Corvette Stingray and Mazda 3 win innovation of the year awards

Los Angeles — The 2014 Mazda 3 and 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray were awarded as 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year winners Wednesday by the Motor Press Guild, the largest auto media association in North America.

The awards, voted on by journalists and analysts and given as a kick off to the LA Auto Show press days, were given in two categories: the new Mazda 3 for a vehicle under $29,000 and the newly designed Corvette for a vehicle over $29,000.

Vehicles were chosen for driving forward in areas such as value, design and technology.

The new Stingray has racked up several awards, including from Car and Driver, Road and Track, and Automobile magazines.

Tim Mahoney, global chief marketing officer for Chevrolet, said the awards add credibility to the vehicle.

“It’s fantastic because it’s based on innovation,” Mahoney said after receiving the award. “That’s one of the things that the brand stands for is technology and innovation. So it’s a real honor to receive it.”

Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, said consumers are looking for third-party endorsements and receiving recognition may give consumers a reason to look at the Mazda 3.

“We’re in a very, very competitive industry and obviously there’s a lot of really great products out there,” he said. “And to be able to get an award like this for the new Mazda 3 … is just a testimony in terms of this little car company from Hiroshima, Japan that kind of does things a little bit differently and works hard to deliver to what the customer is looking for.”

Both vehicles are finalists for North American Car of the Year, which will be awarded in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Other finalists for 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year included the Chevrolet Spark EV, Chevrolet Cruze diesel, Ford Fiesta ST and Jeep Cherokee for the under $29,000 category, and the Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Hybrid, Infinti Q50 Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Range Rover Sport for the vehicles priced above $29,000.

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