2013 WesBank/SAGMJ Car of the Year Finalists Announced


Fairland, Gauteng -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/25/2013 -- The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) and WesBank – South Africa’s leading asset-based financial solutions provider, are proud to announce the South African Car of the Year finalists for 2013.

The 2013 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year finalists were announced early this morning during a breakfast event hosted by WesBank, the competition’s headline sponsor, and the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ). The announcement of the COTY finalists follows a vote cast by a 29-member jury, elected by their peers, on the 27 Semi-finalists

The twelve finalists for the 2013 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition, South Africa's premier motoring event, are (in alphabetical order):

- 2012 BMW 3 Series 320i Automatic
- 2012 Ford Ranger 3.2 XLT 4X4 Double Cab Diesel AT
- 2012 Hyundai i30 1.8 Executive
- 2012 Kia Rio 1.4 TEC Hatch MT
- 2012 Lexus GS 350 EX
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
- 2012 Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna (Leather)
- 2012 Opel Meriva 1.4T Cosmo
- 2012 Porsche Boxster
- 2012 Range Rover Evoque Si4 Dynamic 5-door
- 2012 Toyota 86 High Spec 6MT
- 2012 Toyota Yaris 1.5 HSD Xs

The next step in the process is to determine the winner from a two-day test session to be held in February 2013 at the Gerotek test facility near Pretoria, where the Jury members will assess the cars independently.

In keeping with the competition's broadened scope, the testing at Gerotek will allow the vehicles to be evaluated under the conditions individual vehicles would be expected to perform under, with routes designed to test the vehicles in a similar way the average consumer would use them. The test days offer the Jury the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles and specific aspects such as aesthetics, build quality, ergonomics, fuel consumption, environmental friendliness, safety features and value for money.

South Africa's Car of the Year competition - sponsored for the past 28 years by wheels bank, WesBank, with additional support from Total and Hollard Insurance - is unique in the world in that it is determined by three rounds of voting. The first round of voting is open to all full members of the SAGMJ and yields the semi-finalists, where after a second round of voting, open to only the jury, determines the finalists. Following the two-day test sessions at Gerotek, a final allocation of points by the jury is tallied and audited before an overall winner is announced.

A significant change to this year's competition is the manner in which the COTY Jury was determined. Following a Car of the Year workshop held earlier this year, the Jury is no longer compiled from those SAGMJ members who had the greatest exposure to the eligible model ranges (by means of launch events and test cars). Instead, after casting a vote in the first round, each member had the opportunity to vote for 25 of his or her peers to serve on the Jury. The members with the most votes - to a maximum of 30 members - were co-opted onto the COTY Jury.

While all of the models are deemed to represent examples of outstanding automotive engineering, there can be only one winner and, in the eyes of the COTY Jury, that model will epitomise all-round automotive excellence. The winner of the 2013 WesBank/SAGMJ Car the Year will be revealed at a gala banquet in March 2013.

About Wesbank
WesBank has over 40 years of experience in asset and vehicle finance. As a leading asset-based finance provider in South Africa, we finance new and used vehicles for personal use, both privately and through dealerships, as well as leisure vehicles, and also offer expert advice and professional service to our clients.

Our other main focus is providing quality asset finance and fleet management solutions for a number of market sectors. WesBank’s asset finance services cover aviation finance, agri finance, commercial vehicle finance, company vehicles, plant equipment, office equipment, public sector finance and franchise finance. In addition, we offer personal insurance, vehicle insurance, personal loans as well as business insurance, and we are perfectly placed to structure a finance deal to suit your needs.

WesBank is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, which in turn, is part of the FirstRand Group. FirstRand is South Africa's most innovative Bank Assurance Group with interests in Retail and Merchant Banking, Life Assurance, Financial Planning and Medical Schemes.