Winners of this year's Oscars of the Indian automotive industry have been announced! Here's a look...
The winners of the 16th Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY), 14th Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY), 3rd Premium Car Award by ICOTY and the first-ever Green Car Award by ICOTY were announced in Delhi on 26th February.
The 2021 ICOTY title was bagged by the Hyundai i20, while the 2021 IMOTY crown went to the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. Meanwhile, Land Rover took home the Premium Car Award for the Defender and the Tata Nexon EV was announced as the 2021 Green Car of the Year by ICOTY. To ensure complete transparency in the winner selection process, Grant Thornton Bharat was brought in to be the official award validation partner.
The ICOTY and IMOTY awards were introduced in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and are adjudged by a jury of experts from India’s top automobile publications, making them the most coveted automobile awards in the country. These awards, which expertly and independently select the best cars and bikes every year, have been sponsored by JK Tyre ever since their inception.
For this year’s ICOTY crown, the Hyundai i20 had to battle it out with some very strong contenders – namely the Honda City, Hyundai Aura, Hyundai Creta, Kia Carnival, Kia Sonet, Mahindra Thar, MG Gloster and the Tata Altroz. These were the nine finalists shortlisted by the ICOTY jury. In the end, the i20 took home the crown with 104 points. The Kia Sonet came in second, with 91 points. The Mahindra Thar claimed the third spot, with 78 points.
Similarly, for the 2021 IMOTY crown, the RE Meteor 350 faced tough competition from the Bajaj Dominar 250, Hero Glamour 125, Hero Passion Pro, Hero Xtreme 160R, Honda Hornet 2.0, Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 & the KTM 390 Adventure. In total, there were eight bikes shortlisted by the IMOTY jury for the final round. With 96 points, the RE Meteor 350 secured victory over the KTM 390 Adventure, which scored 81 points. The Hero Xtreme 160R, with 59 points, came third.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, with 61 points, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE, with 77 points, were runners-up in the Premium Car category. As for the Green Car category, the Tata Nexon EV (106 points) pipped the MG ZS EV (93 points) and the Hyundai Kona (99 points) to claim the top spot on the podium.
On behalf of the juries of ICOTY and IMOTY 2021, of which autoX is proud to be a part – Dr Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, presented the ICOTY 2021 trophy to Mr S S Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Limited, for the i20 and the IMOTY 2021 trophy to Mr Shubhranshu Singh, Global Head – Marketing at Royal Enfield, for the Meteor 350. He also presented the Green Car Award 2021 to Mr Anand Kulkarni, Product Line Director, Electric Vehicles & ALFA Architecture, PVBU, Tata Motors, for the Nexon EV.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Raghupati Singhania said, 'It’s a matter of pride for us to be associated with the Indian Car of the Year & Indian Motorcycle of the Year awards since its inception. While every year has been special, this one is truly exceptional, where we are not just celebrating the technological-excellence and innovation brought in by the manufacturers, but the zeal and resilience of the entire automotive industry, as it emerged stronger from the unchartered waters. Considering the growing relevance of sustainable mobility, this year we also introduced the ‘Green Car Award’ to recognise the efforts of manufacturers who are helping bring a change towards the future of mobility. With this, I would like to congratulate not just the winners, but all the contenders for offering some of the best technologically advanced products in line with the global innovations. It was remarkable to witness our eminent jury conducting the evaluation under a safe and secure environment.'
Sharing his thoughts on the i20's victory, Mr S S Kim said, 'It is a moment of great pride for all of us at Hyundai. We are honoured to win this most prestigious automotive award – Indian Car of the Year 2021 – for the all-new i20. The all-new i20 has once again redefined standards in the premium hatchback segment and today depicts strong expression of the progressive spirit of the new age Indian customers.'
On behalf of the entire Royal Enfield management, Mr Shubhranshu Singh said, 'I am privileged and humbled to receive this award on behalf of the entire Royal Enfield team. This has been an exceptional year and it is testimony to the great teamwork that in extraordinary times we received this extraordinary recognition.'
All the finalists of the ICOTY and IMOTY 2021 were judged by the esteemed jury members on multiple parameters, like price, fuel efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, performance, practicality, technical innovation, build quality, value-for-money, and suitability for Indian driving/riding conditions. The Premium Car of the Year award took into consideration all premium and luxury vehicles that sit above the ₹40-lakh mark. These include both locally produced and imported car models.
While judging the finalists was indeed a challenging task, the jury members, with a cumulative automotive evaluation experience of nearly 300 years, exhibited unparalleled analytical skills and competence in evaluating this year’s contenders.
This year’s 17-member ICOTY jury consisted of Dhruv Behl & Ishan Raghava (autoX), Yogendra Pratap (Chairman, ICOTY), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Aspi Bhathena & Sarmad Kadiri (Car India), Sirish Chandran & Aniruddha Rangnekar (Evo India), Pablo Chaterji & Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Bertrand D’Souza & Bob Rupani (Overdrive), Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line), Vikrant Singh (CarWale), Kushan Mitra (The Pioneer), Girish Karkera (Times Auto) and Kranti Sambhav (Times Drive).
Likewise, the 12-member IMOTY jury for 2021 included Jared Solomon & Ravi Ved (autoX), Rahul Ghosh & Dipayan Dutta (Auto Today), Aspi Bhathena & Sarmad Kadiri (Bike India), Sirish Chandran & Aatish Mishra (Evo India), Pablo Chaterji & Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Bertrand D’Souza & Rohit Paradkar (Overdrive), Vikrant Singh (BikeWale) and Kranti Sambhav (Times Drive).