14 December 2017
With 31 countries represented, AUTOBEST is the largest independent motoring Jury in Europe. No less than 95% of the European population is represented in the Jury.
“MANBEST 2017” is awarded to Mr. Li Shufu, the Founder and Chairman of Geely Holding Group. Starting from a humble Chinese village, Chairman Li built an impressive automotive group, integrating leading brands that include Volvo Cars, Proton, Lotus, London Taxi and launching a revolutionary approach of the car industry with Lynk & Co brand. Just recently, he completed the acquisition of Terrafugia, a remarkable startup for flying cars. Mr. Li is a great example of a visionary in the automotive industry, proving that someone can succeed having the right strategy and determination to succeed.
The “COMPANYBEST 2017” award goes to the Jaguar Land Rover. The prize is a recognition of the incredible journey of the British company under the leadership of Dr. Ralf Speth and his management team. After Tata Motors took over JLR, the company introduced remarkable products for Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover with great success and a global appeal. The company not only managed to turn its finances around, but has also become a benchmark in the car industry concerning profitability per unit. Last but not least, in this complicated times caused by the Brexit, JLR proved to be the best British corporate employer, restating the commitment to the UK, increasing its number of employees and continuously investing in research & development.
Fritz Enzinger, project leader Porsche LMP1, is the winner of “SPORTBEST 2017”. Austrian-born Enzinger was already a well-respected manager in motorsports. His career included stints in Formula One with Williams-BMW and Sauber-BMW before he was called up by Porsche to set up the Le Mans Prototype program in 2011. Under his guidance the Porsche 919 hybrid was developed and debuted in the 2014 World Endurance Championship, winning the final race in Sao Paulo in the first season. Porsche then dominated the following WEC seasons, with three Le Mans 24 hours wins in 2015, 2016 and 2017 which brought Porsche’s Le Mans overall wins to 19. Enzinger can be proud of 20 pole positions, 17 wins (7 doubles) and six world titles after 33 races of the 919th prototype.
This year the AUTOBEST Jury has decided not to grant the “TECHNOBEST” award. "It is the second year running that the Jury members have decided not to award the most important prize for traditional automotive technologies. We cannot see any more breakthrough technologies coming out. It is a sign showing the car industry is investing less in these technologies, but going in IT," commented Dan Vardie.
“SMARTBEST”, “SAFETYBEST” “DESIGNBEST” and “ECOBEST” awards have already been announced after IAA Frankfurt. (please see www.autobest.org). The 17th AUTOBEST Awards Festivity will take place on 7 February 2018, in Salzburg, Austria. Following the tradition, the AUTOBEST International Jury present the awards in a different country each year. The previous AUTOBEST Gala was held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The European AUTOBEST Jury thanks the readers from all Europe for encouraging the project and the various PR departments responsible in the automotive industry for providing all the support in organising meetings and drive tests of the new products.