This year AutoTrader, South Africa’s most visited online motoring marketplace, have taken title sponsorship role of the SA Car of the Year competition, and in doing so directed attention to the globally respected journalists who judge the competition and are the reason for its success.
“We understand that the motoring industry is not about machines, it’s about people. This is why we chose to focus on the individuals that drive SA’s most prestigious motoring competition, and celebrate them,” says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. “Our aim is always to further support and benefit the automotive industry and the car buying consumer.”
The AutoTrader SA Car of the Year competition is in its 33rd year, driven by a jury that consists of the country’s top motoring journalists and editors, sourced from the prestigious South African Guild of Motoring Journalists. Now in existence for 57 years, it is in The Guild that more than 75% of the country’s motoring writers, broadcasters, photographers and commentators can be found, lending the competition the keenest edge.
“Judges can only qualify via The Guild, meaning each judge is peer-reviewed and peer-invited by the most qualified motoring journalism pool in South Africa,” says Angelique Lynch, AutoTrader’s Marketing Director. “These are extraordinary journalists, forming the backbone of a competition that is a cut above the rest.”
The stats speak for themselves. Over the past 12 months, the judges have spent over 18,000 hours test driving SA’s new cars. On average they boast 426 hours a year behind the wheel, and collectively they have written for over 40 different publications. They have attended over 70 international car launches and boast 54 motoring journalism awards between them. In 2018, the judges wrote over 4,570 motoring related articles; the estimated equivalent of 57 novels. The AutoTraderCOTY.co.za site is host to the comprehensive list of judges and their individual biographies.
“An award-winning car is much more than a means of getting from A to B, it’s the realisation of a beautiful idea,” says Mienie. “The people who expertly judge these cars need not only the expertise and the experience to do so, but they also need the credibility. We are proud to be supporting this prestigious competition,” concludes Mienie.