Toronto, Ontario – The 2009 Honda Fit won the annual “Best New Design” award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) today. The award was handed out as part of the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

“We thank the AJAC members for this design award,” said Jerry Chenkin, Executive Vice President of Honda Canada Inc. “We built the Fit to meet the needs of our customers, and their response has been overwhelmingly positive. The Fit combines a sleek, aerodynamic design for enhanced fuel efficiency with a roomy interior for excellent passenger and cargo space, proving that great style and value are not mutually exclusive attributes.”

Canadian independent designer Paul Deutschman, Humber College automotive design professors Ken Cummings, and Bruce Thomson, as well as Automobile magazine’s design critic Robert Cumberford were appointed by AJAC as a panel of design experts. Their task was a difficult one: create a short-list of four “Best New Design” finalists from the full-slate of fifty-six entries in the Canadian Car of the Year awards program.

Their top four finalists were the Honda Fit, Audi A4, the Jaguar XF Supercharged, and the Volkswagen Passat CC. AJAC journalists selected the winner from the design expert’s short-list based on a combination of aesthetics, function, and brand essence. Each parameter was rated separately for each of the design finalists. The aesthetics score reflects the sheer beauty of the design. The function score assesses the manner and degree to which it accommodates the practical requirements of the vehicle type. And brand essence considers its success in conveying the image, heritage, and values of the specific brand.

“The intent of the AJAC Best New Design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that exhibits the best balance of form and function”, said Richard Russell, chair of AJAC’s 2009 Canadian Car of the Year awards.

For more information on the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year Awards, visit the AJAC web site at www.ajac.ca .

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