NZ Car Of The Year
Mondeo Named Car Of The Year
Ford's Mondeo was today named the New Zealand Car of the Year.
The Europe-built hatchback, sedan and wagon range gives Ford its first success in the New Zealand Car Of the Year, now in its 14th year.
The award is administered by the New Zealand Motoring Writers' Guild and draws on the collective majority of the country's professional motoring journalists. It is the country's only national motoring prize awarded by motoring writers.
Guild president Rob Maetzig, New Plymouth, said Mondeo was a clear winner.
"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 percent of participants in the voting process for this year's Car of the Year had the Mondeo as their top vehicle."
Internationally, Mondeo is Ford of Europe's most important car after the smaller Focus and, at launch more than a year ago, the new model was regarded as a $4 billion gamble that its maker simply could not afford to lose. It hasn't. Rather, the car is selling strongly in every market and has scooped numerous awards in the United Kingdom and Europe.
In winning the New Zealand award, the Mondeo headed off - in no particular order - a strong European representation in the Renault Laguna II and Scenic RX4, Peugeot 307, Alfa Romeo 147 and Holden Barina (which, despite its Aussie badge, is from Spain) as well as the Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, and Honda's Civic and CR-V.
Mr Maetzig said Ford New Zealand appeared to have taken something of a punt importing the Mondeo. However, the company stuck firmly to its conviction that medium-sized vehicles would continue to remain popular with New Zealand motorists, as long as the value was right.
The company was now receiving the praise, and strong sales, it deserved for making that bold decision. "Now the guild, representing motoring journalists from throughout the country, is delighted to give it the ultimate accolade."
The 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 in 2001; almost 50 vehicles in all. Taken into account were factors such as performance, design, quality, environmental care, safety, and value for money.
Great Stuff, glad that poxy Barina didn't win it !