The Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) 2018 was announced at a glitzy and fun-filled award ceremony in Delhi on December 13, 2017. On behalf of the esteemed Jury of ICOTY 2017, Dr. Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited very kindly handed over the Indian Car of the Year trophy to Y.K. Koo, MD & CEO- Hyundai Motor India Ltd. The Chairman of the ICOTY Jury Bob Rupani, presented to the team of Hyundai, a winners certificate signed by all 'Jury Members' of ICOTY 2018.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr. Raghupati Singhania said," The prestigious ICOTY awards have become synonymous with excellence in the Indian automobile industry, honouring cars for over a decade. Every year these coveted awards recognise the best in class efforts in engineering, design, cost-effectiveness, adaptability to local conditions and above all customer satisfaction. As the proud associate of these awards since their inception in 2005, JK Tyre has always endeavoured to take these awards beyond mere plaudits to a true recognition of merit.
I congratulate Hyundai Verna for being recognised as the Indian Car of the Year 2018. Their commendable efforts bring to the customer best-in-class cars and motorcycles, which have been selected by automobile experts who constitute the esteemed jury after a critical scrutiny. I would also like to congratulate all contenders for putting their sincere effort in producing these remarkable vehicles."
This was the 13th edition of the ICOTY, which has emerged as the most honest and desired auto award and is now considered the 'Oscar' of Indian automotive awards. This award is an expert and independent judgment of the best new car and the award has been getting increasingly prominent with each passing year. JK Tyre has been sponsoring the award ceremony of the ICOTY ever since its inception.
Some 16 new cars launched in 2017 qualified for this award, and 9 made it to the final jury round held on 4th December, 2017 in Lonavala, at Khushru Patel's beautiful stud farm and bungalow. The top nine finalist contenders were the Honda WR-V; Hyundai Verna; Jeep Compass; Maruti Suzuki Dzire; Maruti Suzuki Ignis; Renault Captur; Skoda Kodiaq; Tata Nexon and Volkswagen Tiguan.
This time's ICOTY saw the toughest ever fight witnessed for this most desired and aspired for award. Once all 18 Jury Members had cast their votes, and after every single score sheet was counted and double checked, the winner's score was higher by just 1 point! Yes, just 1 point separated the winner from the runner-up. With a total of 450 points to be given, a winning score of 1 point is simply incredible and clearly demonstrates that the fight went down to very last nut and bolt.
In the closest contest experienced by the ICOTY Jury yet, the Hyundai Verna emerged the winner with 118 points and the runner up was the Maruti Suzuki Dzire with a score of 117, just 1 solitary point behind. The Jeep Compass clinching third spot with 87 points.
ICOTY 2018 had the maximum number of Jury Members till date and this included Yogendra Pratap (Auto Today), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl (Auto X), Ishan Raghava (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena (Car India), Sarmad Kadri (Car India), Sirish Chandran (Evo India), Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Raunak Ajinkya (Motoring World), Bob Rupani (Overdrive), Rohit Paradkar (Overdrive), Girish Karkera (Top Gear), Agasti Kaulgi (Top Gear) , Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line), Pablo Chaterji (Mans World) and Vikrant Singh and Hani Musthafa. Nine very prestigious publications were represented on the ICOTY 2018 Jury.
This specialist jury consisting of eighteen senior Indian automotive journalists is easily the largest such jury in our country. This biggest ever jury included the best from the industry and together they have almost 300 years of car evaluation experience. The jury is known for their analytical skills and competence in evaluating and testing cars, as a part of their profession. The highly experienced jury members are responsible for selecting a single decisive winner and the voting process has been designed to be very fair and unbiased and tamper proof. Thanks to all this, the ICOTY trophy is the one every manufacture wants to win. The ICOTY award is in line with international standards and modeled on the American Car of the Year, European Car of the Year and Japanese Car of the Year.
The eligible cars are judged on various parameters such as price, fuel efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, features, performance, practicality, technical innovation, value for money and above all suitability for Indian consumers and driving conditions.