Since its inception in 2005, the Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) award is the most prestigious accolade sought by every car manufacturer in India.
In 2021, a glittering ceremony attended by select stalwarts of the Indian automotive industry attended the 16th edition of the ICOTY awards held at the Andaz Hotel at the Aerocity in New Delhi.
Held under strict social distancing and sanitization guidelines given the circumstances, the attendance was kept very exclusive.
The Hyundai i20 was crowned the Indian Car of the Year 2021, and the award was collected on behalf of HMIL by S. S. Kim, MD & CEO, HMIL, Tarun Garg, director, sales and marketing, HMIL and DH Park, executive director, sales and marketing, HMIL.
The Hyundai i20 was awarded the coveted ICOTY 2021 while the Kia Sonet gave the i20 good competition and with 91 points, it took home second place. Behind the Sonet, the Mahindra Thar claimed the final spot on the podium, with 78 points.
JK Tyre who has been a staunch partner to the ICOTY awards since their inception continued to support the award even this year. The ICOTY jury panel’s voting process was supported by Grant Thornton who came onboard as the Award Validators. The well-known music band from Nagaland, the Tetseo Sisters, regaled the audience with their neo-classic jazz and folk performances.
The function also felicitated this year’s winners of the IMOTY, Green Car award by ICOTY and the Premium Car award by ICOTY. While the Premium Car by ICOTY 2021 award was presented to Land Rover India for the Land Rover Defender, the Green Car by ICOTY 2021 was presented to Tata Motors for the Tata Nexon EV. The IMOTY on the other hand was awarded to Royal Enfield for the Royal Enfield Meteor 350.
The Hyundai i20 was crowned the ICOTY 2021. Seen here is S. S. Kim, MD & CEO, HMIL and Tarun Garg, director, sales and marketing, HMIL.
The criterion defined by the ICOTY award allows every new, locally manufactured car model to contend for the honour. Existing models that have had cosmetic facelifts or small mechanical changes, like different power or drive-trains, do not qualify for this award.
The country of origin does not matter, but they have to be manufactured or assembled in India and be on sale in showrooms before November 30th of the previous year. The cars should have been homologated for Indian type approval and those imported through the CBU route are not considered.
Every year there is a designated date on which the Jury assembles for a meet and tests out all the contenders together. However this year due to the Pandemic, this was not possible.
The guidelines set by the ICOTY award also require that the vehicle be thoroughly tested by the appointed jury before the nomination cut-off date of November 30 and this date was extended by 10 days in the wake of the setback that the industry received during the pandemic. So every Jury member got a chance to test out the contenders individually this year.
Going by these guidelines, the final contenders for ICOTY 2021 were the Honda City, Hyundai i20, Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Aura, Kia Carnival, Kia Sonet, Mahindra Thar, MG Gloster and the Tata Altroz.
This year’s awards judging was conducted through an online scoring and voting process curated and monitored by Grant Thornton Bharat and the points tally and winner were revealed by them only at the awards night. All winners were announced and felicitated by Dr Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited.
The ICOTY 2021 Jury attended the awards ceremony in New Delhi.
The ICOTY scoring was done by an experienced panel of jury members comprising of Yogendra Pratap (Auto Today), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl (Auto X), Ishan Raghava (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena (Car India), Sarmad Kadri (Car India), Sirish Chandran (Evo India), Aniruddha Rangnekar (Evo India), Pablo Chaterji (Motoring World), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Bertrand D’souza (Overdrive), 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).