HIROSHIMA, JAPAN – The Mazda2 is the 2008 World Car of the Year (WCOTY). From an initial entry list of 39 new vehicles from all over the world, the overall 2008 WCOTY title was announced Mar. 20 at the New York International Auto Show.

The Mazda2 (known as the Mazda Demio in Japan) edged out the Ford Mondeo and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to take the overall award.

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 around 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.