The Standard Bank People’s Wheels Conference and Awards in association with Times Media Events took place today at the Sandton Convention Centre. With the whole set up arranged to resemble a boxing match, the event was appropriately themed as a knock-out.
Following a nationwide survey of the motoring public, 22 winners were named and the overall winner – recording the most votes and dubbed the People’s Choice – was Mercedes-Benz’s newly introduced V-Class.
In the preferred fuel category, Engen officially took home its fifth consecutive award and reigning champion Continental took the top spot once more as the preferred tyre replacement brand.
“As the key enabler in helping people realise their dreams and aspirations, Standard Bank views the awards as a valuable and honest informational tool from consumers. We would like to congratulate all the deserving winners in their various categories. The People have spoken,” said Nicholas Nkosi, Head of Vehicle and Asset Finance – Retail Banking at Standard Bank.
The conference element of the event included two panel discussions. On the topic of global versus local: an evaluation of trends and affairs in the automotive industry with specific focus placed on brand reputation, sales revenue, product development and quality, the panel comprised of Selvin Govender, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars; Des Fenner, General Manager, Datsun South Africa; Nicholas Nkosi, Head of Vehicle and Asset Finance – Retail Banking, Standard Bank and Guy Kilfoil, General Manager: Brand Management BMW, Marketing Services BMW Group.
The second panel was dealer centric and examined Viability vs Survival. The chairperson, Jeremy Maggs, posed some hard hitting questions to the panel, which included Derik Scorer, Senior National Vice Chairman, National Automobile Dealers’ Association; Keith Dye, Head: Vehicle and Asset Finance, Standard Bank; Bruce Allen, Chairperson, National Automobile Dealers’ Association and Derick de Vries, Senior Vice President of Auto, at Transunion.
“The topics at this year’s event really resonated with the industry considering that they were topical in terms of macro-economic issues the country and the globe is facing currently. The engagements across both panel discussions provided insights and solutions which we can all go back and integrate into our respective working environments,” Mr. Nkosi said.
Fenner, who participated in one of the panels was excited about this opportunity and said, “We place particular value in being part of the People’s Wheels Awards, as it reflects the views of South African motorists. For Datsun, being selected to participate has been a real privilege. The People’s Wheels Awards epitomise Datsun’s philosophy of providing affordable motoring to emerging middle class South Africans. Of that, the cars South Africans need are not necessarily the most luxurious or expensive cars in the market, but are those that offer affordable mobililty with real value.”
In the category wins, vehicles from Ford owned the bakkie and small and compact SUV categories and took a total of four awards for their much awarded Ford Ranger – both single and double cab – and their newbies the Ecosport and the Kuga.
The sexiest hybrid on our roads, BMW’s i8 outdid its competitors in the Hybrids and Electrics category. Range Rover’s Evoque and the Range Rover Sport were the champions in the Premium Class and Luxury SUVs & Crossovers categories.
By far the most formidable contender was Mercedes-Benz. Of the 16 categories in which the brand featured as finalists, it managed to knock out competitors in six to take top honours – plus the People’s Choice Award to add the cherry on top.
Volkswagen nabbed three trophies, Jaguar took two and Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche each walked away with an award.
There are other more quantitative benefits to participating in the survey and all those are carefully documented in the 2016 edition of the Auto Annual – which was released at the event. The 228-page publication details crucial insights for marketers, industry professionals and anyone with a genuine interest for things automotive.
“It’s now five years into the People’s Wheels awards programme and the support from both industry and ordinary South Africans has been overwhelmingly positive. As the saying goes, ‘the customer is king’ and we are glad to present the thousands of voices of consumers to the auto industry through the awards and the Auto Annual,” says Wynter Murdoch, Group Motoring Editor at Times Media Group.
Wilma Lawrence was one very fortunate first time voter who walked away with a handsome cheque for R25 000 – a lucky draw incentive offered to anyone who took part in either of the People’s Wheels Awards surveys.
Herewith a complete list of all the winners in their respective categories:
|Preferred Fuel Brand||Engen|
|Preferred Tyre Replacement Brand||Continental|
|Highly Recommended Dealerships||Action FORD Roodepoort / AURIC AUTO Claremont / AUTO BAVARIA Midrand / CMH Bryanston / GRAND CENTRAL MOTORS Midrand / WILLIAMS HUNT Port Elizabeth|
|Ownership Survey – Brand Champion||Mercedes-Benz|
|Category 1: Budget Buys||VOLKSWAGEN Polo Vivo|
|Category 2: Compact Commuters||VOLKSWAGEN Polo|
|Category 3: Compact Executive Cars||MERCEDES-BENZ A-Class / CLA|
|Category 4: Family Friendly Cars||MERCEDES-BENZ C-Class|
|Category 5: Mid-Sized Executive Cars||JAGUAR XF|
|Category 6: Premium Luxury Cars||MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class|
|Category 7: Super Luxury Cars||ASTON MARTIN Rapide|
|Category 8: Sporty Drop Tops||JAGUAR F-Type|
|Category 9: Super Sports Cars||LAMBORGHINI Aventador|
|Category 10: Sports Coupés||AUDI TT|
|Category 11: Premium Class Coupés||PORSCHE Cayman|
|Category 12: Hot Hatches / Sedans / Coupés||MERCEDES-BENZ A45 / CLA 45 AMG|
|Category 13: Compact MPVs & People Carriers||VOLKSWAGEN Touran|
|Category 14: Large MPVs & People Carriers||MERCEDES-BENZ V-Class|
|Category 15: Small SUVs & Crossovers||FORD Ecosport|
|Category 16: Compact SUVs & Crossovers||FORD Kuga|
|Category 17: Premium Class SUVs & Crossovers||RANGE ROVER Evoque|
|Category 18: Luxury SUVs & Crossovers||LAND ROVER Range Rover Sport|
|Category 19: Hybrids & Electrics||BMW i8|
|Category 20: Light Delivery Vehicles||MERCEDES-BENZ Vito Panel Van|
|Category 21: Single Cab Bakkies||FORD Ranger|
|Category 22: Double Cab Bakkies||FORD Ranger|
|Most Votes Overall: PEOPLE’S CHOICE||MERCEDES-BENZ V-Class|