TORONTO -- With several vehicle launches at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), it was the 2009 Ford Flex that took center stage as it won the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
Beating out two other finalists; Subaru Forester and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Ford Flex proved that being different really pays off.
"Flex is a vehicle that dares to be different. Its contemporary design provokes strong opinions. Its new technologies are intelligent and engaging," said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford Canada. "Ford Flex is like no other vehicle on the road today. With Flex, it's perfectly okay to stand out from the ordinary crowd."
But the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year was not the only award won during CIAS. The 2009 Ford Ranger won the EcoEnergy Award for Most Fuel Efficient Pickup Vehicle and the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid won the EcoEnergy Award for Most Fuel Efficient Special Purpose Vehicle. Both EcoEnergy Awards are administered by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) also awarded Ford of Canada with two prestigious CAA Pyramid Awards for Ford's Blind Spot Mirror as well as the 100 per cent recycled seats – a historic first as no other automaker has ever won both awards.
The CAA Pyramid Awards program recognizes Canadian automobile manufacturers for their achievements in overall vehicle satisfaction (as rated by Canadian motorists) and for automotive safety features or programs.
MyKey™ was also a huge hit with Canadian media as they received a first-hand demonstration of the technology and its capabilities. MyKey was designed to help parents encourage their teenagers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently, as well as increase safety-belt usage.
With several television outlets experiencing the technology the day before press day, local and national coverage of MyKey was positive.
As the media outlets took to the streets, several consumers, as well as parents commented on what they thought of MyKey and the remarks were consistent - parents want to know their kids are safe at all times and what better way to remind their teens to drive safely than with MyKey.
When asked, some teenagers embraced the new features of MyKey while others commented that there were too many restrictions. Teenagers did not like the idea of parents controlling their choices, but quickly changed their minds when they realized they could have more time in a car equipped with MyKey.