SAMBRA recognises excellence
The Gold award for Best Insurer 2023 went to ABSA. Pictured from left, Marcia Modiba – SAMBRA Acting National Director, Ipeleng Mabusela - RMI CEO Strategy and Corporate Support, Patricia Hempel- ABSA Insurance, Gerald Scholtz - ABSA Insurance and Paul Marshall - Managing Director of Lightstone

ABSA has scooped top honours, and for the second consecutive year, won the prestigious SA Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA) Insurer of the Year award followed closely by AIG with a silver award. Both Bryte Insurance and OUTsurance walked away with a joint bronze award.

Replicating the success of last year, Volkswagen Group South Africa received top honours for all-round best OEM followed by Ford Motor Company SA winning silver and BMW MINI South Africa winning bronze. R-M triumphed as best Paint Brand followed by Sikkens and then a joint bronze for Glasurit and PPG Coatings. 

The award ceremony, which this year was once again jointly hosted by SAMBRA and Lightstone, took place in Johannesburg on Thursday 18 April at Bryanston Country Club honouring top vehicle insurers and OEMs, as well as automotive Refinishing brands, for excellence in service provision to SAMBRA members.  Guests were treated to a beautiful rendition of “A million dreams” from young 19-year old soloist Jordan Rogers and an inspirational talk from dynamic business women, extreme athlete and inspirational icon, Lee Den Hond.

SAMBRA, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), represents the majority of motor body repairers in the country. SAMBRA focuses on creating and maintaining industry sustainability and development and the annual awards are one of its flagship projects.

“This year the awards followed the new methodology on which the awards were restructured last year. The criteria and questions for the 2023 survey encourages a much broader response from our motor body repair sector and really hones in on the top five suppliers they do the most business with. We believe this is a truer reflection of what is happening on the ground and were excited to see the results again this year,” says Charles Canning, SAMBRA National Chairman.

The annual SAMBRA Survey upon which these awards are based, was inaugurated in 2011 and each year since has monitored the business relationship between the insurance and motor body repair industry. Over the years it has been expanded and modified but this was the first big change in a number of years.

“The primary objective of this important annual initiative is to measure and track the overall satisfaction levels of the SAMBRA member with Insurers OEMs and Automotive Refinishing brands. As noted earlier, the remodelled survey has been shortened to reduce respondent fatigue, encourage participation and most importantly display cognisance of every SAMBRA members’ time investment in the completion of the survey, while operating in this fast-paced environment,” says Bernard De Vantier-Strydom, Head of Projects and Research at Lightstone, who independently collated and audited the research and are the headline sponsor of the awards.

The survey targets the eligible 654 SAMBRA members nationwide to rate the insurers, OEMs and Refinishing Partners.  In the Insurer category there were 7 questions and awards related to Service Excellence, Payment practices and the overall winner. In the OEM category there were 9 questions relating to Communication Excellence, Best Business Practices, Best Training and the overall winner and finally in the Automotive Refinishing category there was just one question to determine the best paint brand relating to the quality of their product and value for money offered.  

Canning emphasises that the Association’s focus, has been, and remains, on fostering greater levels of cooperation and coordination between all players in the motor body repair industry, whether small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or large groups, insurance or other supply brands to increase collaboration between stakeholders and prepare the industry for new technologies.

“We would like to extend our congratulations to all our winners who continue to demonstrate excellence in their respective categories and who, together with SAMBRA, create a more robust and resilient industry,” concludes Canning.