VOTY '13: Be Ready!

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Special Edition
The regining VOTY… Photo by Randy Stern

Another year, another VOTY…

This year marks the seventh Victory & Reseda Vehicle of the Year award to be handed out. Every year, this award gets elevated towards becoming one of social media's top automotive honors. Last year was no exception culminating with a public vote sweep by the 2013 Dodge Dart and the subsequent awarding to then-Dodge brand CEO (and Chrysler Canada CEO) Reid Bigland at the Chicago Auto Show last February.

After the award has been handed off, a full evaluation on the format, metrics and process is undertaken. Improvements are made to ensure a smoother award evaluation process. These improvements are implemented for the coming VOTY season. It is that simple.

For the 2013 VOTY, the format is as follows – with improvements highlighted for 2013.

The Long List will consist of vehicles that were for a full review only from October 15, 2012 to November 1, 2013. These reviews will have appeared in Victory & Reseda and Lavender Magazine. No vehicles driven or written at events or as "Quickies" are included in the Long List.

The Long List will not include former winners of the VOTY, unless the vehicle has been significantly changed from the last award. For example, the 2013 Dodge Dart was reviewed, but won the 2012 VOTY, whereas the 2013 Nissan Altima went through a major model change compared it's the last generation model that won the 2008 VOTY.

The candidates on the Long List will go through an evaluation process based on date from each review. Evaluations go through each review to glean metrics from exterior design, interior space, ergonomics and comfort, driveline and performance, driving dynamics, fuel economy and pricing. Scores are tabulated from a 1-5 scale – 5 being best – and added up for a total score.

Two additional evaluations are added to the score. One is based on feedback on each vehicle by the readers. The more feedback a vehicle gets, the better the score – also based on a 1-5 scale. No feedback essentially means that no score is given to the candidate. Second was instituted last year where a panel of independent colleagues will review the Long list and select their choices amongst the candidates. A complete score is tabulated for each candidate.

The five top scores will be nominated onto the Short List. These five nominees will appear on an online ballot – driven by SurveyMonkey – for a public vote. These votes will be added to the total score. The highest overall score becomes the 2013 VOTY.

The timeline for the VOTY process is as follows:

November 1: The Long List is complied and announced. Evaluation process begins. The Panel will be sent the Long List for nomination.

November 17: All scores will be compiled. A special V&R Chat (the next one to be convened), will be held as Short List Announcement show. Polling will commence at 9:00PM ET.

November 29: The 2013 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year will be announced.

The award will be given out at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show during the Media Preview Days next February. From November 1 through to the award presentation in February, expect a lot of Facebook and Twitter traffic, along with posts on this site, promoting this year's VOTY. There is a hashtag to follow: #VOTY13. We will also have some partners helping to spread the word…

With the improvements made from previous years, the 2013 VOTY should be one where there is a real winner in the end. Not to discount all six previous winners, but the idea of the VOTY being a social media-based award lends to one important element in the process – you.

Be ready for November!

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