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The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) just announced finalists for its three overall award categories: the Canadian Car of the Year, Utility Vehicle of the Year and Best New Design of the Year.
With the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto just around the corner, the finalists for Canadian Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year (the winners of which will be announced during the opening ceremonies of the show on February 16) have been announced.
For the car category, the three finalists are the Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Optima (shown above), while in the utility category, they are the BMW X3, Dodge Journey and Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel.
Each of these vehicles won their respective categories during the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s annual Test Fest, which takes place each Fall in Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This time out, some 170 vehicles in 11 different categories were evaluated by 70 auto journalists from across Canada, with the CCOTY finalists selected following four days of back-to-back testing on the street, test track and off-road course.
Besides car and utility of the year, AJAC also awards another category at the CIAS, Best New Design. For that one, this year’s three finalists are the Hyundai Veloster, Jaguar XKR-S and Range Rover Evoque.
Yesterday we reported on a story first published by CarChat, that raised serious questions about the credibility of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), Canadian Car of the Year Awards. This morning we received a response signed from AJAC President Clare Dear and CCOTY Chairman Richard Russell, with the other side to the story.
The letter refers to the same instructional webinar that Banovsky deals with in which it states that, “10 is a perfect score. That means it leaves no room for improvement. But there is nothing that can’t be improved upon. So there can be no 10 scores. If you score something as 10 that score will be discounted.”
AJAC counters that “discounted” does not mean “completely ignored.” Rather, that any vote of 10 will be reduced to a 9.9. AJAC also claims that over the years there have been very few times that the use of 9.9 instead of a rating of 10 has ever been used because, “AJAC’s experienced voters understand that there is always room for improvement, especially in something as complex as a motor vehicle.”
This would then eliminate the possibility of “vote rigging” by journalists.
The letter continues, “If Mr. Banovsky had been an accredited journalist with access to information provided voters and/or had made the effort to use facts, he would know that a ’10′ score has nothing to do with being ‘best’ in class. It has only one meaning: ‘perfect.’ It has nothing to do with the ranking of vehicles, best to worst. Every individual rating is independent. If there are five vehicles in a class, for example, they could all be given exactly the same ratings for any or all parameters. In short, his comments are clearly based on an ignorance of the facts and we have requested that he retract them.”
In addition, AJAC asserts its long standing record, stating that, “The Canadian Car of the Year awards program is one of the most thorough and unbiased of its type in the world and has been acknowledged as such by many critical observers – not the least the auto manufacturers whose vehicles we evaluate, more than 60 experienced and respected journalists invited to do the judging and the international accounting firm of KPMG who are responsible for tabulation of the secret ballots . We go to great lengths to ensure its validity and credibility and take strong exception to any suggestion that the results are ‘fixed’. We are prepared to protect our reputation by whatever means necessary.”
Volkswagen brands walk away with half the awards
The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has just announced the list of nominees for Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the year. This list is made up of the winners from each of the 12 categories and includes the Mazda3, Mazda3 Sport, Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI, Ford Taurus, BMW 335d, Porsche Panamera Turbo, Volkswagen GTI, Audi S4, Audi A5 Cabriolet, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Toureg TDI and Lexus RX450h.
Highlights include the Mazda3 as Best New Small Car under $21,000; the Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI for Best New Family Car under $30,000; the Ford Taurus for Best New Family Car over $30,000; the Subaru Outback for Best New CUV/SUV and the Porsche Panamera Turbo for Best New Prestige Car. In total Volkswagen brands walked away with half of the awards.
AJAC released the list this morning in Niagaro-on-the-Lake in southern Ontario where 70 of Canada’s “elite” automotive journalists spent the week testing a long list of 156 vehicles at the organizations annual Test Fest event.
The 12 class winners will now be submitted for the 2010 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2010 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario on February 11.
Follow the jump for a list of the individual class winners: