It was a harvest of awards by leading auto brands, tyre, lubricants brands in the country as the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) recently presented different categories of awards to deserving winners at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The award night which had the director general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aliyu Jelani and the representative of the Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) as special guests was well attended by many chief executives and other stakeholders in the nation’s automotive sector..
In the award categories for 2018, Hyundai Creta won the Car of The Year (COTY) Award beating Toyota Corolla and GAC GA3.
In the Luxury Car of The Year, Mercedes Benz S-class emerged winner ahead of BMW 7-series while the Luxury SUV of the Year award went to Range rover Autobiography.
Toyota Hilux and Toyota Hiace clinched the Pick-up of the Year award and Mini Bus of the Year awards respectively.
Indigenous Lubricant of the year went to Lubcon, just as Ceat smiled home with the Tyre brand of the year. Miking won Best New Entrant Lubricant.
Also Massilia was named as the Most Innovative Auto Company (Mitsubishi) while Mitsubishi Fuso Canter grabbed the Light Duty Truck of the year award and JAC T6 won Auto Value for money. AIICO won the Auto Insurance Company of the year, among others.
While the Yutong bus won the High Capacity Commercial Passenger Bus of the year, the JAC truck won the Heavy Duty Truck of the year. Both are assembled in Nigeria by Kojo Motors and Lanre Shittu Motors respectively.
Other winners are -Workshop of The Year, Mandilas; Auto Assembly Plant of the Year, PAN; Road Transport Operator of The Year, Primero Transport Services; and Outstanding Lubricant of The Year, Castrol (Eterna Oil Plc).
Also, Outstanding Design of the Year (Small Sedan) went to GAC GA3; Outstanding Design of the Year (Big Sedan) was won by Toyota Camry; and Outstanding Design of the Year (SUV) went to Mitsubishi Eclipse.
In his welcome speech, Mike Ochonma, the newly elected Chairman of NAJA, said that NAJA award is the most prestigious and only recognised auto award in the country.
Stating that awards is the only recognised award nationally and internationally, and that the winners were arrived at after an exhaustive, but objective evaluation of competitors in each of the categories
He said that, the award winners which was arrived at through members’ votes, will among other things, provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.
According to Moses Ebosele, Chairman of the Award Committee, the annual event always provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in the sector to come together to celebrate and exchange ideas especially in the areas of manufacturing, efficiency, innovation and corporate social responsibility.
In his response, managing director of Stallion Motors Nigeria Limited (HMNL), Parvir Singh thanked the organisers for putting up the award and for finding the Hyundai Creta worthy for the COTY award.
He promised that the company will continue to uphold the integrity which the company has been known for, while contributing positively for the Nigeria Auto industry.
Also, Corporate Affairs Manager of Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), Mrs Bukola Ogunnusi expressed appreciation for the myriad of awards given to TNL for 2018.