Based on the recommendations of a design panel consisting of four highly respected world design experts, the Mazda2 was also voted by the jurors onto the short-list of top three design finalists, together with the Audi R8 and Volvo C30.
The WCOTY awards were officially launched in January 2004 and are initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. A jury of 47 international automotive journalists selected the overall winner by secret ballot, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work. The jury members constitute a balance of representation from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, as well as other parts of the world.
Since it first went on sale in 2003 in Europe, the Mazda2 compact has enjoyed widespread popularity due to its convenient size and superb storage and functionality. The second generation all-new Mazda2 commenced sales in Japan in July 2007, and soon drew attention thanks to its fun-to-drive, Zoom-Zoom driving dynamics, and the emphasis Mazda placed on the new generation's desire for environmental and safety attributes and great design. The all-new Mazda2 reflects these emerging modern attitudes with stylish exterior design complemented by low running costs and excellent fuel economy, achieved by reducing the vehicle's weight by approximately 100 kilograms.
"We are delighted that the 2008 World Car of the Year jury has chosen the all-new Mazda2 as their World Car of the Year," said Dan Morris, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. "This is wonderful recognition which Mazda2 car owners and Mazda employees alike can celebrate worldwide.
"The all-new Mazda2 is exceeding our highest expectations, demonstrating it can compete and win against the best compact cars in any market in the world and is earning glowing praise at home and globally, having also won a number of Car of the Year awards around the globe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, New Zealand, and the RJC Car of the Year award in Japan."