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Honda Civic Wins 'Car Of The Year' Award

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The 2016 Honda Civic was named North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Honda Civic has been named North American Car of the Year.

That honor came this morning at the Detroit Auto Show. Honda executive vice president John Mandel accepted the award for the company. Dennis Virag is the President of the Automotive Consulting Group in Toledo. He says the Civic won the award based on a full overhaul of the car.

“The overall vehicle performance, the driving dynamics, the experience of driving the vehicle, interior design, comfort, all of the above including fuel economy,” Virag said when asked why the Civic qualified for the award.  

The 2016 Civic was developed at a research facility near Marysville with an engine made in Ana, a transmission from Russell's Point, and assembled in Indiana.

The following is an automatic transcript of the above conversation. Please excuse any and all typos.

Marilyn Smith: Mr. Virag, what is the significance of the Honda Civic being chosen the car the year?

Dennis Virag: It is a great accolade for Honda, Civic is a great vehicle and achieving the Car of the Year Award is a significant achievement in terms of Honda's reputation for performance and quality.

MS: Do you know if this car was designed and manufactured here in Ohio?

DV: I definitely do Ohio is a great state with great workers. Great work ethic very innovative, my hat goes off to Honda for relying the work force for playing a major role in the development of the car of the year.

MS: So what is it about the Honda Civic that caught the judge's eye? Is it simply a design feature?

DV: No it's much more than design. Design and terms of styling is certainly one of the features that you look at but the overall vehicle performance the driving dynamics the experience of driving the vehicle, interior design. Comfort. All of the above including fuel economy. The Civic is a terrific performance vehicle. I've owned one myself. It's a unappreciated vehicle by many but it's a great vehicle to drive has terrific fuel economy and it's just a pleasure to own a Civic.

MS: Now apparently the last time the car was redesigned in 2011. It bombed with critics. What did Honda have to do?

DV: Well Honda had to listen to their customers. The last time in 2011, what Honda tried to do was they tried to cut corners to save on overall cost both in the design process, Design development process, And in the manufacturing of the vehicle. I think Honda learned a lesson as a very smart company. You know they don't make the same mistake twice. And relying in the voice and the mind of a customer and the knowledge and expertise of the workforce here in Ohio. You know they hit a homerun.

MS: So does this award, In it of itself translate into higher sales?

DV: Oh definitely you will see significantly higher sales on be on the Honda Civic and. I think that there will be a trickle down effect on other products within the Honda lineup.

MS: What about price the civic used to be a pretty affordable little car. Is it gotten outside of that range now?

DV: No it's still affordable car. When you look at the Civic, compared to other cars within its class. It's very much in line price wise and. When you look at a Civic compared to other vehicles being sold by the industry the average price of a new car now or a new vehicle is is over $30,000. A Honda is well under a $30,000, even well under the $25,000 price tag. So you get a lot of a lot of car for a reasonable amount.

MS: Once the company wins an award this prestigious is the bar then raised so that every year that's the goal?

DV: Oh Definitely. With a company like Honda it's always working to achieve a better product. To increase its sales and Honda's never looking to do a a dramatic change in terms of product. Or in terms of sales but they're a steady company. They build high-quality cars and trucks that the consumer wants and buys. And it's a it's an incremental increase in sales year over year. You know you never going to see a tremendous sales increase year over year for Honda. They are a steady company with steady growth.