Ford, Mercedes-Benz take other awards
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) declared the Chevrolet Cruze the Canadian Car of the Year and the Ford Edge the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year in a press conference held at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February.
Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seat-Belt, introduced in the 2011 Explorer, won the AJAC award for Best New Technology and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was named the Best New Design for 2011.
These announcements were the culmination of a process that began last October when approximately 70 AJAC members spent four days evaluating more than 50 new vehicles in the Canadian market in an annual back-to-back testing regimen known as “TestFest.”
The ‘Best New’ winners in 11 individual categories, announced at that time, were then eligible for the overall awards presented.
In the final tally, the Cruze (Best New Small Car Over $21K) won out over the Ford Fiesta (Best New Small Car Under $21K) and the Volkswagen Jetta (Best New Family Car Under $30K) for the Canadian Car of the Year title.
“We are very proud to receive AJAC’s 2011 Canadian Car of the Year honours for the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, which reflects a major refocusing of investment on smaller vehicles and fuel efficient technologies,” said Kevin Williams, GM of Canada’s president and managing director. “The Cruze represents our line in the sand: We’re playing to win – and delivering the goods – in the small car business.”
The Edge (Best New CUV/SUV – $35-50K) beat out the Hyundai Tucson (Best New CUV/SUV Under $35) and the Volkswagen Touareg (Best New CUV/SUV Over $50K) for the
Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year award.
“We are pleased to receive the 2011
Canadian Utility of the Year award from AJAC,” said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada, noting that the Edge is proudly Canadian-built at Ford’s nearby Oakville, Ontario
Unlike some other awards, the AJAC program is not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. The winners are determined on a combination of measured data and subjective evaluations of more than 20 individual parameters by the voting journalists – more than 40,000 pieces of data in all.
“We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program,” said program chair, Richard Russell. “We have gained a great deal of experience and made continual adjustments to the process through the last 26 years as the market and vehicles have evolved. The goal has always been to provide Canadian consumers with the most accurate, unbiased and useful information possible to assist them in making purchase decisions. This is possible because of the participation of more than 70 experienced automotive reviewers, thorough evaluation procedures and the impartiality assured by secret ballots submitted to and tabulated by the international accounting
firm of KPMG.”
The vote results that determined the winners are available to consumers as a resource buying guide on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca).