(MENAFN Press) The Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA), the biggest and the most coveted awards of the regional automotive Industry, has finalized the top three contenders for each of the 17 award categories after a seven-month-long voting and assessment process.
The winners of the awards, including , 'best supercar', 'best midsize sedan', 'best midsize SUV', 'best hatchback, 'best luxury sedan' and the much coveted 'car of the year' will be announced and presented on November 28, on the opening day of the International Automobile Show at Expo Centre Sharjah.
"MEMA is the most prestigious award of its kind in the region. It is also the most credible award of its kind as it is judged by 17 independent jury members from 10 Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, Qatar, Jordon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE," said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General, Expo Centre Sharjah.
Under the patronage of Dr Mohammad Ben Sulayem, Vice-President of FIA Middle East and President of ATC UAE, the awards are being held for the third consecutive year. "I am pleased to offer my continued support to the Middle East Motor Awards 2012. The event consistently captures the imagination of all those involved in the Middle East automotive industry, celebrating emerging technologies and unmatched vehicle performance. Since its inaugural edition two years ago, the Awards has been a highlight of the motor trade calendar and I look forward to its continued success."
The award nominations were based on various criteria such as performance, design, handling, driver satisfaction and value-for-money, among others, and were assessed by a jury consisting of independent automotive journalists. The jury members spent nearly seven months nominating, short listing and assessing the entries.
"It's a great honour to be a part of the only independent motoring awards in the Middle East. Awards are about credibility and not commercialism, so the complete independence and transparency of the Middle East Motoring Awards has been a great attraction for me," said Damien Reid, Jury Member from UAE.
Since its inception in 2010, MEMA has gained an impeccable reputation for its transparent and consistent policies. "MEMA is recognized for its objective judging by key journalists in the automotive industry in the Middle East," said Issam Eid, Jury Member from Lebanon.
The auto industry in the Middle East is growing at a steady pace with almost all manufacturers introducing brand new and updated models every year, and an award like the MEMA, the participants believe, will help highlight the best of the lot, and in the process assist consumers in choosing the right vehicle according to their requirements.
"We are proud to have three Toyota models - Camry, Yaris and 86, and two Lexus models GS 350 and LX 570 - shortlisted in different categories. We believe the short-listing of these five models is a recognition of our efforts in providing our customers with vehicles that are of the highest quality, safety standards, reliability and exciting driving performance," said Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative, Toyota Middle East.
Another manufacturer looking forward for the final results is Hyundai. "We are thrilled the Veloster and Genesis Coupe are gaining the recognition they deserve in the Middle East as both models have received great success throughout the world. The fact that the awards are voted for by real experts, the automotive media, makes them highly credible," said Tom Lee, Head, Hyundai Middle East.
"Passat and Scirocco R, placed in top three in their respective categories, represent the best that Volkswagen offers - German engineering, innovative technology, quality and luxury. Volkswagen Middle East is proud to bring such diverse cars to the region. We look forward to the awards ceremony," said Stefan Mecha, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East.
After recording its best half-year sales figures ever in the region, Bentley is also looking forward to the final results as winning a MEMA would make it a very perfect year for them. "The new Continental GT V8 has become popular in the Middle East since its launch earlier this year. The GT V8 has attracted a new market of buyers to Bentley and adds yet another great car to our lineup," said Chris Buxton, Regional Director, Bentley Motors Middle East.
Last year, Volvo S60 drove away with the coveted 'car of the year' honour, while Lamborghini Aventador was adjudged the 'best supercar', Kia Optima the 'best midsize sedan', and Jeep Grand Cherokee the 'best midsize SUV'.