Porsche Boxster scoops SA Car of the Year title
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. The Porsche Boxster entered the record books in South Africa today by becoming the first Porsche model in the history of the competition to win the prestigious WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition. The 2013 iteration of the competition was also the first year in which a Porsche was included as a finalist. The announcement follows a gala dinner hosted by WesBank, the competition’s headline sponsor, and the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ), at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
The WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition (COTY) rewards automotive excellence and the winning vehicle must score highly in its own class, not against the other finalist vehicles, as is often thought, across a variety of categories including value for money, safety, dynamics, technology and aesthetics, to name but a few. The Boxster entered the competition as a highly revered vehicle that has redefined its market segment and raised the bar in terms of performance, dynamics, quality, value and desirability, in the process beating the remaining 11 finalist for top honours.
The South African competition is based on the European Car of the Year points-based scoring system but is unique in the world of motoring in that each of the finalists – 12 vehicles in the 2013 competition – is also put through a stringent testing procedure by the COTY Jury at the world-renowned Gerotek Vehicle Testing Facility outside Pretoria before any votes are cast.
Following a workshop conducted by the SAGMJ in 2012, a number of refinements to the competition were implemented in 2013, including the way the COTY Jury was selected and the number of votes each Jury member could allocate to the finalists.
Members of the SAGMJ were asked to nominate 25 other members, who they believe to be the country’s most knowledgeable and most experienced motoring journalists, to the Jury. These votes were then tallied, with the Jury consisting of the 30 members with the most votes. Furthermore, the Jury was allowed 50 votes that could be allocated to all 12 finalists, but to no less than seven, and with no more than 10 points allocated to any one vehicle. The Jury members are also required to motivate their votes, with both the points allocated and the motivation thereof open to scrutiny from the moment the winner is announced.
In a bold step, the COTY jury also voted to apply an equaliser to this year’s results after a number of finalist manufacturers failed to adhere to the COTY rule of supplying vehicles in standard specification for evaluation purposes. Several of the supplied vehicles featured unreasonable levels of optional equipment that, in some cases, included technological innovations that improve the vehicle’s ride and handling. The vehicles were evaluated and voted for as delivered, with a mathematical equation applied to the final votes to compensate for any advantage the excessively specified vehicles may have gained.
The SA Guild of Motoring Journalists has run the SA Car of the Year competition since 1986, with WesBank – one of South Africa’s largest vehicle finance institutions – as its headline sponsor since inception. Hollard Insurance and Motul supply support sponsorship. In recent years, the competition has had many historic moments, as in 2012 when Hyundai Automotive SA won the title for the first time in its history and became the first Korean vehicle brand to win the title. In 2011, the competition caused an even bigger stir when, for the first time in history, the BMW 530d and Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI shared the crown.