At the New England Motor Press Association’s annual meeting and technology conference held at the MIT Media Lab last Thursday, The 2015 WheelsTV POV of the Year Award was presented to the 2006 – 2012 Toyota RAV4.
The POVY is the only major award presented to a pre-owned vehicle. To be named the WheelsTV POV of the Year, the vehicle must be in service for at least two years and demonstrate outstanding long-term reliability and exceptional consumer satisfaction. A juried panel composed of members of the New England Motor Press Association and WheelsTV’s writers and analysts makes the final selection. Judging and voting took place at WheelsTV’s headquarters in Acton, Massachusetts. NEMPA was represented by Rick DeMeis, contributing writer for Engineering360; John Zangari, co-host of WPRV’s Drive-Through Radio Show, Steve Halloran, Content Guru for CarGurus.com and Rich Tabor, Senior Writer at WheelsTV.
Wayne Carini, host of Chasing Classic Cars, hosted the awards ceremony at MIT. On hand, in addition to leading automotive executives, writers and videographers was the evening’s special guest, multi-award-winning auto writer Ken Gross, who accepted the 2015 NEMPA Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Denise McCluggage, “The First Lady of Auto Racing,” who passed away on May 6th at the age of 88.
The 2015 POVY presentation was part of NEMPA’s annual gathering at MIT. This year’s event was focused on green vehicle technology and included panel discussion on the latest developments in the greening of the automobile and the infrastructure needed to support them. The awards banquet followed with the recognition of many new vehicles and the announcement of the WheelsTV POV of the Year award recipient: the 2006 – 2012 Toyota RAV4, by WheelsTV CEO Jim Barisano.
“Over the years, the RAV4 has proven itself to be a highly reliable crossover that its owners love for both its comfort and practical design,” said Jim. “It bested a crowded field of impressive contenders for this year’s POVY and deservedly so. Toyota’s reputation for reliability is legendary and the RAV4 is a fine example of why the automaker has earned the accolade.”
Stated Alex Du, RAV4 Vehicle Marketing and Communications Manager, “The appeal of versatility and fuel economy in the compact SUV segment has sustained the popularity of the RAV4 for nearly 20 years, but its remaining value, low cost of ownership and on-road manners make it a stand out for consumers. This award demonstrates a loyal and enduring commitment from Toyota drivers, so we proudly accept it from WheelsTV and NEMPA.”
Added WheelsTV President Lehel Reeves, “Although most vehicles receive numerous honors when new, the true test of a well-crafted automobile is its ability to provide solid, dependable transportation over years of service and many miles of day-to-day driving. The Toyota RAV4 has achieved that and more with millions of satisfied consumers attesting to its outstanding crossover SUV practicality.”
“The New England Motor Press Association extends its congratulations to Toyota on their 2015 POVY,” Stated Craig Fitzgerald, President of NEMPA, “The WheelsTV POV of the Year Award and the awards NEMPA presents for new cars are valuable benchmarks created by leading automotive journalists and videographers that help New England motorists find the right vehicles for their all-weather needs.”
Each year the POVY sports an actual antique steering wheel from the winning marque, making the POVY physically, the largest national award in the auto industry. This year, Peter Ciani, Quality Control Specialist at WheelsTV, found a 1976 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser steering wheel at Ayotte’s Used Cars and Parts in Oxford, Maine. Meticulously restored by Peter, it was particularly appreciated by event host and one of the country’s leading auto restorers, Wayne Carini.
For more information on the New England Motor Press Association, please go to NEMPA.org.
WheelsTV (http://www.WheelsTV.net) is the first multi-screen video technology company in the U.S. devoted exclusively to consumers’ interests in cars, trucks and motorcycles—WheelsTV’s Dealer Video Showroom is revolutionizing the car-buying process, making it faster, more enjoyable and more fun. WheelsTV is a service of Automotive Networks Corporation, headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts with a technology facility in Los Angeles, California.