The media launch of the New Straits Times/Maybank “Car of the Year Awards 2009” (COTY) was held at the Senja Restaurant, Saujana Hotel Subang was held last week.
Now in its eighth year, COTY is the country’s first motoring award started in 2002 by Cars, Bikes and Trucks, the motoring section of the New Sunday Times, as a means to acknowledge achievements within the motoring industry.
A panel of 10 judges*, comprising motoring editors, an automotive blogger and other distinguished personalities will carry the challenging task of selecting winners from 14 categories.
“We will be introducing the inaugural Fuel Efficiency Awards, where a winner will be selected from the popular categories such as entry level, small car and small family sedan,” said Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, Group Editor, New Straits Times Sdn Bhd.
“The inclusion of this award is a direct response to efforts made by respective car manufacturers to address the environmental and financial issues faced by today’s consumers. One of the judges, Azmi Abdullah, who is also ex-head of Petronas Powertrain, will be acting as the custodian for this award,” said Datuk Syed Nadzri.
”As one of the leading automobile financiers in the country, we believe that we have a role to play in encouraging further development of this industry, as it will not only benefit the manufacturers, but also the consumers, financiers, vendors and associated enterprises. We have seen double digit growth in automobile financing over the last three years, reflecting the continued growth of this sector. In the coming months, Maybank will be launching new products to meet the needs of the automotive sector,” added Hamirullah.
In testing the nominated cars in the various categories for COTY, the judges will be taking into account criteria such as exterior and interior design, comfort and ergonomics, performance, safety, emotional appeal, and after sales service including the comprehensiveness of its warranty. Points are awarded to the cars as the the judges think fit and the cars with the most points will win the COTY title in its category. The most coveted award is of course, The Overall Car of ther Year 2009.
Nomination is automatic – new cars launched between November 2008 and October 2009 qualify for COTY. This year, new terms and conditions have been set to ensure smooth testing for the judges. Cars launched with only minor facelifts will not be eligible for entry, while cars launched with multiple variants will be eligible to offer all the model variants for nomination. Lastly, only cars that have been tested (i.e. cars provided by the automakers) will make it to the final list.
The date for the COTY Gala Dinner to announce the winners, is set for December 4, and more than 150 top automotive industry figures are expected to grace the ceremony. The organisers will also be holding a Charity Golf tournament on the morning of the COTY awards day.
COTY 2009 co-ordinator Yani Fadzil (left) and judge Susan Lankaster.
*The panel of 10 judges for NST-Maybank COTY 2009 are:
1 Yamin Vong (Chairman)
(Editor NST Cars, Bikes & Trucks)
2 Hezeri Samsuri
(News Editor – NST Cars, Bikes & Trucks and BH Auto)
3 Thomas Huong
(Assistant News Editor – NST Cars, Bikes & Trucks)
4 Chew Wooi Foo
5 Dato Dr Teoh Siang Chin
(Car enthusiast/Safety activist)
6 Professor Sulik Sulaiman
(University Darul Iman
Innovation and Technology)
7 Dr Max Long
(Private Medical Practitioner, Dr Long Skin Clinic, KL.
8 Azmi Abdullah
(ex Head of Petronas Powertrain Department)
9 Razlan Razali
(CEO Sepang International Circuit)
10 Susan Lankaster