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Media release 2009 Top 12

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Media release 2009 Top 12

    Media release 4 March 2009

CAR magazine, FNB Vehicle Finance announce annual best buys and

    automotive achievements awards

Honda and Mercedes-Benz each boast three winners in CAR’s Top 12 Best Buys,

    and Suzuki SA has been nominated Motor Company of the Year, in the magazine’s

    annual awards programme, announced in its March issue. Dakar Rally winner Giniel

    de Villiers is the Motorsport Achiever of the Year.

The economic crisis is afflicting most countries around the world, and the global

    motor industry is one of the worst hit by the recession. For South African operations

    it is a double-edged sword: much-needed export business for manufacturers has

    declined dramatically, and the local market is suffering from drastically falling sales

    caused by continual price increases combined with less disposable income and

    tighter credit availability. The extra tax levied on fuel also contributes to the

    depressed market scenario.

To this end, CAR’s Top 12 Best Buys awards, which began 10 years ago, take on a

    more significant role than ever before. The winners are chosen by the combined

    editorial team of CAR magazine and its website offspring, CARtoday.com. Using the

    well-established “four Ps” voting criteria of package, price, performance and

    personality, the panel determines a winner in each of 12 categories that represent

    the major segments of the South African passenger vehicle market. With over 1 500

    vehicles available, making the right purchasing decision is becoming increasingly

    difficult , and the Top 12 programme is aimed at highlighting the best value-for-

    money buys in each of the categories.

Supporting CAR’s awards programme for the first time is FNB Vehicle Finance,

    which is the first bank to offer private to private vehicle finance to all customers who

    qualify and will finance cars that are up to eight years old. FNB, one of the South

    Africa’s leading accredited financial institutions, will host an awards ceremony for all

    the winners at Bank City, central Johannesburg, on 25 March.

The Top 12 winners are:

    Best Budget Car (under R100 000) Chevrolet Spark 1,0 LT

    With the emphasis on safety at the bargain basement end of the local market, the

    Chevrolet Spark 1,0 LT continues as first choice. The Spark LT demonstrates that

    cheap does not have to be austere.

    Best Light Car Honda Jazz The new Honda is a considered evolution of its predecessor and has won back the

    No 1 spot from some very fierce competition. It has style, practicality, fuel efficiency

    and an enviable quality record.

    Best Compact Car Honda Civic The Civic range offers the choice of relatively conservative saloons and eye-catching

    sporty hatchbacks to suit most tastes and requirements. Like most Hondas, the Civic

    boasts a proud quality image.

Best Compact Executive Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    All around the world this is one of the toughest market segments to compete in.

    Right now the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is stoutly defending its recently-acquired No

    1 spot from some equally determined competition.

    Best Executive Saloon Jaguar XF Just too late for serious consideration last time around, the XF introduces a whole

    new breed of Jaguars and has immediately stepped up to pole position with

    considerable panache. A very impressive vehicle.

Best Grand Saloon Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    The big Merc has dominated this category for so long that it is often referred to as

    the S-Class class. Its status is a given, and the advanced technology that it offers

    simply adds to its superiority.

Best Hot Hatch Renault Mégane R26

    A surprise package emerged from CAR’s 18-car performance shoot-out in January

    the Renault Mégane R26 proved itself to be equally at home on track and road.

    There are not many of this limited edition model left, though…

    Best Sports/Performance Car Porsche Boxster/Cayman Another unexpected winner is the Porsche Boxster/Cayman duo. These siblings are

    just so right the Boxster has changed little in 13 years such is its design excellence

     and they offer 911 thrills for less money.

Best MPV/SW Mazda5

    Although the range includes just a single powertrain, the three-model Mazda5 line-up

    just about captures all the best attributes an MPV can offer. Combines style and

    practicality and is fun to drive.

Best Compact SUV Honda CR-V

    An upgrade to the petrol engine and the introduction of an efficient turbodiesel have

    given the Honda CR-V the adrenaline injection it needed to become the leader of the

    pack. Part-time four-wheel drive standard on all models.

Best SUV Mercedes-Benz M-Class

    Another category in which Mercedes-Benz is battling against some fierce rivals and

    manages to rise to the top. The M-Class has numerous powertrain options and now

    stands as an off-roader of note.

    Best Double-cab/Pick-up Toyota Hilux Simply irresistible the Toyota Hilux “is as South African as biltong”. The current “world market” models display more style than before, but there is no questioning

    their legendary strength and dependability.

Achievement and excellence in the industry

    Now in its second year, the CAR awards programme acknowledges the companies,

    products and people that have made a significant impact on the South African

    automotive scene. In addition, it recognises the country’s top motorsport

    personalities, including the past season’s overall winners of the magazine’s

    motorsport initiatives.

    Motor Company of the Year Suzuki SA … for shaking-up the establishment by introducing quality products, high

    specification levels, and impressive value for money.

    Motor Personality of the Year Peter du Toit … for keeping alive South Africa’s great motorsport heritage.

    New Car Design of the Year BMW X6 … a radical approach to crossover vehicles.

Technical Innovation of the Year Mazda SISS

    … a smart idle stop system that bypasses the power-hungry starter motor.

The Safety Award The RMI Road Safety Foundation

    … and all its volunteers for their dedication to saving lives and the spread of road

    safety awareness.

The Green Award Lexus SA

    … for introducing sporty hybrids into the South African motoring scene.

Motorsport Achiever of the Year Giniel de Villiers

    … for winning the 2009 Dakar Rally.

CAR Challenge winner Ben Morgenrood

    … has won this series, which is run in conjunction with the South African National

    Production Car Championship.-

CAR Rookie of the Year Michael van Rooyen

    … was adjudged the year’s best newcomer in production car racing.

    The full Top12 Best Buys including runners-up and, for the first time, readers’ choices and The CAR Awards in association with FNB Vehicle Finance, are

    presented in the March 2009 issue of CAR magazine.

ENDS

For more information, contact Dean Dicks - Marketing Manager

    021 530 3205

    dean@ramsaymedia.co.za

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