Autodealer at WesBank SAGMJ Car of the Year testing
Testing in the 2018 Wesbank and SA Guild of Motoring Journalists Car of the Year competition has been completed and jurors meeting at subsequent media events are having the best time arguing about their scores before the final choice will be announced on 13 March at Gallagher Estate in Gauteng.
Readers may wonder what our motoring editor, Anica Krüger, predicts. She has accurately predicted the winner for the past two years on Ignition TV, and this was her first first time as full jury member.
“I really enjoyed driving both the BMW 5-Series and the Alfa Romeo Giulia during the road test days. On track at Kyalami and on the skid pan tests, the Porsche Panamera was very impressive. Where everyday and affordable cars are concerned, the Suzuki Ignis and Kia Picanto were the real surprise packages. The Opel Astra was last year’s winner and a highly popular choice, which I predicted. This year, with ten really excellent finalists to choose from, the prediction is much more difficult. The Alfa Giulia might well snatch the honour, but don’t take your eye off the Ignis either,” is the closest Anica will venture for this year’s winner.
Serving as a juror is considered an honour even in our jaundiced times, and Anica served two years as trainee juror before being voted as a full jury member by other motoring journalists.
The scoring is done using a special digital system, from which the final winner is decided.
WHO IS THIS JUROR?
Krüger rejoined the fourth estate in 2009 as motoring editor after 17 years as media director and co-owner of a successful PR and advertising agency in Gauteng. The company specialised in transport, representing well over a dozen global clients that included automotive and truck brands, courier and express freight, road transport, freight forwarding, shipping lines and several airlines, as well as international tourism and trade authorities.
“We handled everything with wheels and relating to travel, including giants like Lamborghini, FedEx, DAF Trucks, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Cargo Carriers, Grindrod Limited and Toll Global Forwarding,” she recalls. But resting on past successes is not enough and she has diligently continued her professional development (CPD) with SAGMJ and the SA Ethics Institute, of which she is a founding member.
She particularly enjoys dusting off her crystal ball to report on future energy alternatives. Krüger says her mentor in motoring was the greatest of them all - Ben van Rensburg, who was at the helm of Motorbeeld from the beginning.
“Ben took pity on me at the ‘platteland’ editorial desk and nominated me to cover rallies as far-flung as the Kalahari. That way I could also report on the largest watermelons in a particular district in the same go,” Krüger smiles.
The real spark of love for motoring was ignited by Land Rover and Leyland Trucks where Krüger launched several models as media director and co-owner, later as managing director of the PR and advertising agency.
“Those were the years I should have bought a Porsche or two, but I left that to my stockbroker brother. Instead I spent it all on following Manchester United,” she says. “Not a minute’s regret about that either - I saw most of the greatest goals scored during the Alex Ferguson era with my own eyes. The Southern Cape was also a great place to be during the 2010 World Cup, with three international teams based in Knysna and George.”
That’s why Krüger’s cars - and preferably test cars too - just have to be red!
The 26-member jury voted for the finalists from an original list of 35 eligible vehicle ranges. The finalists are, in alphabetical order: Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi q5, BMW 5 Series, Kia Picanto, Land Rover Discovery, Peugeot 3008, Porsche Panamera, Suzuki Ignis, Toyota C-HR and Volvo S90.
Comrades - but each has their own opinion on the best cars. From left: Egmont Sippel (Rapport), Anica Krüger and Ray Leathern blogger).
Scoring is not for the weak. Anica Krüger (right) and jury partner, Speed Queen Jeanine-Lee van der Post, get their teeth into the digital rating at the end of day one.
The Porche Panamera being put through its paces on the Kyalami track.