Mercedes-Benz, Porsche win 6 awards at MEMA
Sharjah, October 14, 2010
German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have claimed three awards each at the first Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA) at a major automobiles show in Sharjah.
The MEMAs took place at the International Automobiles Show, which opened at Expo Centre today (October 14) and will run until October 18.
Mercedes-Benz was nominated in five categories, picking up the Best Premium Saloon section for the E-Class, and Best Luxury Saloon for its S500. Its luxury AMG arm, meanwhile, won the Best Premium Sports SUV category for the ML 63 AMG.
“Our three awards in three different categories clearly show our excellence across the classes. We always strive to be the best in each class and these awards clearly reflect that ambition,” said Fadi El Aswad, marketing manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
A panel of motoring experts and journalists from across the Mena region voted independently for the vehicles in 17 categories.
As patron of the awards, vice president of the FIA and president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE Mohammed Ben Sulayem presented the trophies at the lunchtime ceremony.
Porsche was victorious across all sports categories, winning Best Sports Car for the Cayman S, Premium Sports Car for the 911 Turbo and Luxury Sports Saloon for the latest edition to its fleet – the Panamera Turbo.
“We offer something the customer can relate and aspire to and these awards underline our consistency and longevity,” said Deesch Papke, managing director of Porsche Middle East and Africa.
But while these high-end brands recorded the best results, the judges said all categories were highly competitive.
“Since the recession has kicked in, the car industry has turned a corner with manufacturers becoming much more competitive and adding additional features to make their vehicles more attractive. I needed to take some of the cars for test drives because the difference between them was too close to call. Even then it was difficult to choose a winner for some awards,” said judge and In Gear presenter Adam Kechil.
Other notable winners included Range Rover, which claimed the Best Premium Luxury SUV title and the Rolls-Royce Ghost – the company’s “compact” car – which was named Best Premium Luxury Saloon.
“I would like to congratulate all of the winners, many of whom fought off stiff competition to win their respective categories,” said Saif Al Midfa, director general of Expo Centre Sharjah, which organised the awards.
“The standards set by the first Middle East Motor Awards are very high, and the range of winning vehicles, not only reflects diverse consumer demand but is also an indication of how well manufacturers adapt their vehicles to meet the needs of the climate in this region,” he added.
In addition to the 15 regular awards, which also included Best Compact Car (Volkswagen Scirocco), Best Exotic Car (Ferrari 458 Italia) and Best Large Saloon (Nissan Maxima), the MEMAs included two special categories for environmentally friendly vehicles; Best Hybrid Saloon, which was won by the Lexus LS 600 HL, and Best Hybrid SUV, given to the BMW X6 Active Hybrid.
There were between six and 10 vehicles nominated in all but the hybrid categories.
“It is important to recognise the efforts made by manufacturers in creating environmentally friendly cars. Hopefully these awards will highlight best practice in a rapidly emerging sector of the motoring industry,” added Al Midfa. – TradeArabia News Service
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