While Tata's & #BANNER1 & # Nano occupied centrestage at the ongoing Auto Expo 2008, Hyundai came into its own at the 7th edition of the CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards, which were announced in New Delhi. The Hyundai i10 drove away with the Car of the Year Award for 2008. The Bajaj XCD DTS-Si zoomed away with the Bike of the Year Award.
The CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards 2008 ranked this year's finalists on fitness for purpose, relevance to the Indian market, value for money, design and styling, interiors, engine, gearbox, performance, ride, handling, brakes, driving pleasure, fuel efficiency and ownership experience. All the auto brands launched in the 2007 calendar year were eligible to contend for the awards.
Other winners were Maruti (Manufacturer of the Year), Maruti SX4 (Best Value for Money Car), BMW 5-Series (Best Design and Styling), Maruti SX4 (Car of the Year - Viewers' Choice), Chevrolet Optra Magnum diesel (Variant of the Year), Hyundai i10 (Best Compact Car), Maruti SX4 (Best Mid-Size Car), Honda Civic (Best Executive Car ), BMW 3-Series (Best Premium Car), Jagdish Khattar (Man of the Year), Lowe Lintas for the Bajaj Pulsar 200 DTS-I and O&M for the Bajaj XCD DTS-Si (Storyboard - Auto Commercial of the Year).
Globally, one of the major breakthroughs in the automobile industry has been the development of energy saving, environment friendly vehicles and the search for alternative fuel sources. The CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards 2008 set the agenda on this issue around a special theme, A Green Future, which also comprised a special pledge from manufacturers and industry doyens. For the first time, the major auto manufacturers of the country united on a single platform and made their pledge for a Green Future, entailing a commitment to pursue "environment friendliness" as a core strategic objective and develop greener products and services in the future.
An exclusive discussion on A Green Future was hosted by Renuka Kirpalani, former rally champion and host of Auto Show, and Shereen Bhan, CNBC-TV18's award winning anchor. A short documentary on the theme was showcased at the event, which highlighted the need to create sustainable and environment friendly transportation solutions in the future. A special afforestation initiative called Project Green Hands, involving corporate India, was also showcased.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Chacko, director, TV18 business media, said, "The CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards is one of our premier properties, widely recognised as a benchmark for auto excellence in India. This year, through the Green Future theme, we intend to make these awards a catalyst for cleaner and greener progress of the industry by raising awareness and eliciting a commitment from manufacturers. We hope to use this platform for proactive changes rather than simply restricting ourselves to being laudatory."
The CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards ceremony saw high profile attendees, including corporate leaders and leading luminaries of the Indian automotive industry such as Peter Kronschnabl, president, BMW India; Yoshie Motohiro, managing director, Nissan Motor India; Siddhartha Lal, president and CEO, Eicher Motors; Jagdish Khattar, former MD, Maruti Suzuki India; HS Lheem, MD, Hyundai Motors; Ashok Jha, president, Hyundai Motors; Sylvain Bilaine, MD, Renault India; Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, Mahindra & Mahindra; Wilfried Aulbur, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India; Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto; Brij Mohan Lal, chairman, Hero Honda; Pawan Munjal, MD, Hero Honda; Karl Slym, MD, GM India; Peter Cornelis, president, Volvo Car Overseas Corp.; Paul de Voijs, MD, Volvo Car India; De Filippis Giovanni, MD, Fiat India; Dilip Chenoy, DG, SIAM; Vishnu Mathur, executive director, ACMA; Surinder Kapoor, chairman, Sona Group; and Ajinkya Firodia, vice-president, sales and marketing, Kinetic Motor.