In light of Hyundai winning the South African Car of the Year Award 2012, I realised how far we as South Africans have come. Long gone are the days where anything other that Ford and Toyota was frowned upon.
Some degree of brand-stigma still remain among South Africans, but this is definitely not caused by manufacturers building bad cars. When last have you seen a car standing next to the road for anything other than a flat tyre? Cars are now more reliable than ever before.
You have to respect the Koreans, especially, for sticking it out in a country where most things foreign are met with hostility. Having been here since the mid-nineties, they have not enjoyed flourishing sales figures until more recent years. Not only have they drastically improve their products, to such a degree that it more than surpasses most traditional brands, they have actually managed to convince the inconvincible, us. Somehow our eyes were opened to quality, feature-rich and affordable cars. No longer are we stuck in our old ways, driving the cars our grandparents loved.
All around us these cars are creeping into garages, often replacing old favourites, and you know what? We are better off for it!