Yesterday, 16 March 2017, saw the 32nd edition of the SAGMJ WesBank South Africa Car of the Year awards ceremony take place in Midrand, Johannesburg at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. The event, a cocktail banquet, was attended by many dignitaries from the industry, teams of the competing manufacturer finalists, media, and was hosted by Leanne Mannis.
While there was no doubting the crowd favourite, the VW Tiguan, the winner was a surprise to quite a few in attendance. The winners on the evening included:
3. Volkswagen Passat
2. Audi A4
1. Opel Astra
As in previous year’s the event also took some time to provide an overview of the year that past in terms of sales, as well as the forecast for the year ahead. This was delivered by WesBank CEO, Chris de Kock, based on a holistic view of the new vehicle sales market, including economic factors such as the Rand, interest rate stability and moderate GDP growth and inflation falling back within the target zone.
“We expect overall sales growth to be driven by government buying, as there are a number of large tenders set to be awarded in the coming months. This will account for 3.29% growth in LCV sales and help limit the sales decline for commerce vehicles,” said de Kock. “Additionally, tourism will drive the sales growth in the rental market, which will ensure 1.3% growth for passenger car sales.”
Congratulations to Opel on their big win on the night for their car of the year, the Opel Astra.