#CarsAwards landmark for Toyota

Toyota South Africa Motors recently became the first automotive manufacturer to win the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank’s prestigious Brand of the Year title for a 3rd time. The Japanese marque also won 5 out of the 13 categories in the 6th iteration of the awards programme.


The #CarsAwards was conceived to be South Africa’s definitive automotive awards programme and the list of vehicles it recognises is meant to guide car buyers to make the best-informed purchasing decisions... The judging panel evaluates vehicles directly against their peers in categories, each of which has particular requirements. What’s more, 50% of the final scores is based on brand-specific after-sales data taken from the ongoing Cars.co.za Consumer Satisfaction Survey (in conjunction with Lightstone Auto), which incorporates customer feedback from thousands of local vehicle owners.  

Since 2015/16, the winners of the annual #CarsAwards – supported by WesBank, the largest provider of vehicle finance in South Africa – had been announced at a gala staged early in the year; in fact, it had become a highlight on the automotive calendar. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the planned 2021 event could unfortunately not be staged live without putting attendees’ health at risk… 

Therefore, the 2020/21 #CarsAwards winners were presented in a television programme, which was formatted to retain the excitement of a live show, and broadcast on DStv on multiple occasions during February 2021. During that show, the audience heard the name “Toyota” many times over…

Fortuner wins for 4th time in a row

The still-new Toyota Starlet 1.4 XR won the Budget Car category at the first time of asking, while the Toyota RAV4 2.0 AWD GX-R, Toyota C-HR 1.2T Luxury and Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Legend Auto took the honours in the Family Car, Crossover and Leisure Double Cab categories respectively. What’s more, the Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 VX Auto continued its domination of the Adventure SUV category, by securing the winner’s trophy for an unprecedented 4th consecutive year.

 “We are delighted to accept the #CarsAwards Brand of the Year trophy as well as the 5 other trophies for product categories,” TSAM’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Leon Theron says. “As a company that is entirely committed to providing best-in-class solutions for our customers, we are truly pleased that the market we are serving is acknowledging our efforts. We, therefore, extend our gratitude to our customers, without whom, no accolade would be possible.”

Survey puts Toyota on top

This means Toyota buyers are very happy with the reliability of their vehicles and the after-sales service that they have received from the marque’s dealers, because, as opposed to the 13 category winners, which are decided by a combination of judges’ scores and consumer data, the recipient of the #CarsAwards Brand of the Year title is determined entirely by market data and the findings of the survey (brands’ respective sales and after-sales service ratings are particularly impactful, as are the percentages of purchase-price value the brands’ finalists retained after three years of ownership).

Although Toyota failed to win a single category during the first two instalments of the #CarsAwards, the Prospecton-based manufacturer famously won the programme’s very first Brand of the Year title in 2015/16. After Suzuki claimed the Brand of the Year title for two consecutive years (2016/17 and 2017/18), Toyota secured the most prestigious trophy again in the 2018/19 programme but finished well behind Volkswagen in 2019/20.

However, having moved up no fewer than 8 places in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey rankings since last year, Toyota won the #CarsAwards Brand of the Year title for a 3rd time. In doing so, it became the most prolific winner of the programme’s most prestigious trophy.

“The Brand of the Year trophy is the ultimate accolade in the local automotive industry… It represents validation from the people who matter most: car owners,” says Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager, Hannes Oosthuizen. “By providing consistently superior after-sales support through the most extensive dealer network in the country, Toyota has put South African consumers first and – based on the feedback by thousands of vehicle owners – they evidently appreciate that.”

Cars.co.za congratulates Toyota on a phenomenal year for the brand – we're certain the Prospecton-based company will be looking to defend its Brand of the Year title in the 2021/22 programme.

For more information on this year's programme and previous iterations of the #CarsAwards, visit www.carsawards.co.za.

Related content:

Winners: 2020/21 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank

Toyota Starlet (2020) Review

Toyota Fortuner (2021) Review

Toyota Hilux Raider (2021) Specs & Price

Toyota RAV4 Gains More Tech