Three Mercedes Models Earn 2015 World Car of the Year Awards
By Philly Murtha, April 07, 2015
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class compact premium car was recently selected as the World Car of the Year for 2015 from finalists that included the new Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Passat. The award was announced late last week at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
A jury of 75 international automotive journalists from 22 countries made their choices from an initial list of two dozen car models in the competition that was narrowed to 12 and then to three models this year. To be eligible for the overall World Car award, now in its 11th year, a model had to be available for sale beginning in January 2014 through May 2015 on at least two continents.
During the awards presentation, World Car jurors noted that the C-Class takes its design and technological cues from the S-Class large premium sedan. They pointed out that the C-Class is built on an "all-new aluminum/steel hybrid platform with updated rear-drive powertrains and delivers a refined, luxury, safe ride and handling."
The C-Class (sedan and coupe family) is one of the Daimler brand's best-selling models worldwide. Through the first three months of 2015, C-Class sales in the United States were 20,943 units vs. 17,029 unit sales a year ago, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The model is now produced at the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in addition to being built at the Daimler plant in Bremen, Germany.
In addition to the overall World Car of the Year honor, there were honors in four other categories, and Mercedes-Benz captured two of them. The Mercedes S-Class coupe received the 2015 World Luxury Car award. The other two finalists in this category were the BMW i8 and Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB.
Also, Mercedes' AMG GT was singled out as the World Performance Car of the Year over the BMW M4 Coupe/M3 Sedan and Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
Rival German luxury automaker BMW Group's BMW i8 electric car was selected as the World Green Car of the Year. The other two finalists in this category were the Mercedes-Benz S 500 plug-in hybrid and Volkswagen Golf GTE.
France's Citroën C4 Cactus received the World Car Design of the Year award. This category is meant to highlight models that are innovative, stylish, and push design boundaries, according to Linda Jackson, CEO of Citroën, which is part of the PSA (Peugeot Citroën) Group, with headquarters in Paris. The other design finalists were: the C-Class and Volvo XC90.
Last year, the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW i3 were among the finalists in the World Car of the Year contest. In prior years, overall winners include: Volkswagen Golf (2013); Volkswagen Up! (2012); Nissan Leaf (2011); Volkswagen Polo (2010 and 2009); Mazda 2/Mazda Demio (2008); Lexus LS 460 (2007); BMW 3 Series (2006); and the Audi A6 (2005).