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Women's world car of the year shortlist

The announcement of the winning cars in each category and the supreme winner will be made before the end of March.

Kids aren’t usually a factor in Car of the Year judging.  But child friendliness rates highly with women buying cars – and with women judging cars.

The countdown has been kicked off to decide the Women’s World Car of the Year, and the kid factor is one the judges pay a lot of attention to.

“Statistics show that women drive children in cars significantly more often than men – and that means women need to take that into account, both when buying and as judges of cars,” WCOTY president Sandy Myhre said from New Zealand.

“Any woman who has grappled constantly with child seats and belts and children considers those things when looking at buying a car.  Men might too but the fact is, women drive children in cars more than men.

“Women would not consider that aspect in a Porsche 911 more than a bloke. The point is, it can be considered in these awards - and that is one of the points of difference in these awards.”

Myhre points out that significant research into buying habits show that in addition to buying for themselves, women have a major influence in household purchase decisions for big ticket items.

Ford Australia, for example, says their research shows that women are behind the majority of purchases of the Territory SUV – either as single women buying one, or in influencing the joint decision with their partner. 

“A report from Mattingly & Associates in Australia concluded, in part, that businesses that didn't understand this influence would be hard-pressed to stay in business.  That report was aptly called 'When I've Made Up Our Minds',” Myhre says.

However, the kid factor is just one of the criteria by which the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year will be judged.

There are four categories in the Women's World Car of the Year – Family Car, Luxury Car, Sports Car and Economy Car. Points are allocated to each of ten criteria: driveability, engineering, comfort, child friendliness, style, interior, storage, dashboard efficiency, carbon footprint and colour range.

The 20 judges from eleven countries have submitted their own personal short list and more than 300 cars were suggested. These individual choices were then whittled down to form a master list of 32 in terms of popularity. Judges will now allocate points for these cars from a criteria list.

The announcement of the winning cars in each category and the supreme winner will be made before the end of March. The supreme award trophy and category certificates will be presented to the car companies concerned at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2012 – the Paris Motor Show – in September. The supreme trophy will this year be made in The Netherlands. Category-winner certificates will be designed at Peartree Studios in Colerne, UK.

The first winner of the Women's World Car of the Year was the Jaguar XF in 2010 and the trophy made in South Africa was presented at the Jaguar boutique showroom in Knightsbridge, London. In 2011 there was a dead-heat between the Citroen DS3 and the BMW 5 Series. The two trophies made in India were presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011.

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