International Car of the Year (ICOTY)
Winners' Buyer's Guide
by Martha Hindes
an achievement reaches the pinnacle, one
of the sweetest rewards is acknowledgment.
Athletes win their sports trophies. Actors
and actresses vie for statuettes that
acclaim their superior performances. Scientists
and humanitarians garner honors following
years of laborious work. And prestige
has a special place for the vehicles that
express a combination of all those elements-
agility and strength in performance, beauty
in their excellence of design, technological
superiority with a growing conscience.
These are the best of the best.
dozen years ago the automotive world took
notice with the inauguration of ROAD &
TRAVEL Magazine's first International
Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY).
The award ceremony, designed to honor
the most important auto of the year, also
honored vehicles in specific categories.
Since then, the awards have grown to include
an ICOTY Truck of the Year- now in its
fourth year- and eight specific automotive
segments, from sports and luxury cars
to SUVs and crossovers.
ICOTY Award's unique theme focuses on
the emotional connection between car and
consumer, how vehicles reflect our lifestyles
and self image, and attitude the average
consumer can identify with," said Courtney
Caldwell, ICOTY founder and producer.
"Each of the 10 ICOTY Awards reflect a
particular mindset during purchase or
ownership, celebrating the relationship
consumers have with their cars and how
they make them feel."
the first time, the elegant black-tie
ceremony that has become an anticipated
kickoff event for the annual North American
International Auto show (NAIAS), was held
in the new, opulent MGM
Grand Detroit ballroom. With glittering
fanfare, drum roll backing from The Jerry
Ross Band and a sense of the excitement,
winning vehicles were revealed one by
one. Winners were greeted with "oohs"
of surprise and agreement, healthy rounds
of applause and gracious thanks from the
company representatives who accepted the
beautiful crystal trophies.
honors for Car of the Year for 2008 went
to the handsome, sophisticated and newly
revised Honda Accord Sedan, which wowed
the judges with its performance and command.
Truck of the Year honors were won by Chrysler's
ingenious and multi-talented Town &
Country minivan that aptly fits the company's
description as a family room on wheels.
in specific categories were honored for
their excitement, innovations, performance,
technology, love of the earth and ability
to instill a sense of passion in drivers.
and nostalgia also prevailed as one of
the industry's notable journalists was
honored with RTM's fifth annual Lifetime
Legend Award, sponsored by
Chrysler LLC. The honor was given this
year to 30-year veteran automotive journalist
Thos. L. Bryant, vice president and editor
in chief of Road & Track. The fourth
STRING Award for the most compelling
television commercial of 2007 was also
presented at the ceremony. The winner
was the Dodge Grand Caravan's "Rooms,"
for its friendly minivan commercial.
the first time, environmental responsibility
and respect for the earth was recognized
by ICOTY with the inaugural presentation
of the EARTH
ANGEL Award to General Motors
Corporation as the most environmentally
friendly auto maker. On hand to co-present
the honor was U.S. Senator Carl Levin,
D-Mich., a longtime industry advocate
"Who's Who" list of notables attending
the premiere event were treated to a festive
evening of fun and music as awards were
announced. Some of those in attendance
were U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, D-Mich., who
gave opening remarks at the event; Royal
Oak Mayor Jim Ellison Michigan; George
Perry, president and CEO of Yazaki
North America, Inc.; Anne Belec, president
and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America;
Barry Meguiar, president and CEO of Meguiar's
Inc.; Bill Rains, president of U-Haul
Company, Central Michigan; Mike Kosmowski,
president of U-Haul Manufacturing; John
deNysschen, executive vice president of Audi
of America; Beth Lowery, vice president
of Environment, Energy & Safety
Policy at General Motors Corporation;
Larry Jutte, senior vice president of
American Honda; Tom McAlear, CEO of Event
Solutions International and Bernard Glaser,
general manager of Product Management
ICOTY Award winners were selected by a
panel of jurors, which
was comprised of nationally-renowed automotive
journalists. Votes for the 2008 ICOTY
Awards were officially tabulated by J.D.
Power and Associates.
proudly shares the winners and runners
up of the 2008 ICOTY Awards.
more about the 2008