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Peugeot 308 Wins European Car of the Year

BMW i3, Tesla Model S end up runners-up.

by on Mar.04, 2014

The Peugeot 308 beat out two battery electrics and Mercedes most technologically advanced vehicle to capture Car of the Year honors in Geneva.

It might not be the silver lining the struggling French automaker has been desperately seeking, but Peugeot officials were clearly pleased to learn they landed the much-coveted European Car of the Year title for their little 308 model.

The compact hatchback triumphed over some tough competition that included a pair of well-reviewed new battery cars, as well as the most sophisticated full-sized luxury sedan ever offered by Mercedes-Benz.

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It’s been a tough few years for the largest of the French automakers, PSA Peugeot Citroen only last month forced to sell a major chunk of its stock to Chinese partner Dongfeng, an equal share to the French government – effectively ending more than a century of control by the Peugeot family. That move was forced by the company’s continuing losses and the rising fear of collapse. (more…)

Volkswagen Golf Named European Car of the Year

Americans will have to wait another year for new hatchback.

by on Mar.04, 2013

The VW Golf is named European Car of the Year - for the second time.

The Volkswagen Golf has been named the European Car of the Year for 2013, beating out a wide array of alternatives from around the world.

The seventh-generation VW hatchback soundly beat out its closest competitors in balloting by 58 automotive journalists from 22 European countries. The Golf scored 414 votes compared to 202 for the Subaru BRZ sports car, which took second place, and the 189 votes tallied by the Volvo V40.

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“People are looking for commitment and trust,” said Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management, during an award presentation the night before the formal opening of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. “They are looking for substance and value more than ever before.”


Chevrolet Volt Named European Car of the Year

Jurors get charged up about plug-in hybrid.

by on Mar.06, 2012

The Opel Ampera made its debut in Geneva three years ago but finally reached market just last month.

It’s been a tough year for the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors’ once-celebrated plug-in hybrid.  But perhaps it’s about to see its fortunes turn as a jury of Continental motoring journalists declare Volt and its Opel Ampera sibling the European Car of the year.

That victory comes 14 months after the Volt took North American Car of the Year honors – but, oh, how much has happened in-between.  Just last week, GM announced it will shut down production of Volt and Ampera for five weeks due to excess inventory, a problem exacerbated by reports that several Volt battery packs caught fire after U.S. crash tests.

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But while that – and a controversial hearing by a U.S. House subcommittee — might have briefly short-circuited Volt sales, it didn’t seem to unplug enthusiasm among European journalists.  The 59 members of the European Car of the Year jury awarded Volt 330 points, nearly 20% more than its nearest competitor, the Volkswagen Up!, with 281 points  Ford’s newly-updated Focus came in third, with 256 points.