Awarded the world’s best automobile here in the US yet it is not available [xfloat=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2008_WCOTY_-_MAZDA2_Demio.jpg[/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Mar. 20, 2008 New York, NY – The Mazda2 was declared the 2008 “World Car of the Year” at a press conference hosted by the Midway Group, Mobil 1 and the New York International Auto Show. Launched in October 2007 as Mazda’s first new-generation vehicle to be evolved to a new level, the all-new Mazda2 was an immediate hit with European customers, finding more than 18,000 owners through January 2008. In December last year, the Mazda2 five-door hatchback was awarded five stars for adult occupant protection in Euro-NCAP crash testing. It won a host of automotive awards as well, including Car of the Year in Austria, Belgium, Croatia and Denmark. The Mazda2 is about to become even more popular with its latest recognition as the “World Car of the Year” selected by automobile journalists the world over. The all new three-door hatch has all the award-winning attributes of the five-door hatch, and is not only sportier but even more affordable. The Mazda2 was chosen from an initial entry list of thirty-nine (39) entries nominated by forty-seven (47) World Car jurors from twenty-four (24) countries throughout the world. Each juror is appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. The objective was to ensure that the World Car of the Year would be the product of a fair and thorough assessment process that considered the needs and wants of consumers the world over. The process began with individual jurors evaluating and rating the candidates using a variety of standardized parameters – everything from styling and quality, to performance and safety. The jurors then voted in January 2008 to establish a top ten shortlist. The World Car of the Year was chosen from those finalists as tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG. The top three contenders for 2008 World Car of the Year title were, in alphabetical order, the Ford Mondeo, the Mazda2 Demio and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.