The Peugeot 208 on Monday (March 2) snagged the 2020 Car of the Year title, one of the most prestigious awards in the auto industry, at the cancelled Geneva International Motor Show.
Garnering 281 votes from 60 jurors hailing from 23 countries, the French supermini surpassed six other rivals for the title that has been awarded yearly since 1964.
Tesla’s Model 3 placed second with 242 votes, while Porsche’s Taycan came third with 222 votes.
Other makes in the Car of the Year shortlist include the Renault Clio, the Ford Puma, the Toyota Corolla and BMW’s i-series.
“We are absolutely convinced that the car deserved your attention, and we are honoured,” Peugeot’s director Jean-Philippe Imparato said at a video call during the ceremony.
While often lively and suspenseful, this year’s ceremony was quieter than usual as journalists were barred from attending the event, which normally marks the start of the Geneva motor show, due to a preventive measure passed by the Swiss government to counter the coronavirus outbreak.
Switzerland on Friday (February 28) banned large events expected to draw more than 1,000 people, including the motor show, as an extraordinary measure to curb the new coronavirus epidemic.
“There are circumstances entirely beyond our control,” motor show director Olivier Rihs said at the ceremony. “However, we are very pleased that the Car of the Year award can still take place.”
Geneva’s car show, one of Europe’s largest, was set to open to the public from March 5 to 15.
(Production: Ardee Napolitano)