Year is an international award, judged by a panel of senior motoring journalists across Europe. Its object is to acclaim the most outstanding new car to go on sale in the 12 months preceding the date of the title. The Car of the Year has a new look with the smart new logo seen about. It replaces the 'poppet valve' design that has been used for more than 30 years.
What is recognized worldwide as the Car of the Year award, came about to avoid confusion among 'top car' comparisons run by magazines and newspapers in various countries. In 1963, Fred van der Vlugt, then editor of the Dutch motoring magazine Auto Visie, reasoned that combining resources would produce a more credible result that would attract wider publicity.
Van der Vlugt approached 26 professional car testers, from nine different countries, to form an expert Car of the Year jury. The formula remains the same today, 50 years on, but now involves 60 Jury members representing 23 countries.
The Car of the Year is a non-profit institution, independent of the motor industry. Members receive no payment for serving on the Jury. The expenses of organizing the contest are met by seven publications which promote the award and organize the voting by rotation.
The manufacturer is entitled to use the title and the distinctive Car of the Year logo for the year of the award. See Less
The object of Car of the Year is to find a single, decisive winner. The voting process is designed for that purpose, and not to provide a scale of merit of all competing cars. There are no categories, sub-divisions or class winners. See More
The object of Car of the Year is to find a single, decisive winner. The voting process is designed for that purpose, and not to provide a scale of merit of all competing cars. There are no categories, sub-divisions or class winners.
Obviously this requires the Jury to assess cars of very different types and price, which means assessing them against their market rivals. The 60 members of the Car of the Year Jury all test cars as part of their journalistic work. In selecting the car of the year they use the following criteria: design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction, and price.
Technical innovation and value for money are particularly important factors.
At the end of the year, the Jury Committee draws up a list of eligible cars from all the newcomers presented in the calendar year. Eligible cars must be essentially new models, not simply changed cosmetically or by the installation of new engine or a transmission. They are considered irrespective of their country of origin but must be production cars available in at least five European countries at the time of voting.
The Jury then elects a short list of seven cars in a simple vote. For the second stage, each Jury member has 25 points to apportion to at least five cars, with a maximum of 10 points for any one of them, and produces a statement of justification for the vote. See Less
The Jury for the Car of the Year 2020 consists of 60 members, representing 23 European countries. National representation on the Jury is related to the size of the country's car market and its importance in car manufacturing. France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain each have six members; other countries, proportionally fewer.
Members of the Jury are elected for their personal competence, and not because of the importance of the publications they may represent. New members join the Jury at the invitation of the Jury Committee, following recommendations from regional groups. Each year, every member is required to confirm that car testing is a major part of his or her professional activity.
The Jury Committee consists of the members that represent the organizing publications plus three officers elected annually. For 2020 there are: President: Frank Janssen, stern, Germany. Vice-president: Alberto Sabbatini, independent, Italy. Secretary general: Velimatti Honkanen, Tekniikan Maailma, Finland. Andrea Brambilla, Auto, Italy, is the executive vice-president for 2020 edition.
The Car of the Year Organizing Committee is made up of managers from the seven prominent publications around Europe which take it in turn to organize the vote, publicize and promote the contest, and hold the prizegiving ceremony. The Jury is completely independent of the Organizing Committee in matters pertaining to the award itself - the selection of eligible cars and the voting.
Auto (Italy) / Autocar (UK) / Autopista (Spain) / Autovisie (The Netherlands) / L'Automobile Magazine (France) / Stern (Germany) / Vi Bilägare (Sweden)
Organized in Italy by Auto magazine. Accordingly, Ottavio Ottaviani, representing Conti Editore, is the President of the Organizing Committee for this edition.