The VGP Story

Twenty-three years have passed since the Visual Grand Prix, or VGP, was created. The VGP’s basic philosophy of contributing to the constructive development of the industry has continued flowing right up to the present, just like a ceaseless water vein, and the award is fulfilling its mission to perfection.

The development of the industry means delivering what is made to people and thereby making people’s lives more affluent. At any rate, there is no meaning at all if good things are not delivered to people with certainty. And, while they think deeply about the affluence of people, on the bottom line makers need to have a basic recognition and practice of craftsmanship.

Sellers also must have a proper understanding of this fundamental philosophy. The key to the correct distribution of things lies in not thinking only about the stores that sell them. Distributors must have a deep understanding of the feelings of makers, who are engaged in an endless process of creation, and think of the users, delivering products to people at reasonable prices.

When this flow is correct, the industry will achieve development, and the people involved in the industry---the makers, the dealers, and the users---will prosper together.

The media have an important role to play here as a bridge; hence the existence of the VGP. Because the VGP has been soundly managed with the background that I have just explained in mind, it has established a position as the industry’s standard award.

According to the rules of the VGP, first of all we ask makers to enter their products. This time about 1,000 models were entered. Data on these models is then compiled and sent to nearly 100 mega discount stores, local discount stores, and specialty stores that serve as judges at this stage, as well as individual judges, and they nominate the models that they think are suitable to receive the VGP. At this stage, the number of candidates is whittled down from around 1,000 to about categorized 300 models. The AV Review magazine then announces on its pages the names of candidates for the gold, silver, and bronze prizes, and at last the selection committee meets to choose the winners.

This is how the winners of the three prizes were decided this time as well. There were 3 special gold award winners, 14 gold award winners, 11 silver award winners, and 11 bronze award winners. Originally there were about 1,000 entries, so clearly it was a very tough hurdle indeed. In the end, 39 models received the three awards this time.

From this time the new VGP Pure Audio Grand Prix has also been started, and the VGP Digital Camera Grand Prix will be launched from the fall, too. The latter is scheduled to evaluate not only cameras themselves but also printers and other digital camera peripheral equipment, and it is already attracting a great deal of interest from the camera industry.

I hope that we can consolidate the VGP’s position as the standard and most prestigious award in the industry, further strengthen and develop it, and contribute to the prosperity of the industry.

This time, as a new current, Hitachi’s Wooo UT series of liquid-crystal televisions, which won a special gold award, also, as a special prize, received the Extra Award for Design Concept. From now on makers can be expected to introduce televisions catering to 360-degree interior tastes, and I look forward to the creation of a new genre.

Also, I should add here that Sharp’s announcement of its flagship R series and mainstream G series of AQUOS liquid-crystal TVs did not come in time for the selection committee meeting, so this time it received a special award.

Large discount stores and specialty stores alike have reported that the number of customers looking for the VGP mark when they make purchases is increasing.

I hope that we can fulfill our responsibilities with a profound understanding of the situation.