CAR magazine recognises automotive excellence

By Joel Perkins,2014-05-15 13:52
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CAR magazine recognises automotive excellence

    Media Release 13 February 2008

CAR magazine recognises automotive excellence

Honda was last night [12 February] named Motor Company of the Year and Johann

    Rupert Motor Personality of the Year, in CAR magazine’s inaugural CAR Awards held

    to honour the achievers and achievements of those in the motor industry. The Audi R8

    was declared New Car Design of the Year.

The awards formed part of CAR’s annual Top 12 Best Buys awards function,

    sponsored by Nedbank Vehicle and Asset Finance, at which CAR’s 2008 recommendations for the best value-for-money vehicle purchasing in 12 categories

    were announced.

Despite a tapering-off of growth during the last year, the South African automotive

    industry continues to be one of the most vibrant and competitive in the world.

    Manufacturers and importers are offering a staggering and increasing number of

    new vehicles to an eager buying public, who themselves are having to overcome

    limitations imposed by last year’s personal credit legislation and increases in interest

    rates. Rising fuel prices continue to be a disturbing factor in running costs, meaning

    that making a choice of the right vehicle is more critical than ever before.

In the light of this, CAR’s annual Top 12 Best Buys takes on a more significant role as

    a guide to which models offer the best all-round value for money. The awards, now in

    their ninth year, cover 12 categories that, by and large, represent the full South African

    passenger vehicle market. Using the traditional criteria of the “four Ps” – package,

    price, performance, personality the eight-man editorial team voted to determine a winner in each of the categories.

Nedbank Vehicle and Asset Finance joined forces with CAR in 2006 to help elevate

    Top 12 into the ultimate recognition of sound vehicle purchasing, and the accredited

    financial services supplier’s contribution includes the hosting of a special gala awards

    ceremony attended by all of the industry’s key players, which this year took place at

    Nedbank in Sandown, where the following winners were announced:

Best Budget Car (under R90 000): Chevrolet Spark 1,0 LT

Placing more emphasis on safety related features as opposed to simply choosing the

    cheapest acceptable set of wheels, the Chevy Spark manages to retain its No 1 spot

    in this category.

Best Light Car: Mazda2

New, and an immediate winner. Whatever you may think about Mazda’s “zoom-zoom”

    marketing approach, the company has at long last come up with the goods to match

    the hype.

Best Compact Car: Honda Civic

The latest J D Power Customer Satisfaction Index study shows the Civic to be South

    Africa’s most highly rated car. It offers excellent value for money, and is a real driver’s


Best Compact Executive: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The new C-Class is a stylish evolution of the previous generation, high on technology

    and refinement, with wide-ranging driver appeal. It is a very impressive car, and an

    immediate sales success.

Best Executive Saloon: Lexus GS300

The distinctive GS300 still represents a vehicle of style, high quality, and, in relative

    terms, value for money. Only two models are offered, but both are comprehensively


Best Grand Saloon: Mercedes-Benz S-Class:

Nothing has happened during the past 12 months to consider dethroning the

    Mercedes S-Class, one of the most advanced, mass-produced automobiles you can

    find on the planet.

Best Hot Hatch: Audi S3

Admittedly at the premium end of the pricing scale, the S3 is maybe not the ultimate in

    every aspect, but it is just so good in every way. These days, you have to take Audis


Best Sports/Performance Car: Porsche 911

There are a lot of exotic pretenders to the sportscar throne, but none can offer the

    variety of performance that this Porsche does. The iconic 911 has made this category

    its own from the start.

Best MPV/Station Wagon: Nissan Livina

The five-seat Nissan Livina and seven-seat Grand Livina have set a new benchmark

    in cost-effective, comfy family transport. Functionality doesn’t have to mean boring.

    Excellent value.

Best Compact SUV: Honda CR-V

    Honda’s soft-roader, particularly in turbodiesel guise, is the real business: satisfying to drive, economical, and a practical family vehicle all at the same time. High quality is a


Best SUV: Toyota Fortuner

Just after it was launched, it was clear that the new, locally assembled Fortuner wagon

    had turned the local SUV market on its head. Practical, comfortable, well built, and a

    good performer.

Best Double-cab/Pick-up: Toyota Hilux

    “Enduring” is a description that goes nowhere near explaining the impact that the Hilux has had on not only the motoring scene in South Africa. Tough as nails, go anywhere,

    do anything, any time.

The CAR Awards to the industry

In addition to the Top 12 Best Buys, for the first time CAR magazine extended its

    annual awards programme to include accomplishments from all sectors of the motor

    industry, with an emphasis on South African achievers and achievements. It also

    recognise the past season’s overall winners of the magazine’s national motorsport

    initiatives, the CAR Challenge and the CAR Rookie of the Year.

The first recipients of the CAR Awards are:

    Motor Company of the Year: Honda for setting an industry benchmark in quality products and satisfaction

    Motor Personality of the Year: Johann Rupert for making a major, ongoing contribution to the survival of South Africa’s automotive heritage

    New Car Design of the Year: Audi R8 a first supercar that takes Audi beyond the norm

Technical Innovation of the Year: The Mercedes-Benz DiesOtto engine for opening

    up new horizons in the search for cleaner and more economical engines

The Safety Award: Philip Hull for his ongoing dedication to the furtherance of

    accident prevention in South Africa.

    The Green Award: Stuart A Rayner for masterminding the introduction of cleaner fuels and Euro II emissions compliance in sub-Saharan Africa

    Motorsport Achiever of the Year: Arushen Moodley for being the world’s first rider of colour to win a national Superbike championship

The CAR Challenge Champion 2007: Ben Morgenrood

The CAR Rookie of the Year 2007: Etienne Prinsloo

The full results of the Top 12 Best Buys for 2008 and the inaugural CAR Awards are

    available in the magazine’s March issue, on sale from 17 February.


For more information contact CAR editor, John Bentley, at 021 530 3156 or

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