Old Mutual Insure, one of South Africa’s leading non-life insurers, today announced that it is yet again the driving force behind one of South Africa’s most prestigious competitions, Car of the Year (COTY), for 2023/2024, in partnership with custodians of the competition – the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ). This will be the second consecutive year that sees the insurer as the headline sponsor.
“We are absolutely delighted to power this competition yet again,” said Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure. “COTY raised automotive benchmarks in 2022/2023 in a way that we hadn’t seen before COVID-19 when uncertainty created many challenges for manufacturers, importers, consumers and insurers alike. We learnt that despite a tough market in which more is expected for less, excellence, innovation and performance are still possible. We cannot wait to see what this year has in store.”
This year, Old Mutual Insure will continue to add value to the sponsorship through consumer education awareness and a special emphasis on road safety. Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure, said this could not come at a better time, given that the authorities will soon have its work cut out for itself during the upcoming holiday season to reduce the 2022 festive season fatality figure of 1599.
“Consumers have loved COTY for the value it brings to their lives, helping them make the right vehicle decisions for themselves and their families. It puts consumers in the driving seat of their journeys, so to speak. Road safety awareness is an extension of this concept, as much of what happens on our roads is preventable. Consumer behaviour can lead to better outcomes, which is an empowering opportunity,” said Mnguni, adding that having the right insurance also gives road users the peace of mind to lead their lives.
Old Mutual Insure has offered customers a range of insurance solutions, vehicle and other, underpinned by service excellence and quality, for over 100 years. In much the same way, COTY has an equally proud heritage of awarding automotive excellence since its inception in 1986.
“We look forward to building on the successful collaboration started with Old Mutual Insure last year, which was based on a partnership of equals, signified by credentials and track record,” said Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of 2023 COTY and Vice-Chair of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists.
The COTY jury, including veteran motoring journalists Lerato Matabese and Brenwin Naidu, two of only three World Car of the Year jurors, along with many of their prominent and respected peers, are ready to start the comprehensive process to find the ultimate winner. The announcement of the 2024 COTY Semi-Finalists is scheduled for 12 December 2023 with the Finalist voting taking place early in the new year.
In 2022/2023, the COTY competition had 21 finalists selected from a pool of 55 qualifying vehicles representing various categories, with the ultimate winner being crowned the double cab 4×4 Ford Ranger, a historic win as it was the first time in the competition’s history that the top honours went to a bakkie.
This year, the competition hopes to continue to attract finalists who are astounding, inspiring, and relevant. The COTY committee will review vehicles launched between 01 January 2023 and 30 November 2023 to determine if they meet the requirements to participate. The winner will be announced around mid-2024.
“We are confident that the 2023/2024 COTY competition will continue to raise automotive benchmarks and captivate South Africa. We look forward to driving excellence, innovation, and a safer road ahead for all,” concluded Napier.