AJAC Awards Cruze 2011 Canadian Car of the Year, Edge Wins UOTY

TORONTO (Ontario) Thursday, February 17, 2011 – In an early morning press conference at the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the Chevrolet Cruze was declared the 2011 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

“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.”

General Motors won three out of the 11 “Best New” categories when announced in October 2010. All “Best New” category winners are eligible to compete for the overall crown of either the “Canadian Car of the Year” or the “Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year”. The Chevrolet Cruze was also the winner in the “Best New Small Car over $21,000” class.

The Ford Edge was declared the 2011 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year by AJAC.

“We are pleased to receive the 2011 Canadian Utility of the Year award from AJAC,” said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “The Canadian-built 2011 Ford Edge features industry-leading technologies that create a whole new in-vehicle experience.”

Ford of Canada won two out of eleven “Best New” categories when announced in October. 2010. All “Best New” category winners are eligible to compete for the overall crown of either the “Canadian Car of the Year” or the “Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year”. The Ford Edge was also the winner of the “Best SUV/CUV” in the $35,000 to $50,000 price range.

AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year Awards chair, Richard Russell, said: “We are extremely proud of the Canadian Car of the Year program. We have gained a great deal of experience and made continual adjustments to the program through the last twenty-six 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 experienced automotive reviewers, thorough evaluation procedures and the impartiality assured by secret ballots submitted to and tabulated by the international accounting firm of KPMG.”

Unlike other awards, this is not a popularity contest based on the opinions of a few people. Our winners are determined on a combination of measured facts and subjective evaluations of more than 20 parameters by the journalists – more than 40,000 pieces of data in all. Most importantly, they are based on actual testing of the vehicles – back-to-back; on the same roads and in the same conditions on the same day.

The vote results that determined today’s winners are available to consumers as a resource buying guide on the AJAC web site. Also available are the comparative test data derived from the journalists’ extensive four day evaluation of 144 new vehicles in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in October. This annual event is known in the industry as “TestFest”. Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.

The rigorous evaluation program includes “real world” driving on public roads. A variety of routes are chosen to reflect the normal use for each class of vehicle so that the test and vote results are relevant to potential car and truck buyers.

Still looking to buy a 2010, 2009, or even a 2008 vehicle? AJAC archives the comparative test data from previous years on its web site.

Photos from today’s award announcements, the category winners’ press conference, and the TestFest evaluation event, are available for print and broadcast on the AJAC website media under the headings… Canadian Car of the Year… Photo Gallery…

In addition, our AJAC journalists who evaluated the brand new models at TestFest are available across Canada for interviews to talk about the procedures, vote results and comparative data. Media are invited to visit the AJAC web site and log-in under “Ask An AJAC Expert”, then choose the “Media” link to access interview information once validation has occurred.

For more information on the 2011 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, either visit our AJAC web site at www.ajac.ca, call the AJAC office at 1.705.924.3444, or send us an email: beth@ajac.ca.