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Honda earns top spots in Consumer Reports

Published March 22, 2013

Some consumers tend not to trust auto awards programs where vehicles are supplied by the manufacturers. For those collaboration theorists, Consumer Reports creates its own annual top picks. The U.S.-based publication actually purchases each product they review at their own testing centre. This process ensures that they are completely impartial in their review process. The down side of this is that they can’t possibly buy one of every car sold, so their top picks are potentially limited. Also, unlike most awards programs, CR’s top picks are not only pulled from all new models.

Honda blanked last year, but returned to the 2013 program as a powerhouse, winning three categories. Add this result to the residual value awards and the manufacturer could potentially have a banner year in 2013.

Porsche marks best year ever

Speaking at the company’s annual press conference last week in Stuttgart, Porsche Chairman Matthias Müller said “2012 was the most successful year in the history of our company,” he said. “The success that Porsche enjoys in the marketplace can be attributed very largely to our attractive product portfolio.”

Despite the economic problems in European markets, Porsche sold 143,096 vehicles in 2012, which was an incredible increase of 22 per cent over 2011. The North American market led the improvements, with sales up by 34 per cent ahead of China, which grew by 32 per cent. Even in Europe (outside of Germany), sales were up 8 per cent despite the troubling financial times, while the home market was up 16 per cent. The latest version of the iconic 911 led the growth with an impressive increase in sales of 48.8 per cent over 2011.

Chrysler Canada receives conservation award

The hits just keep on coming for Chrysler in Canada. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters have named Chrysler Canada the recipient of the 2012 OFAH/Mike Reader Conservation Partner Award. Chrysler has supported the 100,000 member OFAH for close to four decades, by providing prize vehicles for an annual charity lottery which provides funds for conservation efforts in Ontario. For 2013, the top prizes in the OFAH/Conservation Lottery will include a Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey and two Ram 1500 trucks.

Bye Bye to Rick Bye

A huge part of the success of the Porsche brand is the continued involvement of the characters that have contribute to the brand’s motorsport history. Here in Ontario, automotive journalists have had the pleasure of receiving press cars from one of Canada’s most celebrated Porsche racers for years.

Rick Bye is an icon in Canadian motorsports, having been the Canadian Endurance racing Champion twice and was one of the top drivers in the now legendary Rothmans Porsche series. While managing the Porsche press fleet, Bye did more than just dole out test vehicles. Instead, he added legitimacy to the brand that stemmed from his experience with Porsche racing cars. Like most Porsche racers, that experience turned Bye into a lifelong ambassador for the brand.

People who don’t follow motorsport may recognize Bye as the guy who taught a blind man to drive a Porsche around a race track. He is also the man behind the project that saw the Trailer Park Boys take on Targa Newfoundland in a Porsche. Rick Bye’s passion for Porsche is a perfect example of why many fans consider Porsche to be a lifestyle, not just a car.

Sadly, the numbers didn’t add up when it came time to bid on a new contract.

Honda, Acura tops at residual value awards

For most consumers, a new car is one of the most expensive purchases they will ever make. Before spending a life-changing chunk of earnings, it makes sense to do a bit of research to ensure that one’s investment is going to retain its value. ALG Canada has released its fifth annual Residual Value Awards to help consumers decide which vehicle is right for them.

Vehicles in 22 segments are evaluated based on class competitors, historical data and industry trends. The big winners this year were Honda and Acura who took the top awards for mainstream and premium brands respectively.

Toyota scored an impressive five segment awards while Subaru took three.

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