The Volvo XC60 took first prize in the "Family Car of the Year" category in the first-ever Women's World Car of the Year competition. In all, 21 cars competed in four categories when eight female motoring journalists from seven countries voted for their favorite cars.
Over the past year, eight female motoring journalists from Britain, the USA, Canada, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand put 21 selected cars to the test. The group and the award were created to educate the world's car makers about female customers' requirements.
“Volvo cars have always been at the forefront of safety, technology, and design and we are delighted to receive the Family Car of the Year award in recognition of this,” said Roula Beiruty, Marketing Manager for Volvo Cars Middle East. “The XC60 remains ahead of other cars in its category - we aim to maintain this momentum and continue to deliver the best transportation solutions to our current and potential customers,” added Beiruty.
"We searched a long time to put together a team of female motoring correspondents qualified to vote for the winners. This was no easy task since there aren't that many female motoring journalists," says Sandy Myhre, jury chairperson from New Zealand.
All the winners in the four categories were recently presented in London. The Volvo XC60 won the "Family Car of the Year" category. The overall winner of the competition was the Jaguar XF.
The XC60 was launched regionally in January 2009, and has been very well-received in the region since. The “Small Premium Utility” segment is growing quickly and Volvo has topped the list of competitors in the premium segment.
The cars were assessed on a wide range of criteria described as a "women-specific shopping-list". This includes parameters such as storage space, child-friendliness, aesthetic appeal - that is to say design - and driving pleasure.
Acceleration and torque were also assessed, but were not among the top priorities. Climate impact was another factor. One of the more unusual assessment parameters was "sex appeal". However, this was not a factor that made any major impact on the final result.
The voting procedure and the competition itself were monitored by Paul McCormick from globally renowned auditing firm Grant Thornton.
"I assumed that women would definitely attach greater importance to properties such as value for money and child-friendliness. As the votes started adding up it became clear that factors such as sexiness and climate impact were being assessed more critically, scoring relatively low marks compared with certain other categories," says Paul Mc Cormick.
In order to qualify for this year's competition, the cars had to be sold in at least ten countries throughout the world and must have been available on the market between September 2008 and September 2009.
"What is most exciting for us women in the jury from all these different countries around the world is that for the first time ever, we have had the opportunity to express in our own way which cars impress us," says Sandy Myhre.