Automotive Awards – who presents them and what do they mean?

With a large number of awards distributed in the automotive industry, it can be rather difficult for the consumer to make sense of it all. It is not unheard of for competing vehicles to be advertised as award-winning in their category by their respective manufacturers – who brandish awards from different magazines or automotive journalist associations. Mindful of this, our team at the Wyant Group thought it would be a good idea to provide some clarity on the matter. Let’s bring to light who gives the awards, outline the area of focus of different publications and explain what they mean for the consumer.

Popular magazines

When it comes to publications, automotive magazines have the greatest following amongst car enthusiasts. Motor Trend Magazine, for instance, has a monthly circulation of over a million readers. These publications feature well-established journalists and have access to good funding to make in-depth reviews. As a result of their popularity, the awards given by these magazines tend to be strong influencers in the media. While there is no questioning the extensive knowledge of those involved in attributing awards for these publications, it should be remembered that these reviews are market-specific and can influence the importance ascribed to certain vehicle characteristics such as road handling, fuel efficiency or all-weather capability.

Specialized magazines

Specialized magazines will focus on a specific type of vehicle – off-road SUVs, classic cars or sports cars. For instance, EVO Magazine and Road and Track are focused on reviewing sports cars, which means that awards given will be primarily based on a vehicle’s road handling and performance. Accordingly, it is fair to assume that a vehicle such as the Range Rover Sport participating in a test would likely gain little in the way of extra marks despite its locking differentials, ability to tow or ground clearance.

Independent awards

Finally, some organizations regroup journalists from various magazines, television, radio, newspapers and industry websites, and specialize in presenting awards. On the Canadian market, this award is given by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), while the North American market awards are given by The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY). Finally, The World Car Awards (WCA) is a program initiated, organized and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. The strength of any of these awards lies in the fact that they are independent and the opinions behind the decision are sourced from journalists with various backgrounds and facing different realities. However, the tests made may not be as in-depth as those made by magazines.

At the Wyant Group, we are proud to see our brands perform well in all of the above categories For example, Land Rover’s Velar has been named “the most beautiful car on the planet” at the 2018 World Car Awards, and Alfa Romeo’s stunning Guilia was just named 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year! After switching to an aluminum body, the Ford F-150 claimed the coveted Motor Trend’s 2018 Truck of the Year and the Volvo XC60 was very well received at the New York Auto Show where it won World Car of the Year 2018.