2016 is only just beginning, and it's already promising to be a banner year for the Honda Motor Company, as the nameplate recently received the highly coveted North American Car of the Year Award.
The Honda Civic – one of the U.S.' best-selling compact vehicles since the first was developed in 1972 – was bestowed with the annual North American Car of the Year Award, presented at the International Auto Show in Detroit. A group of 53 international automotive journalists cast ballots on who is the most worthy of the award, deciding the Civic was the best. It's the second time the model has been given the award, the last time coming in 2006.
Jeff Conrad, Honda Division Senior Vice President and General Manager, noted that while Honda is a Japanese automaker, the U.S. is where it became a truly global brand, helped by the Civic, especially.
"The all-new Civic was developed and is built in North America, making this North American Car of the Year win even sweeter," Conrad explained. "Civic is a cornerstone of the Honda lineup, and we're delighted that the automotive press has recognized the new levels of styling, performance, advanced technology, safety, and value that characterize the new Civic."
Nearly 2 million vehicles produced in 2015
Honda has had several milestones in recent years. It opened its 1,000th dealership in the U.S. not too long ago and in 2014, Honda produced its 20 millionth vehicle, thanks to the 16 major manufacturing facilities that dot the North American landscape. Last year was a memorable one as well after the nameplate produced a record high 1.8 million units, more than any other 12-month period.
As to why the Civic received the most votes, it may have had something to do with the added features. It's the first model to offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – giving dual-use smartphone owners plenty of options – and long-time Civic supporters will notice both the interior and exterior have been redesigned.
Civic only car that accumulated 200 points or more
Now in its 23rd season, the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were handed out Jan. 11 in Detroit at the International Auto Show. Winners were determined by a points system. The Civic received the most at 203, followed by the Chevy Malibu with 181 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata with 146.
The Volvo XC90 was selected as the Truck/Utility of the Year winner, its second victory since 2003.