I never meant to imply that CU as a non-profit was prohibited from engaging in specific commercial transactions with third parties; if someone understood my words that way, I apologize. What I was trying to get across is that the "testing" side is independent and separate from the "business" side receiving funds from licensing and other activities. This is very common in non-profits, as well as other firms, such as law firms who are representing conflicting interests/parties (the so-called "Chinese Wall"). Rather than create more confusion, I've included CU's introduction from its website as follows.This is old news.
If you’re looking for a new car but dread facing the intense sales pitch of a car salesperson, technology can now make at least part of the process a breeze. Consumer Reports’ car buyin…clark.com
The idea presented in this thread by some that a designation of ‘non-profit’ implies no outside financial influence is naive at best. CR stays inside a narrow band to keep regulators happy as well as their business model afloat.
"Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit member organization that works side by side with consumers for truth, transparency, and fairness in the marketplace. In addition to our rigorous research, investigative journalism, and consumer advocacy, we work with other organizations, including media, consumer groups, research and testing consortiums, and philanthropic partners to inform purchase decisions, improve the products and services that businesses deliver, and drive regulatory and fair competitive practices.
We also license our content and testing and research data, as well as work with business partners to offer shopping and other consumer services, and may receive fees from these programs. We maintain a strict separation between our commercial operations and our testing and editorial operations. Our testing and editorial teams decide which products to test and review; our external business partners or other third parties do not dictate or control these decisions."
It's up to each reader to independently assess the above explanation. As I have stated upthread, CR is only one of several data points a potential buyer should consider when making a significant purchase like a new vehicle. YMMV.