Following the 2017-2018 Auto Focus People's Choice Awards (AFPCA) on November 9th, the Toyota Fortuner was once again awarded the 2017 Automobile of the Year award for a third consecutive year. The three-peat marks a rare occurrence for the 13-year run of AFPCA and is only the second of such an achievement. The Toyota Fortuner now shares this feat with Toyota's hot-selling compact, the Vios.
With a consolidated sales/votes score of 6,323.4 points, the popular SUV gaps its closest competitor by more than 2.000 points. Prior to this year's feat, the Fortuner was given the distinction of having 5 wins for Model of the Year and was inducted into the Model of the Year Hall of Fame. That makes the Fortuner the only vehicle to hold both distinctions.
The Premium/Luxury category saw the RX350 account for a score of 1,569.9 points, which barely held off 3 other models from the same manufacturer - all of which stood just less than 50 points away. The hairline win, in contrast to last year’s romp, handed a back-to-back Automobile of the Year – Premium/Luxury Category award to the Lexus RX350 which also emerged as the 2017-2018 Midsize SUV/Crossover of the Year.
The AFPCA, organized and undertaken by Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Inc. (STV) since 2005, 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% value to public votes from the April 1 – October 31 poll and 20% 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 AFPCA scoring methodology yields Model of the Year awardees in 12 Standard and 10 Premium/Luxury classifications and the Automobile of the Year in separate Standard and Premium/Luxury categories from over 180 models in the 2017 AFPCA Official Entry List. In the race for the 12 Standard Model of the Year awards, Honda secured the most number of awards by receiving six awards, namely: City (Subcompact), Civic (Compact Sedan), Accord (Midsize Sedan), BR-V (Sub-compact SUV/Crossover), CR-V (Compact SUV/Crossover), and Pilot (Large SUV/Crossover). Toyota took two awards with the Wigo (Mini) and Hilux (Pickup). Mitsubishi matched this with awards for the Adventure (MPV) and Montero Sport (Midsize SUV/Crossover). One award each went to the Subaru WRX (Sports Car) and the Nissan Urvan (Van).
The RX350 (Midsize SUV/Crossover) led 6 other Lexus models into the winners’ circle for Premium/Luxury Models of the Year: IS360 (Compact Sedan), ES350 (Midsize Sedan), LS460 (Large Sedan), RCF (Sports Car), NX200t (Compact SUV/Crossover), and the LX570 (Large SUV/Crossover). One award each was awarded to the BMW 1-Series (Subcompact), Mercedes Benz B-Class (MPV) and the Honda Odyssey (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), as well as motoring media professionals.