The Old Mutual Insure South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition is heating up, with this year's finalists undergoing a rigorous test programme at the Zwartkops Raceway and surrounding areas in early April. At this year's test days, 27 expert jurors reviewed 21 finalists, subjecting them to a comprehensive testing regime across various categories.
"We noticed during the test days that this phase of the competition was particularly gruelling given the list of high-quality vehicles. The jurors had their work cut out for them," said Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure.
During the evaluation days, different tests were conducted to review aspects such as the vehicles' design and engineering, technology, powertrain, practicality, safety, ride and handling, value for money and overall excellence and ingenuity. Value for money, an important criterion, will be further scrutinised in a follow-up study conducted by Lightstone Automotive.
"One of the reasons we came on board as a sponsor of COTY is because we believe innovation in the motoring world will also lead to safer vehicles and roads. We are excited about the Motor Enthusiast Competition, as it assists our broader efforts as an insurer and those of COTY to promote responsible and safe driving habits," said Napier.
"The test days are always the most exciting part of the COTY competition," said Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of the 2023 COTY Committee. "It is a time when the top journalists in the country come together to review the different cars and share their expert opinions about all the competitors to find the category and overall competition winners."
Vehicle scoring is not just for the jurors, though. Old Mutual Insure has launched an exciting COTY 'Motor Enthusiast' public competition as part of the company's road safety program, allowing motor enthusiasts nationwide to win one of five defensive driving vouchers from a leading driver training organisation. a
Following the test days, the individual juror scores are tallied and combined to form the raw scoring, after which the automated scoring process starts, which includes Lightstone Automotive's involvement. The company is COTY's automotive intelligence partner supplying data, such as average monthly sales volumes per product and market segment and specification-adjusted competitor pricing, to complete the scoring process. Finally, the results are formally audited.
"Our jury worked tirelessly to find the winners of this year's competition," Mabuza concluded. "The test days allowed the jurors to immerse themselves in everything the finalists had to offer, contributing to the tough decision of who will be crowned the COTY 2023 winner. This year's COTY winners will be announced on the 1st of June."