Thatcham put more than 5,000 car derivatives through a series of tests on behalf of UK car insurers. The award winners were the highest scorers in the New Vehicle Security Ratings, co-developed by Thatcham, the Association of British Insurers, Lloyds, the AA and the Department for Transport, supported by the Home Office.
Collecting the award, Hugh Reid, managing director, Volvo Car UK, said: 'Winning the prestigious, new Best Manufacturer award is a great recognition of the work Volvo has dedicated to optimising the security, and added personal safety and value of the entire Volvo range.'
The criteria resulted in some complete model ranges, including the Toyota Avensis saloon, winning awards, while others did so for a single derivative, such as the Citroen C3 Exclusive.
Other models won with a derivative excluded, such as the Ford Focus C-MAX Ghia, except the 2.0i.
Presenting the award, Hazel Blears said car crime was stable and at its lowest for more than 20 years and manufacturers had an important part to play in further improvements.
She welcomed the initiative of British insurers in devising the awards which would further encourage manufacturers to make continuous improvements in car security. The Minister said the British Crime Survey showed that vehicle crime, mainly relating to cars, dropped from 2,942,000 in 1999 to 2,386,000 in 2003. Data was based on more than 40,000 interviews around the country.