THE SOUTH AFRICAN Guild of Motoring Journalists always comes packed with punches, way below the belt.
Un(expected) Porsche Panamera scooped the coveted title at the 2018 Wesbank SA Car of the Year ceremony held at Gallagher Estate on Tuesday evening, by a whisker.
The Italian fought hard to outmuscle Volvo S90 (second place & Alfa Romeo third) respectively.
This how it faired: Panamera got only 3.3% to the second place runner-up, the Volvo S90. The Alfa Romeo Giulia, interestingly, came in third, trailing by 1.18%, while the impressive Suzuki Ignis was not that far off in fourth with a 0.4% difference.
In fact, the top four cars were separated by only 5% collectively, which once again demonstrates the closeness of this year’s competition, commented one of the Jurors and senior motoring reporter at Business Day Lerato Matebese, after the ceremony.
In his delivery address to packed hallroom, Chris de Kock- Wesbank CE said government sales will be hard to improve this year due to services delivery protests.
“This is also exacerbated by dealerships that are also experiencing pressure for the last three years,” he indicated.
However, he congratulated the new President Cyril Ramaphosa, whom he tagged ‘Ramapanther’ much to the applause from the guests clad in their tailor-made designs.
“We look forward working with Pres Ramaphosa and see how best can we improve the strengthening of the rand and other ills that have dearly affected the motoring industry,” said de Kock.
As a norm, finalists were put through their paces during a two-day test programme in Gauteng, were the final round of the competition before the 26-member jury locked in their votes for this year’s winner.
The top cars follow a vote cast by the Jury, from an original list of 35 eligible vehicles.
Yep, that’s the punch I was referring to in my first stanza!