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Just two days after the production was suspended, the Volt/Ampera was announced as the winner of the prestigious award.
The Opel Ampera, the European version of the Chevrolet Volt, has won the Car of the Year (COTY) award for 2012. The award was decided by a jury of 29 senior European journalists from the leading motoring publications on the continent. The award was bestowed upon the Ampera/Volt just two days after General Motors announced the model's suspended production for five weeks following poor sales and an accumulation of inventory.
The Ampera received 330 points easily beating the Volkswagen UP! with 281 points, and the Ford Focus with 256 points. The Range Rover Evoque ranked fourth with 186 points in front of the Fiat Panda with 156 points, Citroen DS5 with 144 points and in last and seventh place was the Toyota Yaris with 122 points. The COTY award is the most coveted annual car award in the European car market and the selection and ranking process is lengthy, taking a few months and many miles driven by dozens of European journalists. At the end of the first stage, which was held last autumn in Denmark, seven cars were selected to take part in the final ranking process.
The competition is open to all cars from all countries that are available in at least five European nations and are expected to sell 5,000 units annually. Past award winners used the prestige extensively for promotion and marketing initiatives. However, winning the award is nothing like a bank guarantee for sales success, as last year's winner, the Nissan Leaf, has shown. Its sales are currently faltering even after winning the award. The Chevrolet Volt also won the North American Car of the Year award in 2011; a prize that hasn't helped to save it from the latest production suspension.