THE Toyota Vios, the Philippines’ best-selling model, has once again received the Automobile of the Year title in the 2012-2013 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA), scoring the first back-to-back win for the top plum in the event’s nine-year history.
The AFPCA, organized by Sunshine Television (STV), is a nationwide public poll that determines the country’s most popular auto brands and models. The public voting for the awards ran from July 1 to September 30 and, as in the previous year, the selection process involved the incorporation of poll results with unit sales to yield the overall score for each model listed in the official entry list.
Sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corp., and covered only “completely built” and “new imported” vehicles that were eligible for registration with the LTO from January to September. “Used imported” and gray market vehicles were excluded.
In the AFPCA scoring system, unit sales carried a 60-percent factor while votes from the three-month online poll on Facebook counted for 40 percent. The combined tally determined the top point leaders in the 21 individual Model of the Year category and the separate Automobile of the Year award.
With the Vios’s sales from January to September reaching more than 11,000 units and a consolidated score of 6,871 points, the subcompact sedan again led the field of 150 makes and models offered by the country’s auto manufacturers and distributors.
STV Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ray Butch Gamboa called the AFPCA’s roster of winners “a true reflection of the automobiles we usually see on the streets every day.”
“The only tweak we believed was in order this year was a top-down, third-party review of the Model of the Year classifications and where each entry properly belonged. We left this up to an independent panel of recognized motoring media specialists to work out,” Gamboa noted.
In the course of winning Automobile of the Year, the Vios dominated the Model of the Year race in the subcompact category as the Mitsubishi Mirage took runner-up honors. Meanwhile, a late sales surge in September had allowed the Mini Cooper to clinch Luxury Subcompact of the Year, nudging out the Audi A1 Sportback.
The Toyota Altis ran away from the Hyundai Elantra in the Compact category while the BMW 3 Series repeated as top Luxury Compact, with the Lexus IS350 closely finishing behind.
The Toyota Camry maintained its hold on the Midsize Sedan plum as the Mazda6 emerged as runner-up. The Lexus ES350 took Luxury Midsize Sedan from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The Porsche Panamera overhauled the stronger sales performance of the Chrysler 300C and claimed the Large Luxury Sedan title.
Riding on a much stronger sales performance, the Toyota 86 vaulted past the more muscular Ford Mustang in the Sports Car category. In the Luxury Sports Car race, voters determined the outcome as sales figures between the Chevrolet Camaro and Porsche 911 S were virtually equal. The Camaro garnered enough votes to hold off the 911.
The newly designated MPV division (formerly the AUV category) saw the Toyota Innova taking top honors from the Mitsubishi Adventure. Another Toyota model that secured first place was the Hilux as it snatched the Pickup of the Year award from the Ford Ranger.
The Compact SUV of the Year award was won by the Honda CR-V while the Lexus RX350 repeated its triumph last year in the Luxury Compact SUV classification, edging out the BMW X3. Mitsubishi’s top-selling Montero Sport again successfully withstood the challenge posed by the Toyota Fortuner in the Midsize SUV category. The Luxury Midsize SUV class was topped by the BMW X5 as it outscored the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class. The Ford Explorer was the Large SUV choice, with the Mitsubishi Pajero trailing it. The Large Luxury SUV award was taken by the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 off runner-up Nissan Patrol Super Safari.
The Toyota Hi-Ace beat the Nissan Urvan for Van of the Year while Luxury Van honors went to the Toyota Alphard, which outclassed the Honda Odyssey. In the Open category, the Subaru XV was a dominant winner against the Mitsubishi ASX. The Luxury Open class was won by the Audi Q3, which squeaked past the BMW X1.
Toyota Motor Phils. hauled in nine of the 21 Model of the Year awards, which went alongside the prized Automobile of the Year title.