In the car evaluation industry, everyone is a winner

'Car of the Year 2014' trophy is displayed during the opening day of the 84th International Motor Show which will showcase novelties of the car industry on March 3, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

So, you bought a brand new car. It probably caught your eye because of the good gas mileage, the sweet interior, or because the sale was practically a steal. Or maybe, you did your homework and noticed your car won a few best-of car awards. Well, here’s a dirty little secret: it’s really, really easy to win one of those things.

"If you manufactured a car, you get an award from somebody," says Eric Chemi, head of research for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg TV.

We hate to burst your bubble, really.

So what’s the point of these awards you might ask? It seems as if there’s no advantage whatsoever.

Chemi says two different groups benefit from these awards; publications and car companies.

Publications "get the benefit of having commercials tout the credibility of their award on television. And then the car companies get the credibility of winning an award from these publications," says Chemi.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation