CNBC crowns Honda City as the 'Car of the year'

MUMBAI: The results are out and the business news channel has awarded Honda City as the car of the year for 2003.

The third CNBC Autocar auto awards, adjudged the Ford Endeavour as the SUV of the Year, while Bajaj Wind was announced as the Bike of the Year.

The awards across 10 categories was presented by Chief Minister Sheila, in the presence of eminent personalities from the Indian auto industry, says a company release.

Maruti Udyog Limited was awarded the Manufacturer of the Year award for its overall performance in 2003. Bharat Forge, MICO and Anand Group were recognized for their exemplary performance in product development and manufacturing of auto components. It is for the first time ever, that the auto ancillary Industry was acknowledged at the CNBC Autocar Auto Awards, says the release.

The first ever 'Viewer Choice Award' was awarded to General Motors' Chevrolet Optra. ' The winners at the CNBC Autocar Auto Awards 2003 are:



The Car Of The Year Award    Honda City

Bike Of The Year    Bajaj Wind

SUV Of The Year    Ford Endeavour

Best Value For Money Car    Chevrolet Optra

Most Technologically Advanced Car    Mercedes SL 500

Best Design & Styling    Mercedes SL 500

Manufacturer Of The Year    Maruti udyog Ltd

Most Improved Car Of The Year    Tata Safari EXi

Best Driver's Car    Chevrolet Forester

The event boasted of good attendence from industry with the likes of CMD-Apollo Tyres' Onkar Kanwar, HDFC's Aditya Puri, Tata Motors executive director Dr Sumantran, Maruti Udyog ltd MD Jagdish Khattar, General Motors MD Aditya Vij, Mahindra & Mahindra's MD Bharat Forge, Baba Kalyani, CEO Alan Durante, Daimler Chrysler India MD & CEO Hans-Michael Huber making appearance.

The performance of the event included the fusion world music by Taufiq Qureshi, Louis Banks and Vikku Vinayak Ram and Shiamak Davar and his troupe's vibrant contemporary modern dance routine.

Speaking on the occasion, CNBC-TV18, CEO, Haresh Chawla, "Across the world, the auto industry is the yardstick to gauge the economy of a country. These are indeed exciting times for the Indian auto industry and the car buyer. The discerning Indian consumer today views a vehicle more than just a functional product, while making a purchase decision, style, comfort and technology are on his priority list. CNBC and Autocar continue to keep a pulse on the changing needs of the consumer. Through the CNBC Autocar Auto Awards we celebrate the resilient spirit of India's Auto Industry."

The auto magazine Auto Car India provided the technical support for road testing and evaluating the technical performance of the nominees, using sophisticated evaluation procedures and testing equipment, says the release.

The judges then rated the nominees on the basis of the performance and the scores were audited and evaluated by Ernst & Young. According to the release, stringent guidelines and eligibility criteria were applied to ensure that the process is benchmarked against international standards.

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