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International Car of the Year Awards

Kia Optima Named
2013 International
Car of the Year

by Road & Travel Magazine

Sponsored by
Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2011 International Car of the Year Awards

For Immediate Release
DETROIT, January 14, 2013 - Road & Travel Magazine announced today the winner of its 2013 International Car of the Year, the Kia Optima.

2013 Kia Optima - Read Review
2013 International Car of the Year

See ICOTY Awards Special Issue

2013 International Car of the Year Goes to 2013 Kia Optima from Road & Travel Magazine
Presenting the 2013 International Car of the Year Award to Kia EVP Michael Sprague, are Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY founder and Michael Martini, president Bridgestone Americas OE, and ICOTY sponsor (r).

The trophy for the 2013 Kia Optima was presented to MichaelSprague, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kia Motors, during a private ceremony during press week of the 2013 North American International Auto Show. Presenters included Courtney Caldwell, Editor-in-Chief, Road & Travel Magazine and ICOTY founder; and Mike Martini, president Bridgestone America OE.

“With its sleek design and fun-to-drive performance, the Optima continues to be a sales leader for the brand, “said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Receiving this prestigious award will help carry the Optima’s momentum forward into 2013 and further cement its position at the top of its class.”

"ICOTY celebrates its 17th year in 2013, however it will be the first year that eligibility for vehicle consideration evolved from 'must be brand new models to 'new or existing models with significant changes in design and/or technology, as well as standing out as the most emotionally compelling vehicle among consumers," said Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY founder and producer.

"The ICOTY Awards are not about power and performance, but rather about personality, passion and personal lifestyle."

In 1996, the ICOTY Awards pioneered the 'emotional connection' (theme) as it related to cars and consumers to help raise awareness that people have strong feelings about their vehicles throughout the purchasing process and ownership. It's not, nor has ever been, just about camshafts and chrome. It's about how cars reflect our personalities and status in life. Therefore, public passion and opinion are strong influence factors in the final decision.

2013 Kia Optima Named 2013 International Car of the Year by Road & Travel Magazine"By far, the 2013 KIA Optima received more 'vigorous vocal reactions' from the public than any other 2013 vehicle we tested," Caldwell adds. "So much so, the Optima was 'the' deciding vehicle that inspired us to re-consider ICOTY's contender criteria going forward. Previous year models can often morph into something spectacular with new design, technology and creature comforts. To not include these vehicles as contenders was an injustice."

Bridgestone, longtime lead sponsor and supporter of the ICOTY Awards, recognizes the consumer-product relationship as critical to vehicle success.

“Bridgestone is proud to support the ICOTY awards, and applauds the Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 17th Annual International Car of the Year Awards - 2013 Ford C-MAX Named International Car of the Year by Road & Travel Magazineefforts of these automakers that like our company demonstrate a strong commitment to innovative technology,” said Michael Martini, president, Consumer OE, Bridgestone Americas. “Through the combined efforts of everyone in the auto industry, and led by automakers like those being recognized today, we will continue to meet and exceed the demands of the motoring public.”

"We would like to thank Bridgestone Tire for sponsoring the 2013 International Car of the Year Awards," said founder Courtney Caldwell. Their continued annual support has allowed us to honor automakers for vehicles that not only relate to consumer lifestyles and connect on an emotional level, it has provided RTM with the opportunity to elevate awareness on how people feel about their cars, and thus help revolutionize, the way agencies now market and advertise cars to consumers on an international level. 


The ICOTY Awards were founded in 1996 by Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Road & Travel Magazine. Its unique and pioneering theme was created by Caldwell to recognize automakers that successfully design and market their vehicles to consumer lifestyles eliciting an emotional connection to, and passion for, the cars they own and drive, which translates into consumer loyalty. Today, many automakers use the ‘emotional connection’ theme in their national marketing and advertising campaigns to connect with consumers.

Media Contact: Courtney Caldwell
Phone: 310.322.8000 PT

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