VOTY 2012: A Preview of Coming Attractions

VOTY '11 Handoff at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show
That was so 2011… (Randy handing off the 2011 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of the Year Award to Tony DiSalle, VP of Marketing for Buick and GMC at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. Photo by Tyler Mallory for General Motors)

And, why are we talking about awards now?

No clue. Perhaps many publications are ramping up for their own handoff of the best (fill in the blank) of the year. No need to question it – just go with it…

This site is not alone. The sixth annual Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year award looms in mid-November. Getting there will be fun, of course, since there is still plenty of time to source up nominees.

However, there will be a change in the way this year's VOTY will be determined. To explain, here we go…

THE LONG LIST: To get on the long list, I have to drive it – and write about it. It is that simple. Writing about it means being published in Victory & Reseda from November 1, 2011 to October 14, 2012.

Once the Long List is compiled, data from the vehicles driven and evaluated are calculated. In some evaluations, vehicles receive a score based on a scale of 5 – 5 being best. Others are on a point system in each category, such as a tech inventory of each vehicle. Evaluations are based on performance, driving dynamics, fuel economy, design, interior space/comfort, ergonomics, pricing and an overall impression score.

Additional scores are given from feedback to the V&R pieces along with social media interactions. Positive and negative feedback are also weighed as well.

Lastly, the Long List will be presented to a panel of expert (and non-expert) volunteers. These experts include fellow auto scribes, enthusiasts and other interested parties. They will review the list and give their own feedback as to which ones are worthy for this year's VOTY.

Once all of the scores are compiled, the top ten from the Long List will advance to…

THE SHORT LIST: The ten top scoring vehicles from the Long List will be presented to a public vote via SurveyMonkey for two weeks only starting on November 1, 2012. The combination of scores and votes become the Vehicle of the Year.

There are a few caveats towards becoming this year's VOTY. One is very simple: Former winners need not apply. The only exception would be the 2013 Nissan Altima, since it is all-new from the previous iteration – the 2008 VOTY.

What does the winner get? They get a nice certificate (as shown above) handed out at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show (why so long? Unless I win the lottery and attempt to get a credential for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit…).

As long as you follow this site, you will get to see what is on the Long List, the announcement of the Short List, voting instructions and the announcement of the winner. All you need to do is vote when prompted on November 1.

This year's Long List is shaping up to be the biggest field in VOTY's short history. It will feature some first time entrants with the most expensive vehicle ever considered for the VOTY.

Believe me, there is more to come. Stay tuned – VOTY '12 is coming!

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