Television

After corporate excellence awards, CNBC zeroes in on auto industry

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CNBC India has instituted the equivalent of the Oscars for the Indian automotive industry.

The annual awards will reward excellence in car manufacturing in India and provide vital car buying information to the Indian consumer. The awards ceremony will be held in New Delhi on 14 January 2002. While the awards in the first year will focus on passenger cars, the scope will be widened in the coming years. The awards are being jointly given along with Autocar, the magazine for the auto industry.

A jury of 17 experts with a vast experience in the field of evaluating cars, including car designer Dilip Chhabria, leading auto historian Manvendra Singh, India's leading female driver Navaz Bhathena, Indian National Rally champion N Leelakrishnan, Autocar editor Hormazd Sorabjee, associate editor Shapur Kotwal and Rajeev Khanna. The jury will be helped in its analysis by Autocar's database on car performances aggregated from car tests through the year. They will then assess the vehicles and rank them in relation to their rivals. A Car of The Year award is also scheduled to be given away, among the different categories.

CNBC CEO Harish Chawla surmises the importance of the awards thus: "For CNBC, the launch of the auto awards has special significance. Historically, the fortunes of world economies have been closely intertwined with those of the automotive industry. This industry has served as the quintessential barometer of industrial production and consumption - two drivers of economic growth. These awards underline CNBC's commitment to providing essential business insights and supporting the establishment of standards in leading industrial sectors."

While the Mercedes Benz C Class, Opel Corsa Swing, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord figure among the list of eligibles, stringent criteria have been laid down for the awards. These include - fitness, relevance to Indian market, value for money, design and styling, space, comfort and practicality, engine and performance, and overall safety.

The chosen cars shortlisted for the awards will be driven over thousands of kilometers to evaluate these parameters, CNBC officials say.

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