CarsAwards heads for Gerotek – and Mall of Africa

It’s a big week for the Consumer Awards, with 39 finalist vehicles in 13 categories of the 2023/24 programme – as well as 20 judges – heading for the Gerotek testing facility to complete two days of back-to-back, real-world testing. Furthermore, the 39 contenders (and some of the judges) will appear at the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg this weekend!

“We are thrilled to add another element to the Consumer Awards,” says Head of Special Projects at, Hannes Oosthuizen. “As the name indicates, these awards exist to assist consumers in their car buying journey, and by taking all 39 vehicles to a busy, public space such as the Mall of Africa, our message is clear – these are the top vehicles you should consider in 13 of the most important categories of the new-vehicle market. It’s a mammoth logistical challenge, but consumer awareness of #CarsAwards is critical to its success.”

Several CarsAwards-themed displays will be dotted throughout the Mall of Africa on Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of November. What’s more, several of the CarsAwards judges will be in attendance, and doing interviews with video presenter Ciro De Siena. Expect to see judges Juliet McGuire, Kumbi Mtshakazi, Muzi Sambo, Mpho Mahlangu, MrHowMuch, Rebaneilwe Semakane, Brendon Staniforth, Tshidi Malebana, Jacob Moshokoa and, of course,’s very own Ashley Oldfield, David Taylor and Gero Lilleike in attendance.

Consumers will not only be able to view the finalist vehicles, but also enter some exciting competitions with fantastic prizes, including a weekend getaway valued at R20 000, simply by indicating their preferences in the vehicle categories. “We expect a very busy weekend, and a very ‘ red’ Mall of Africa,” says Oosthuizen.

The importance of Gerotek testing

Unlike other automotive award programmes, the Consumer Awards considers all vehicles that are available in the domestic new-vehicle market on a given date (1 September 2023, in the case of the 2023/24 instalment). From this pool, the judges pick 65 semi-finalists and the list is whittled down to 39 finalists using a rigorous set of criteria, including the feedback from owners and market insight from’s deep knowledge of the automotive market.

The 3 finalists in each category are then pitted against one another during a two-day test at Gerotek, with specific judges assigned to each category. Their inputs are weighted, based on the category, and combined with the customer data from the Ownership Satisfaction Survey, conducted by Lightstone Consumer, to truly find the best vehicle in each category.

This process means that if a manufacturer offers poor service support or sub-par durability, it will show up in the Ownership Satisfaction Survey and act as a counterbalance to excellent on-track and -road performance at Gerotek. Similarly, a car brand may prove to offer exceptional service and durability (based on the gathered survey data), but if its product doesn't stand out above its peers on merit, it could fall short in the final phase.

The winners of the 2023/24 Consumer Awards will be named in late February 2024.

“Once we have determined the category winners and awarded trophies to the manufacturers of those vehicles (including Brand of the Year), we will start an intensive marketing campaign to spread the CarsAwards message to consumers. After all, our goal with CarsAwards is to impact consumer behaviour by assisting in the decision-making process,” concludes Oosthuizen.