The Motus Group garnered plenty of goodwill as well as extensive visibility for its new brand and logo when it sponsored a four-car media team in the recent WesBank SA Fuel Economy Tour in partnership with FNB.
The highlight was a class win for Lerato Matebese, the editor of Driven and his managing editor, Deon van der Walt, in a Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost. It came out top in Class J1 for cars with turbocharged petrol engines under 1 100cc. The Fiesta’s consumption figure of 5.2105 l/100km also helped Ford to fifth place in the Most Efficient Brand category.
Ferdi de Vos and Tjaart Kruger, of Die Burger, also put up a sterling performance as they took their Nissan Navara 2.3D double cab bakkie to third place in the keenly contested Class D1, recording a figure of 6.962 l/100km.
The other two Motus Group entries both got lost and arrived late at timing control points, with the penalty being one litre of fuel for each minute of lateness.
The Fiat Tipo 1.3 multi-jet Easy crewed by Brenwin Naidu and Bruce Fraser, of Sowetan Motoring, picked up 29 penalties but still got a figure of 6.0562 l/100km in Class A1 for turbo diesel sedans and hatchbacks with engines of less than 1 900cc. However, without the penalties the Fiat would have been right up near the top of the results. It used 118.2601 litres of fuel, which was the fourth least behind the Renault Captur (115.0582 litres), Toyota Aygo (117.5130 litres), and the Nissan Qashqai (118.2601 litres).Even with the penalties the Fiat placed 20th overall out of the 40 vehicles in the field.
Meanwhile journalist Riyad Jaffer, of Lenasia Motoring, and blogger Kesh Naidoo, in a Honda Civic 1.5T with a VTEC turbo engine, returned a figure of 6.3532 l/100km in Class J2 for turbo petrol cars with engines between 1 200cc and 1 500cc despite 11 penalty points.
Motus Corporation, the largest dealer network in South Africa, which was established as a standalone entity a year ago when Imperial Holdings was split into two companies, used the Economy Tour and its team of journalists as part of its brand building strategy.
“South African consumers are tightening their belts, not only with the initial purchase price of an asset, but also, in the case of buying a new vehicle, are the running costs, where fuel is a major expense, along with maintenance, security and insurance,” explained Corné Venter, CEO of Motus Retail and Rental.
“This was confirmed recently in focus groups conducted by Motus where consumers said that fuel consumption is becoming increasingly important when choosing a new vehicle. Motus sees the Fuel Economy Tour as an ideal opportunity to participate in an event which produce realistic fuel consumption figures for South African motorists and highlight the most fuel-efficient vehicles in each vehicle category,” added Corné Venter.