Road & Travel Magazine Names
2015 International Car of the Year Award Winner
For Most Emotionally Compelling Vehicle
For Immediate Release
LOS ANGELES, November 20, 2014 – Road & Travel Magazine (RTM), today announced the winner of its 19th Annual International Car of the Year Award (ICOTY) for most emotionally compelling vehicle for 2015.
The 2015 ICOTY Award was presented to the 2015 Kia K900 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. “This is a first in ICOTY’s 19-year history,” says founder Courtney Caldwell, “that one automaker has won the award for three consecutive years. That says a lot about Kia’s growth and continuous introductions of exceptional new product. “Not only did we love the way car looked, felt and handled, the public reaction during test drives was pretty remarkable, and emotional.”
One of the highlights was how well the car had been marketed prior to its launch as most people on the street found it instantly recognizable. During test drives, people gravitated towards the K900 asking questions, peeking inside, walking around the vehicle with one hand sliding down its side as if it were velvet. It provoked the kind of emotional adulation that only a stunningly appointed auto can earn.
Those are qualities that have defined the ICOTY award since its inception in 1996. “The ICOTY Award is not about power, performance, innovation or ingenuity, nor camshafts and chrome, as are most other awards, separating ICOTY from the sea of auto awards that are presented each year,” said Caldwell. It's about the emotional connection we have with our cars, and how they reflect our personalities and lifestyles; a statement of who we are and where we are in life. When in public, our car is the ‘first impression’ we make before even putting a foot on the ground,” she adds.
The K900 was in good company among the top five finalists for the award, beating out the BMW i3, Hyundai Genesis, the Mazda Mazda6, and even its electrifying sister Kia Soul EV, all of which deserve honorable mention and full attention from consumers when shopping for a new car.
“Since arriving in the U.S. market 20 years ago, Kia has become known for being disruptive and the K900 is our boldest move yet. The 2015 K900 is a significant leap forward for the brand and has brought new and affluent customers into our retail showrooms; people who had never considered Kia before,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “To win the prestigious ICOTY award three years running is a clear indication that our products continue to offer a world-class balance of design, amenities, luxury and value for today’s discerning car buyers.”
Consumer reaction to and feedback on each vehicle is a strong component in the final decision of the award. When it comes down to the finish line, ICOTY is as much a ‘people’s choice award’ as it is a Road & Travel Magazine award. It tells the winning automaker that consumers gave the vehicle high marks in person as opposed to seeing it in commercials or on billboards.
Presenting the award to Kia was Courtney Caldwell, RTM publisher and ICOTY founder. “This is a year of many firsts for RTM and ICOTY. It’s the first time one automaker has won for three consecutive years; it’s the first year that we presented just one top honor of the ICOTY award instead of several, adding more value to the award; and it’s the first time that we are presenting the award at the LA Auto Show instead of Detroit,” she adds. “Though ICOTY is 19 years old, it feels like a new beginning all around.”
About ICOTY - Founded in 1996 by Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of RTM, ICOTY’s pioneering theme to honor vehicles designed and marketed to consumer lifestyles was created to shed light on the importance of marketing cars to consumer lifestyles, thereby eliciting an emotional reaction and connection between car and consumer. Today, several automakers produce national TV commercials that successfully establish an emotional bond with their buyers inspiring brand loyalty.
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