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SA Car of the Year Announces AutoTrader as New Title Sponsor

Sep 17, 2018
SA Car of the Year Announces AutoTrader as New Title Sponsor

South Africa’s renowned car competition gets a digital makeover

This year the iconic SA Car of the Year (SACOTY) competition receives a digital media injection with the announcement of South Africa’s largest online motoring marketplace, AutoTrader, taking over the title sponsorship.

The South African Car of the Year award has always been a pivotal moment in the motoring year, a decree that shapes both motoring interest and sales for the year to come. With AutoTrader on board, the competition gets its digital evolution, bringing buyers and sellers together like never before.

“Partnering with the South African Car of the Year competition is an opportunity for us to add value to the motoring industry, in a variety of new ways,” said AutoTrader CEO George Mienie. “It is the most reputable, prestigious and longest running motoring award in the country. We’re excited to tackle this new opportunity.”

First run in 1986, the SACOTY was founded by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ), itself approaching 57 years in existence. AutoTrader’s added 26 years of experience give the competition over a century of combined motoring know-how, along with a shared desire for innovation.

“The new partnership with AutoTrader starts an era of a new look for the South African Car of the Year Competition. After much discussion with our stakeholders, the 2019 event will certainly suit the entire motor industry,” said Roger McCleery, President of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.

Innovation planned for the 2019 competition includes the introduction of individual categories alongside one overall winner; a re-engineered qualifying period to ensure the bulk of the new releases in September are included; and the all important inclusion of the consumer vote, made possible by AutoTrader’s in-market car shopper audience.

“The consumer ultimately votes with their wallets, and we aligned with the Guild in our desire to include this important element to the competition” adds Angelique Lynch, AutoTrader Marketing Director.

With a judging process based on both rigorous judge selection - the competition uses a minimum of 22 judges chosen by voting, peer, and industry-wide selection, across the SAGMJ’s 300 plus membership; and relentless judging criteria - cars are personally scored on between 10 and 12 factors, test driven on track and road, and verified by each judge within a set time period - the SACOTY is respected across the globe.

“The South African Car Of the Year competition remains about excellence and our jury has always reflected that sentiment; it takes a minimum of 5 years for any journalist to be eligible for jury duty” said Rubin Van Niekerk, Chairman of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.