Ford’s Mondeo was today named the New Zealand Car of the Year.
The European-built medium-sized vehicle is the first Ford to receive the annual accolade, awarded by the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild.
While this year’s voting process saw Mondeo compete against a number of vehicles good enough to have already been the recipients of overseas awards, the Ford proved a clear winner, said Guild president Rob Maetzig, motoring editor of The Daily News, New Plymouth.
“That underlines the excellence of the new Mondeo. As an all-round motoring package it is without peer, and what has impressed Guild members is the high level of safety that it offers throughout the range, from the base two-litre model to the most expensive V6 version.
“As a result, close to 60% of participants in the voting process for this year’s Car of the Year had the Mondeo as their top vehicle.”
In winning, the Mondeo headed off – in no particular order – the Renault Laguna, Peugeot 307, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Alfa Romeo 147, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Honda CR-V, Renault Scenic RX4, and Holden Barina.
Rob Maetzig said it was generally known that Ford New Zealand took something of a punt in importing the Mondeo to this country, because Australia does not take the car. But the company stuck firmly to its conviction that medium-sized vehicles will continue to remain popular with New Zealand motorists, as long as the value is right.
“Ford New Zealand is now receiving the praise it deserves for making that decision – with perhaps the greatest honour being the sales figures achieved by Mondeo.
“The Ford Mondeo has already been the recipient of a number of car of the year awards from respected specialist New Zealand auto magazines and newspapers. Now the Guild, representing motoring journalists from throughout the country, is delighted to give it the ultimate accolade by naming it the official New Zealand Car of the Year.”
The New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild represents professional motoring journalists working for daily and specialist print media, radio, television and websites around the country. Members assessed passenger vehicles released between January 1 and December 31, 2001 – almost 50 vehicles in all. Factors taken into account included performance, design, quality, environmental care, safety, and value for money.
Now in its 14th year, the Guild’s Car of the Year – represented by the Peter Greenslade Memorial Trophy – is considered the most prestigious and comprehensive automotive automotive prize awarded in New Zealand.