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Mitsubishi Xpander, Toyota Alphard Top 2019-2020 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards

Top-selling models of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) and Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) were proclaimed as the ‘2019-2020 Auto Focus Automobile of the Year’ (AOY) in their respective Standard and Premium/Luxury categories at the Awards Night of the 2019-2020 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA) held Wednesday evening, October 16, 2019, at the Ballroom of the Palms Country Club in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

The Mitsubishi Xpander, currently the hottest-selling MPV (Multi-purpose Vehicle) in the market, took the 2019 AOTY–Standard category crown via a consolidated score of 3,368.8 that marked a narrow win over the 3,203.2 points of the Toyota Hilux pickup. The Xpander also landed the ‘Model of the Year’ in the MPV/Van classification for the first time.

In the Premium/Luxury category, the top AOTY award went to the Toyota Alphard van, in runaway fashion. The Alphard also came away as this year’s ‘MPV/Van of the Year,’ following a previous streak of 4 consecutive model of the year wins from 2012-2015. With this 5th annual award, TMP’s top selling premium/luxury model will enter the elite circle of the Auto Focus Model of the Year Hall of Fame.

The AFPCA, organized by Sunshine Television (STV) and now on its 15th edition, is an annual public poll that aims to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models. It features a unique scoring system that attributes 80-percent value to public votes from the July 1–September 30 on-line poll and 20 percent to unit sales. Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the official sanction of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The data covered only ‘Completely-Built’ and ‘New Imported’ units that were put in for new registration with the LTO from January-September 2019. So-called grey market and used vehicles were excluded. The AFPCA scoring methodology yields Model of the Year awardees in five Standard and four Premium/Luxury classifications and the Automobile of the Year in separate Standard and Premium/Luxury categories from over 180 models in the 2019 AFPCA Official Entry List.

In the race for the other four Standard Model of the Year awards, the Toyota Wigo went back-to-back as ‘2019 Sedan of the Year.’ Maiden victories were scored by the Nissan GT-R as ‘Sports Car of the Year,’ and the Toyota Rush as ‘SUV/Crossover of the Year.’ Of note is the ‘Pickup of the Year’ award of the Nissan Navara, its fifth after prior model of the year titles in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2018. The Navara will now also gain inclusion into the Auto Focus Model of the Year Hall of Fame.

The Premium/Luxury Model of the Year classifications marked three first-time awardees. The Mercedes Benz E- Class debuted as ‘2019 Premium/Luxury Sedan of the Year.’ The Dodge Challenger SRT was honored as ‘Premium/Luxury Sports Car of the Year,’ and the ‘Premium/Luxury SUV/Crossover of the Year’ plum was cornered by the Mercedes Benz G/GLA Class.  

During the same evening, due recognition was also conferred upon winners of the ‘2019-2020 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards’ (AFMCA), an equally important component of STV’s Automobile Industry Merit Program. The AFMCA aims is to further recognize the automobile industry’s continuing efforts to provide car owners and motorists with the best on-board features, styling, performance and overall value. A select group of recognized motoring media professionals and practitioners comprised the AFMCA Voters’ Panel. Prompted by a record-high number of entries and the evident level of parity in many model categories, the Awards Committee maintained last year’s rationalized majority rule that set a 1/3rd or 33.3-percent vote tally requirement for media awardees. The previous 12 Standard and 10 Premium/Luxury model classes were retained. Based on this, 56 winners emerged from the 88 award categories. 

These were:

Best Design – Standard: 6 Awards

Honda Brio (Mini Sedan); Mazda 6 (Midsize Sedan); Ford Ranger Raptor (Pickup); Mitsubishi XPander (MPV); Toyota HiAce (Van); Suzuki Jimny (Subcompact Crossover)

Best Design – Premium/Luxury: 5 Winners

Mercedes Benz A-Class (Subcompact Sedan); BMW 5 Series (Midsize Sedan); Lamborghini Urus (Large SUV); Peugeot Traveller (MPV); Toyota Alphard (Van)

Best Engine Performance – Standard: 7 Awards

Honda Brio (Mini Sedan); Subaru Levorg (Compact Sedan); Mazda 6 (Midsize Sedan); Nissan GT-R (Sports Car); Toyota Land Cruiser 200 (Large SUV); Ford Ranger Raptor (Pickup); Toyota HiAce (Van)

Best Engine Performance – Premium/Luxury: 9 Awards

MINI 3Door & 5Door (Subcompact Sedan); Lexus GSF (Midsize Sedan); Porsche Panamera (Large Sedan); Lamborghini Huracan (Sports Car); Porsche Macan (Compact SUV); Porsche Cayenne (Midsize SUV); Lamborghini Urus (Large SUV); Peugeot Traveller (MPV); Toyota Alphard (Van)

Best Safety Features – Standard: 5 Awards

Honda CRV (Compact SUV); Nissan Terra (Midsize SUV); Ford Ranger Raptor (Pickup); Kia Grand Carnival (MPV); Subaru XV (Subcompact SUV)

Best Safety Features – Premium/Luxury: 8 Awards

Mercedes Benz A-Class (Subcompact Sedan); Mercedes Benz C-Class (Compact Sedan); BMW 5 Series (Midsize Sedan); Volvo S90 (Large Sedan); Volvo XC60 (Midsize SUV); Volvo XC90 (Large SUV); BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer (MPV); Honda Odyssey (Van)

Best Value-for-Money – Standard: 9 Awards

Honda Brio (Mini Sedan); Suzuki Ciaz (Subcompact Sedan); MG 6 (Compact Sedan); Volkswagen Lamando (Midsize Sedan); Suzuki Vitara (Compact SUV); Isuzu MU-X (Midsize SUV); Isuzu D-Max (Pickup); Suzuki Ertiga (MPV); Toyota HiAce (Van)

Best Value-for-Money – Premium/Luxury: 7 Awards

Mercedes Benz A-Class (Subcompact Sedan); Lexus IS350 (Compact Sedan); Lexus ES350 (Midsize Sedan); Lexus NX300 (Compact SUV); Lexus RX350 (Midsize SUV); Peugeot Traveller (MPV); Toyota Alphard (Van)
 
The Awards Night was graced by top officials of the country’s car manufacturers and distributors, the auto industry’s two lead organizations, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Association of Vehicle Importers & Distributors (AVID), and motoring media professionals.

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