HIROSHIMA, Japan, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 (known as Mazda Roadster in Japan) has been named the 2016 World Car of the Year. It is the second Mazda to win the award, following the Mazda2 (known as Mazda Demio) in 2008. The third generation MX-5 was one of three finalists for the same award in 2006, as was the Mazda3 in 2014.
World Car of the Year was established in 2004 by an international group of automotive journalists and the judging panel this year consisted of 73 journalists from 23 different countries. The MX-5 was announced victorious over other finalists Audi A4 Sedan/Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz GLC at the New York International Auto Show on March 24.
"What a wonderful honor, to have the Mazda MX-5 named World Car of the Year," said Masahiro Moro, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation. "As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one-million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever. While I accept this award on behalf of the company, I do so representing every Mazda employee, retail partner and customer around the world who has ever felt the joy of driving a pure roadster. We say 'Driving Matters' in our advertising,* and we prove it in our cars."
The fourth-generation MX-5 is the sixth model in Mazda's new-generation lineup of vehicles featuring the full range of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and KODO—Soul of Motion design. Launched globally in 2015, the model has found favor with customers thanks to its vastly reduced curb weight, human-centered design and "Jinba-ittai" fun-to-drive feel. The new MX-5 has won over 30 awards so far, including 2015-2016 Car of the Year Japan and 2016 UK Car of the Year. The retractable hardtop version of the model, Mazda MX-5 RF, made its world premiere at this year's New York International Auto Show.
Mazda will continue making cars that are fun to drive, aiming to become a "one-and-only" brand customers will choose again and again.
* The "Driving Matters" slogan is used in North America only.
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SOURCE Mazda Motor Corporation