DETROIT, January 10, 2009 - The votes are in, and the 2009 International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) jury announced today the winners at the 13th annual black-tie ceremony held at the MGM Grand Detroit. The event hosted more than 600 industry leaders and media on the eve of press week of the North American International Auto Show.
Hosted by Edmunds.com Editorial Director Kevin Smith, and Earth, Wind & Power Magazine (EWP) Editor-in-Chief Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY presented the International Car of the Year and International Truck of the Year awards. The ICOTY jury, made up of 16 nationally-renowned automotive journalists, selected the 2009 vehicles as the best for the new model year with final ballots tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates to ensure accuracy and credibility. And the winners are:
International Car of the Year
International Truck of the Year
"The ICOTY Awards are not about power and performance, but rather personality and passion," said ICOTY Executive Producer Courtney Caldwell. The awards are based on lifestyle compatibility and how well automakers achieve that goal.
The 2009 ceremony also debuted the Earth, Wind & Power Awards, which honored the most eco-friendly car and truck of the year. The mission of the EWP Awards is to recognize vehicles that are driven by a power source that help reduce global warming, are conducive to promoting a cleaner environment and support the mission to achieve energy independence through alternative sources.
Also recognized was Honda Motor Company with the second annual EARTH ANGEL Award. Sponsored by Bridgestone, the award honors the automaker making the most progress with environmental initiatives and partnerships on a worldwide level.
In addition to the ICOTY Awards, Road & Travel Magazine presented its sixth annual Lifetime Legend Award to veteran automotive journalist, Warren Brown, a long-time auto contributor for the Washington Post. The award was sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
Sponsors for the 2009 black-tie gala included: Ford Motor Company, Bridgestone, Chrysler LLC, General Motors Corporation, State Farm, Subaru of America, American Honda, Audi of America, Hyundai of America, Mazda NA Operations, BorgWarner Inc., Continental, Mercedes-Benz USA,and U-Haul International.
2009 media partners include Edmunds.com, MSN Autos, Yahoo! Autos, Consumer Guide Automotive, Autobytel/MyRide.com, ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine, AOL Autos, and Earth, Wind & Power Magazine all of which will provide post event coverage of the winners.
The ICOTY Awards were founded in 1996 by Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of RTM. Coined the Academy Awards of Cars, ICOTY has become the largest auto awards show production in the United States. Its unique theme was created to celebrate the emotional connection between car and consumer and recognize the automakers that most successfully accomplish that goal through the design and marketing of their vehicles. Today, many automakers use the emotional connection theme in marketing and advertising campaigns.