#CarsAwards Powered by WesBank gains even more steam
The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards, or #CarsAwards powered by Wesbank took place in Sandton last week and hosted some of South Africa’s most notable automotive industry leaders, representatives of the finance sector, media agencies and celebrities. Resident SA Car Fan Editor, Ernest Page, was one of the judges on the panel. Here’s what went down.
Previous winners, Suzuki, were delighted to win the ‘Brand of the Year’ award for the second consecutive year, defeating second-place Mercedes-Benz by just 1%, while managing to score two more awards with the Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL and the Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GLX Auto in their respective Budget Car and Compact Family Car categories.
Mazda celebrated their first-ever #CarsAwards victories by winning the Compact Hatch award with the Mazda 2 1.5 Individual, as well as the Family Car award with the Mazda CX-5 2.5 Individual. Volkswagen grabbed a pair of awards, too, with the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline R-Line DSG winning the Premium Hatch award, accompanied by the Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion Highline Plus which won the Leisure Double-Cab Bakkie award.
The BMW Group left the event with three awards for their BMW 420d Gran Coupe Sport Line Sports Auto, BMW M2 M-DCT and Mini John Cooper Works Sports Auto snatching the Business Class, Performance Car and Fun Car awards, in that order. Although not winning any awards last year, Mercedes-Benz pulled a comeback with their E350d Avantgarde and GLC250d 4Matic AMG Line dominating the Executive Sedan and Executive SUV categories.
Toyota and Volvo secured the remaining SUV titles with the Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Auto winning the Adventure SUV award, next to the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design, which won the Premium SUV award.
In total, 20 manufacturers were represented by the 39 finalist vehicles. Five Volkswagens and five Audi’s brought the VW Group’s nomination to a total of 10 cars, while Alfa Romeo, Kia, Subaru, Peugeot and Mitsubishi made their first-ever appearances in the finals.
Editors note: From my perspective, the #CarsAwards format is a concise format that allows competitors to go head to head in their respective classes. This makes sure that the best in each class bubble to the top and from there, the brands can compete for Brand of the Year. It was an honour to be part of this event, as I’ve long believed that just like racing, competition improves the breed, and categories should be divided into classes.