In case you have been asleep since the Sixties, I have to remind you that the female of the species influences as many as 85 per cent of all car buying decisions. Not only that, but in 2014, the number of women with a driver’s licence in the United States overtook the number of men who are licenced.
While my Wife despises automotive things that are gender based, I have to admit that out of all of the car of the year type of programs out there, one decided solely by females is perhaps the most relevant of all.
The Women’s Car of the Year is chosen by a global jury of 19 journalists from 13 countries. Canada is capably represented by Jil McIntosh and Regina Chan.
The second generation Volvo XC90 won the SUV-Crossover category on its way to taking the overall title of Women’s World Car of the Year.
Special Dream Car award
Women’s World Car of the Year press release
Judging has just been completed in the 2015 Women’s World Car of the Year awards and the Volvo XC90 has captured the top prize.
The XC90 won the SUV-Crossover category and in the second round of voting emerged as the overall winner as well.
The second-generation mid-sized crossover SUV was launched in August, 2014, and marked the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history.
The XC90 was three years in the making and part of a significant investment programme from the company known world-wide for safety and innovation.
President and CEO of Volvo Car Group, Håkan Samuelsson, said at the time, that the company was not just launching a car, but re-launching the Volvo brand.
In winning the Supreme Trophy in Women’s World Car of the Year the Volvo XC90 has been given a stamp of approval from the only motor vehicle award organisation in the world voted entirely by women. Currently there are 19 judges on the panel from 13 different countries.
Judges are adamant they are not voting for “a woman’s car”. Rather, they vote as motoring journalists and assess cars accordingly from experience and knowledge. They do, however, take into account what they think women would like to buy – an important distinction. Indeed, this difference is another factor contributing to the unique value of Women’s World Car of the Year.
Commenting on the Volvo XC90 capturing the major prize in Women’s World Car of the Year, Volvo Cars President & CEO Håkan Samuelsson, said he is “delighted” about the award.
“With the XC90, Volvo Cars begun a relaunch of its brand. This award is a testament that we have come a long way already and that we have succeeded in making the XC90 attractive for a very important audience, so we are of course both honoured and delighted.”
The judging procedure is rigorous. Jury members first submit their own short list preference and from there an official short list is drawn up with the top five cars in each category on the voting list. Judges vote by awarding points under five criteria– engineering, appearance, comfort, storage and value for money.
The final votes are by secret ballot and monitored by international accountancy company, Grant Thornton New Zealand. From a list of the top cars (the six category winners) judges vote again to determine their choice of a supreme winner. It was from this second round of votes that the Volvo XC90 emerged as the overall top car.
Category winners in the 2015 Women’s World Car of the Year are:
Family Car: Renault Espace
Budget Car: Scion iM/Toyota Auris
SUV Crossover: Volvo XC90
Green Car: BMW i8
Luxury Car: Mercedes S-Class
Performance Car: Mercedes GT AMG
Paul Kane from Grant Thornton, says a voting pattern is not always predictable.
“It’s always a tight competition and reaching a final decision for each category and choosing an overall winner is no mean feat. The voting was very close this year and could have swung either way for the Supreme Winner. In fact, all categories were close with no particular stand outs.”
Dream Car Category:
As a fun exercise judges were asked to nominate their ‘Dream Car’, one they could aspire to own. There was a clear winner – The all new Mazda MX5.
Mazda’s fourth-generation MX5/Miata faced formidable opposition in this category that included some of the world’s most famous luxury cars, sports and performance cars.
CEO of Women’s World Car of the Year, Sandy Myhre from New Zealand, said Volvo deserves the award on many levels.
“Six years ago when we started, we had just eight judges on the jury. We held a press conference in Knightsbridge, London, and Volvo were one of the first companies to put their hand up to support our fledgling organisation, even though one of their cars didn’t win the Supreme Award that year.
“That shows commitment to women customers and to women drivers. I applaud their decision because it allowed us to grow these awards. The evolution of Women’s World Car of the Year shows we are now a strong voice for women motorists world-wide.
“We have robust discussions among ourselves as to the best way forward and it’s a testament to the judges and to companies like Volvo, Ford and Jaguar who have supported this concept over the years that we continue to improve and grow in recognition.
“It’s time to acknowledge that support and Volvo winning the Supreme Award this year is a pleasing result.”