Miami, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2018) —The Genesis Essentia Concept vehicle earned top honors as “Star of the Show” for the 2018 Miami International Auto Show, it was announced Friday (Oct. 5) at the annual show luncheon hosted by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) and sponsored by Volkswagen.
A panel of five judges chaired by SAMA member Juan G. Robbin chose the all-electric concept from a field of hundreds of vehicles on display at the 48th edition of the show. Runner-up as Star of the Show was the Jeep Nacho Concept by Mopar.
A South Florida staple, the show opened Friday evening (Oct. 5) at the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center and continues through Oct. 13.
The judges also selected four other vehicles for recognition.
The 2019 Nissan Altima was selected as “Car of the Show,” a category made up of sedans, coupes, convertibles and sports cars. Runners-up were the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo.
The 2019 Ford Ranger was selected “Pickup Truck of the Show” with the GMC Sierra Denali and Ram 1500 as runners-up.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace, the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) to be offered under the Jaguar brand, edged out the Hyundai Nexo as the “Eco Vehicle of the Show,” and the 2018 Jeep Wrangler nosed out the Lincoln Aviator, Jaguar E-Pace, and Chevrolet Blazer as “SUV of the Show.”
In addition to Robbin, serving as judges were SAMA members Tony Lesesne, José Carlos De Mier, Joaquin Ruhi, and Jonathan Brownfield.
Robbin also was announced as the recipient of the annual Terry Jackson Memorial Award for his service to the betterment and support of SAMA and contributions to the South Florida automotive community.
A new award recognizing late SAMA founder Ron Beasley also was instituted this year. Ariel Garcia-Linares, Southern Region Representative for Hyundai Motor America and a SAMA founding member, received the “Ron Beasley Memorial Award” as a “Friend of SAMA” for his continued support of the organization’s events and projects.
SAMA is an organization of automotive journalists, media organizations, corporate communications specialists, marketing and advertising representatives, and auto manufacturers related to South Florida’s dynamic automotive industry. Based in Miami, it was founded in March 2007.