Opel Astra, the reigning European Car of the Year, has been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Wesbank South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition. This is the second successive year in which an Opel has been named COTY finalist in South Africa after ADAM and Corsa were voted as finalists last year.
The Astra which was launched in South Africa in April this year has received great accolades from local as well as international media. Packed with segment leading safety, infotainment and driver aid technology, the Opel Astra is a game changer in the mid-size hatchback segment giving buyers access to technology usually reserved for luxury vehicles.
“We’ve won the big European prize and it would be a real honour to add the local trophy to our cabinet,” commented Brian Olson, vice president vehicle sales, service, and marketing GM Sub-Saharan Africa. “There’s no doubt that Europe’s top automotive communicators found the Astra to be the best of the best and we hope that evaluators from the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists reach the same conclusion. Local customers have certainly recognized the Astra as the best in its class, so far demand has far outstripped supply with the new Astra achieving its best market share in 20 years”
Of course, COTY success is not new to the Opel brand, both here and abroad. In 1985 a previous Astra generation was the European COTY, while on the local front Opel products were chosen by the SAGMJ evaluators as their benchmark car in 1991, 1994 and 1995.
Past and present Astra models clearly have got what it takes to win. The current Astra has averaged close to 100 units a month since launch, and holds about 10 percent of the C-segment hatchback market share, April to August.
The SAGMJ COTY jury will evaluate the Astra and the other finalists in early February 2017, with the winner announced on 15 March 2017.