Toyota, Lexus top Auto Focus Awards

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The Philippine automotive market’s best-selling standard mid-sized sports utility vehicle, the Toyota Fortuner, and Lexus’ luxury compact SUV, the new NX200t, nailed the prestigious “Automobile of the Year” title in their respective categories at the Awards Night of the “2015-2016 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards” (AFPCA) held on October 16, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom of the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City. Both are first-time winners of the top award.

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The AFPCA, which is now on its 11th year, is a nationwide public poll to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models and is organized by Sunshine Television (STV). The public poll ran from April 1 to September 30 this year. As in the previous year, the unique selection process involved the incorporation of poll results with unit sales to yield a final overall score for each of over 140 models in the official entry list. Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the official sanction of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The data covered only “completely built” and “new imported” units that were put in for new registration with the LTO from January to September 2015. So-called grey market vehicles were excluded.

The AFPCA scoring system was updated this year to favor public votes. Votes from the six-month poll on a popular social networking site now carried a weightier 80-percent factor with unit sales were subject to 20-percent weight. The combined tally of both constituted the consolidated total score from which the rankings in 22 (11 standard and 11 luxury) individual Model of the Year and the separate Automobile of the Year categories emerged. With January-September 2015 sales of well over 14,000 units and a consolidated score of 2,923.4 points, the Toyota Fortuner topped the Standard Model category, while the Lexus NX200t top-scored with 1,113 overall points in the Luxury Model classification. The Toyota Vios, still the industry’s top-selling model with more than 25,000 units sold year-to-date, drew a bye in this year’s contest by virtue of its elevation to the AFPCA Hall of Fame as the first and only three-time winner of Automobile of the Year honors in the Standard Category

The Standard Category awards were dominated by Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) which cornered six of the 11 Model of the Year titles: Wigo (subcompact); Corolla Altis (compact sedan); Innova (multi-purpose vehicle/MPV); Fortuner (mid-sized SUV); Prado (large SUV) and HiAce (van). The Corolla Altis, Innova and HiAce have now retained their titles for four straight years. Also, on account of six previous Midsize Model of the Year titles, the Camry was given exception with distinction in this year’s race via induction into the AFPCA Hall of Fame.

Ford Philippines bagged two awards: EcoSport (compact SUV); and Ranger (pick-up). The Honda Accord (mid-sized Sedan), Subaru WRX STI (sports car) and the Peugeot 3008 (open) completed the list of Standard Model of the Year honorees.

In the Model of the Year-Luxury Category, Lexus Manila did even better than last year by reeling in seven awards: IS350 (luxury compact); ES350 (luxury mid-sized sedan); LS460L (luxury large sedan); RCF (luxury sports car), NX200t (luxury compact SUV), GX460 (luxury midsize) and LX570 (luxury large SUV). Along with TMP’s Toyota Alphard (luxury van), the Lexus IS350, ES350, LS460L and LX570 are now the first back-to-back annual winners in their categories.

Volkswagen Philippines landed two awards: Golf GTI (luxury subcompact) and Touran (luxury MPV). Rounding out the luxury honors list was the Volvo V40 Cross Country in the luxury open classification.

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