ROTIMI ASHER, Lagos
After a keenly contested race, GAC GS4 Compact SUV defeated Suzuki S-Presso and Geely Coolray to emerge as 2022 Nigeria’s Car of the Year (COTY).
Announced at the 11th edition of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Awards held on Thursday February 9 at the prestigious Oriental Hotels, Lekki, Lagos, the event was attended by critical stakeholders in the nation’s automobile industry, including a representative from the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dauda Ali Biu.
Aside the COTY, the event produced not less than thirty other awards, which were given in various categories. To this end, Range Rover Autobiography was crowned the Luxury SUV of the Year.
Mercedes Benz brand marketed by Weststar Associates Ltd in Nigeria emerged as the Luxury Brand of the Year, defeating BMW and Porsche.
Toyota Nigeria Limited won triple plaques, as its Land Cruiser emerged the SUV of the Year. Toyota Hilux was declared the Pickup of the Year, defeating Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger; And Toyota Hiace won the minibus-of-the-year award.
Suzuki S-Presso, which missed COTY, picked the Budget Car of the Year award. And JAC J7 went home with the outstanding auto design vehicle of the Year.
Lanre Shittu’s JAC truck plant won the Truck plant of the Year, while the JAC truck got recognized as the nation’s Large Truck of the Year.
Still on assembly plant segment, Innoson Motors bagged the Assembly Plant of the Year award. But Stallion Motors is not only the reigning Nigeria’s Multi-brand assembler of the year; its Bajaj Tuk-tuk was declared the three-wheeler of the year.
Mikano’s showroom on Victoria Island Lagos won the Showroom of the Year.
Jet System Company received the Electric Auto Company of the year award, while Micking emerged oil brand of the year. Nord won the best innovative auto company award. Autochek was celebrated as best in online auto finance and marketing.
The duo of R.T. Briscoe and Mandilas Motors were honoured as the nation’s most resilient auto companies, just as Dangote’s Peugeot got the most resilient auto brand award. GUO
Transport emerged as the transport company of the year.
As part of their contributions to the development of Nigeria’s auto industry, Seyi Onajide, MD of RT Briscoe and Kunle Jaiyesimi, DMD of CFAO Motors were honoured with the auto Personality of the Year awards.
Also, the late Chairman of Globe Motors, Willie Anumudu, and the Late Vice President of Coscharis Group, Mrs. Charity Maduka, were given posthumous awards for supporting growth of Nigeria’s auto industry.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma said,‘’the awards recognized stellar performance of auto brands, plants and personalities creating value in the sector based on the criteria, including brand value, market leadership and business strategy against their peers in the past year under review.
According to him, ‘all winners were selected for their impressive performance in Nigeria auto industry despite a challenging macro-economic environment in the past year under review.’’
Commenting on the award, DMD, CFAO Motors, Jaiyesimi, commended NAJA for its consistency over the years, noting that the recognition by NAJA was an indication that great work does not go unnoticed.
Speaking on the award his company received, Jaiyesimi said, “It is gratifying that our many years of commitment and mindful service, with our clients’ needs at heart, are still yielding great results.
“We are deeply honoured to receive this award. To be recognized by NAJA, an umbrella body for auto journalists in Nigeria, is a fulfilling achievement for us.
“This award is about defining our role towards creating value for our employees, customers, shareholders, communities and the society at large.”
The 12th edition of the award would be held later in the year.
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