THE Philippine automotive market’s best-selling standard and luxury models, the Toyota Vios subcompact and the Lexus IS350 luxury compact sedan, garnered the coveted “Automobile of the Year” title in their respective categories at the awards night of the “2014-2015 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards” (AFPCA) held last Thursday, November 6, at The Venue of the SM Mall of Asia. The Vios has now won the top award three years in a row and is thus being considered for entry in the AFPCA Hall of Fame. The IS350 took maiden top honors in the luxury model category after it was decided by the organizers, Sunshine Television (STV), that separate “Automobile of the Year” awards would be conferred to standard and luxury type models for the first time effective with the 2014 edition of the AFPCA.
The AFPCA is a nationwide public poll to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models. The public poll ran from July 1-September 30, 2014. 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 consent of, and upon the request by 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-September 2014. “Used imported” and grey market vehicles were excluded.
In the AFPCA scoring system, unit sales carried a 60% weight factor, while votes from the 3-month on-line poll on a popular social networking site were subject to a 40% weight. The combined tally of both constituted the consolidated total score from which the rankings in 21 (11 Standard & 10 Luxury) individual Model of the Year and the separate Automobile of the Year categories emerged. With January-September 2014 sales of well over 19,000 units and a consolidated score of 11,760 points, the Toyota Vios vaulted atop the Standard Model category, while the Lexus IS350 top-scored with 308.4 overall points and sales of 166 units in the Luxury Model classification.
The Standard Category awards were dominated by Toyota Motor Corporation Philippines (TMCP) which wrapped up eight of the 11 “Model of the Year” titles: Vios (subcompact); Corolla Altis (compact sedan); Camry (midsize sedan); Toyota 86 (sports car); Innova (multi-purpose Vehicle/MPV); Fortuner (midsize SUV); HiLux (pickup) and HiAce (van).
Ford Philippines bagged two awards: EcoSport (compact SUV) and Explorer (large SUV), while Motor Image Pilipinas copped Open Category honors with their Subaru XV.
The Model of the Year – Luxury Category race saw Lexus Manila carry off 5 awards: IS350 (Luxury Compact); ES350 (Luxury Midsize Sedan); LS460 L (Luxury Large Sedan); RX350 (Luxury Compact SUV) and LX570 (Luxury Large SUV). Asian Carmakers Corporation landed 2: BMW X5 (Luxury Midsize SUV) and BMW X1 (Luxury Open). TMCP took Luxury Van honors with the Toyota Alphard while British United Automobiles’ Mini Cooper brought home the Luxury Subcompact award. PGA Cars, Inc. won with the Porsche 911 (Luxury Sports Car).