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Auto Expert was front and centre at this year's Canadian Car Of The Year awards, presented by AJAC- the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada.
Mazda's Mazda6 was declared the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year, beating out the Corvette Stingray and little sister Mazda3. The brand new Jeep Cherokee took top honours as Canadian Truck of the Year, over the Kia Sorrento and the Acura MDX.
About 80 members of AJAC gathered in Niagara last fall to test each of the 174 eligible vehicles, all on the same day under the same conditions. All details, ranging from safety features to cargo space are examined and rated. Votes were cast, results tabulated by KPMG, and twelve category winners were announced in December. Each of these category winners was eligible to win the Car of the Year award. Mazda won three of the 12 categories, and Kia and General Motors each took two apiece. Auto Expert was in attendance as the official winners were announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
In an exclusive interview with Bradley R. Horn, Product Communications Manager for Chrysler, we asked how the company was feeling after winning the 2014 Canadian Truck of the Year award. Here is what he had to say:
"We're very, very happy to have been nominated and won for Utility Vehicle of the Year. It was really an honour to win. There is a lot of passion coming out of the office in Auburn Hills for the vehicle, because it's all new from the ground up, developed off of a chassis borrowed from Fiat, all new engines, three different AWD systems; so it really is a vehicle that is a big leap, but still fits with that Jeep DNA that everybody loves. It's nice to have that proven by the journalists, a third party."
He went on to say that winning was a "validation of the hard work that the guys are doing down at headquarters, the engineering team. I think it's a little bit of a testament to our relationship with Fiat and you can see the fruit that's going to come from that. It's still very early days...the two paths are coming together and we're showing excellent results now."
Kory Koreeda, President of Mazda Canada accepted the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year award for the company. ""Today, the Mazda6, our flagship vehicle, etched its name in history by winning the overall AJAC Car of the Year award," he said during his acceptance speech. "This impressive achievement confirms what we already knew - the 2014 Mazda6 is nothing short of a Game Changer, once again raising the bar and outclassing other cars in its segment."
Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca