The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe’s car of the year for 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show.
The award is one of the most important in Europe and gives consumers an idea of what experts think the car of the future might be.
Fifty eight motoring journalists from 22 European countries took part in the voting, and the Golf got twice as many votes as its nearest rival, the Subaru BRZ sports car.
However, the dire state of the European car industry is likely to cast a cloud over the Geneva exhibition halls this year.
There have been gloomy projections from a number of major carmakers.
The chief executive of Daimler said European car markets were in worse shape than they would have seemed late last year.
“The European market is not in a condition we expected three months ago,” Dieter Zetsche, CEO of the German luxury carmaker, told journalists at Geneva.
German premium carmaker BMW is bracing for car markets in Europe to remain volatile for at least another five years amid uncertainty over government debt in the region.
“We believe that the underlying problem in Europe, which is mainly about debt, will persist for at least five more years,” its chief executive Norbert Reithofer said.
Ford also expects its sales in the region will be at the low end of the company’s sales forecast during the first half of the year.