U.S. Winners Announced for 2016 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

In the future, there is nowhere cars won’t go. From underwater to outer space, cars will not only provide transportation, they can help people in need, they can monitor air quality, and they can provide entertainment. These are the visions for cars of the future by nine U.S. youth selected as this year’s national winners of the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

2016 U.S. WINNERS
Category 1 (Under 8 Years)
Gold: Toyota Fun Car by Daniel Hanxiang Zhou, age 7; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Silver: Toyota Plant Healer by Koiip Lam, age 7; Bayside, New York
Bronze: Weather-Powered Car by Ezra Naphtali Zapler, age 7; Greenville, North Carolina

Category 2 (8-11 Years)
Gold: Whale Car by Wenxu Zhong, age 11; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Silver: U.W.C.C. (Underwater Cleaning Car) by Ashley McGinn, age 10; Arcadia, California
Bronze: Food Generator by Xinyi Christine Zhang, age 10; Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

Category 3 (12-15 Years)
Gold: Astronomical Toyota Car by Carolina Montoya, age 15; Wasco, California
Silver: Toyota Teleporter by Sophia Mingrou Cui, age 15; Forest Hills, New York
Bronze: Toyota Solar-Powered Green Energy Maker by Erna M. Chiu, age 13; Ann Arbor, Michigan

Now World Contest Semi-Finalists, the artwork by these nine youth advances to represent the United States in competing against entrants from over 80 countries. In August 2016, the top 30 World Winners will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan and participate in an awards ceremony, which includes a tour of a Toyota manufacturing plant.

The nine 2016 U.S. Winners were chosen by a national panel of 12 judges who viewed artwork by 32 U.S. Finalists, the latter of which had been selected by nearly 1,000 Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 90 U.S. semi-finalists. An inaugural U.S. President’s Choice Award was also selected, and while recipient Wenbin Cui will receive a special prize, her artwork does not advance to the World Contest. The judges were:

Cheech Marin, Actor, Comedian, Director, and Art Collector
Bryan Benedict, Senior Staff Designer, Hot Wheels®
Mike Groff, President & CEO, Toyota Financial Services
William Chergosky, Project Design Mgr., Calty Design Research, Inc.
Dave Kunz, Eyewitness News Automotive Specialist. KABC 7
A.J. Gordon, automotive journalist and Host, CarStories.com podcast for Petersen Automotive Museum
Al Smith, Group VP, Service Operations & Corporate Planning, Toyota Financial Services
Ann Bybee, VP, Corporate Strategy, Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility & Program Mgmt., Toyota Financial Services
Karen Ideno, VP of Product and Marketing, Toyota Financial Services
Anthony Salcido, VP & Corporate Controller, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Susan Sanborn, Curator & Director, Toyota USA Automobile Museum
John Valadez, artist

National judges for this year's Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States (l to r: Anthony Salcido, John Valadez, Mike Groff, Karen Ideno, William Chergosky, A.J. Gordon, Susan Sanborn, Dave Kunz, Ann Bybee, Cheech Marin, Mark Simmons

National judges for this year’s Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States (l to r: Anthony Salcido, John Valadez, Mike Groff, Karen Ideno, William Chergosky, A.J. Gordon, Susan Sanborn, Dave Kunz, Ann Bybee, Cheech Marin, Mark Simmons (Al Smith not pictured)

The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a worldwide contest presented annually that is designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in participating countries worldwide are chosen from three age categories (under 8 years old; 8-11 years old; and 12-15 years old), with judging based on three criteria: artistry, uniqueness and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. This is the fifth year of the U.S. contest.