The Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) 2017 was announced at a glittering and glamorous ceremony in Mumbai on December 20, 2016. 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 the team of Maruti Suzuki. The Chairman of the ICOTY Jury Bob Rupani, presented to the winners, a certificate signed by all 'Jury Members' of ICOTY 2017.
To celebrate this extremely important occasion, well known rock artiste Gary Lawyer gave a splendid performance of 'Motoring Music' specially curated for the ICOTY award ceremony night. This was the 12th edition of the ICOTY, which has emerged as the most credible and coveted 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 19 new cars launched in 2016 qualified for these awards and 13 made it to the final jury round held on 7th December, 2016 in Lonavala at Khushru Patel's beautiful stud farm and bungalow. The top six contenders were the Ford Endeavour; Hyundai Tuscon; Hyundai Elantra; Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza; Toyota Innova Crysta and Skoda Suberb.
In a tough contest the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza emerged the winner. The runner up was the Hyundai Tuscon with the Toyota Innova Crysta clinching third spot. Interestingly, the Brezza was almost entirely designed and developed in India by the Chief Engineer for the Vitara Brezza Project C.V. Raman and his team.
The Jury of ICOTY 2017 included Yogendra Pratap (Auto Today), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl (Auto X), Ishan Raghava (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena (Car India), Jim Gorde (Car India), Sirish Chandran (Evo India), Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Bertrand D'souza (Overdrive), Bob Rupani (Overdrive), Girish Karkera (Top Gear), Sriram Narayanan (Top Gear) , Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line) and Pablo Chaterji (Mans World).
In all nine very prestigious publications were represented on the ICOTY 2017 Jury. This specialist jury consisting of fifteen senior Indian automotive journalists is the best from the industry and together they have about 250 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.
Congratulating the winners, Dr. Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, said, "It's been over a decade since the first ICOTY Awards were instituted to honour achievements and excellence in the Indian automobile industry. Today, these Awards have set benchmarks for Indian automakers, egging them on to put in their best foot forward and deliver vehicles, which capture the nation's imagination in all ways possible. JK Tyre has been associated with ICOTY and IMOTY since the time of their inception, and it is with great pride that we can say that today these awards have inspired automakers to innovate every year in terms of engineering, design, cost-effectiveness, adaptability to local conditions, not to forget consumer satisfaction, to stand out in the competition.
I congratulate Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and TVS Apache RTR 200 4V for the innovation and creativity in their vehicles and for being successful in satiating the needs of their consumers. This is a deserving recognition of the efforts they have put to bring out the best-in-class cars and motorcycles. At the same time, I would also like to congratulate all contenders for having put in so much effort. It is in true sense a celebration of the Olympian spirit of participation that makes everyone a winner."