A total of 13 cars will vie for the 2018 Thailand Car of the Year award organised by the Thai Automotive Journalists Association (TAJA).
In a bid to attract more entrants to the yearly prize, TAJA officials have agreed to include vehicles not only assembled in Thailand but also in other Asean nations. They include Ford Ranger Raptor, Mazda CX-5, MG ZS, Mini Countryman, Mitsubishi Xpander, Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe and GLC43 Coupe, Nissan Terra, Subaru XV, Suzuki Swift, Toyota C-HR and Volvo XC40 and XC60. Eligible candidates need to be all-new for the Thai market and have been launched between 1 Oct 2017 and 30 Sept 2018.
It has been noted that vehicles built in this region are tax-levied basically the same in Thailand thus contributing to a level field. Those made outside Asean are not included due to their lower sales volumes and disproportionate prices caused by high import duties. As in previous years, TAJA members will evaluate the cars based on various parameters like design, performance, economy, handling, comfort, practicality and value, as such.
The scoring system is based on that used in European COTY and judges need to have at least three years of car-testing experience. The Ford Everest took the inaugural Thailand COTY gong in 2015 followed by the Mazda CX-3 and Honda CR-V. This year’s winner will be announced later this month.