There are four categories in the Women's World Car of the Year – Family Car, Luxury Car, Sports Car and Economy Car. Points are allocated to each of ten criteria. Unusual in car awards worldwide is that one of those is for Child Friendliness yet statistics show that women drive children in cars significantly more often than men.
This year has seen an increase in the number of judges voting. Women motoring writers from Argentina, China and Japan have been added to the voting panel while other judges from Australia and New Zealand have joined home colleagues on the jury panel.
The 20 women judges will send their secret-ballot votes to international auditors and accountants,Grant Thornton, at their Auckland, New Zealand, office and responses will be collated to produce the final awards list. The car with the most points in each category wins that category and the vehicle receiving the most votes overall in any category will win the Women's World Car of the Year for 2012 supreme award.
The announcement of the winning cars in each category and the supreme winner will be made before the end of March. The supreme award trophy and category certificates will be presented to the car companies concerned at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2012 – the Paris Motor Show – in September.The supreme trophy will this year be made in New Zealand. Category-winner certificates will be designed at Peartree Studios in Colerne, UK.
The first winner of the Women's World Car of the Year was the Jaguar XF in 2010 and the trophy made in South Africa was presented at the Jaguar boutique showroom in Knightsbridge, London. In 2011 there was a dead-heat between the Citroen DS3 and the BMW 5 Series. The two trophies made in India were presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011.
Women's World Car of the Year Limited director, Sandy Myhre from New Zealand, says the official short list already shows some stand-outs.
"In past years it's been quite hard to tell at this stage what cars have a good shot at winning the overalltitle but this year it's evident that at least four cars are definitely in the running."