Hyundai Creta, the compact car crossover Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has been named as the Car of the Year 2018 at the recent auto awards organised by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA).
Also, Mercedes Benz S-Class was named as the Luxury Car of the Year while 19 other companies received awards in different categories and special recognitions for their performances within the year.
Major stakeholders present at the award night included Mr. Aliyu Jelani, the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), representative of the Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of automobile companies like Weststar Automobile Limited, Hyundai Nigeria Limited also graced the occasion.
To emerge as the Car of the Year 2018, Hyundai Creta overwhelmingly beat Toyota Corolla and GAC GA3 to the award, while Mercedes Benz S-class, defeated BMW 7-series, to be named as the Luxury Car of the Year 2918.
Besides, Range Rover Autobiography went home with the prestigious Luxury SUV of the Year, while Toyota Hilux and Toyota Hiace emerged the winner of Pick-up of the year and Mini Bus of the year, respectively.
Besides, Mitsubish Fuso Canter, was named as the Light Truck of the Year, JAC emerged as Heavy Duty Truck Brand of the Year, while Massilia Motors won the award of Most Innovative Auto Company of the Year 2018.
Tyre Brand of the Year 2018 award went to Ceat, Auto Insurance Company of the Year 2018 award was won by Aiico Insurance Plc, Workshop of the Year award went to Mandilas, while Auto Assembly Plant of the Year award was won by Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN).
For special recognitions, Primero Transport Services, was named as Road Transport Operator of the Year, Yutong named as High Capacity Passenger Bus of the Year, Castrol (Eterna Oil Plc) emerged as the Outstanding Lubricant of the Year.
Others with special recognitions were Micking, which was named as the Best New Entrant Lubricant of the Year, LUBCON emerged as the Indigenous Lubricant of the Year, JAC T6 Pickup clinched the recognition as the Auto Value for Money of the Year, GAC GA3 was named as the Outstanding Design of the Year (Small Sedan), Toyoya Camry was named as the Outstanding Design of the Year (Big Sedan) and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross received the recognition as the Outstanding Design of the Year (SUV).
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Mike Ochonma, the Chairman of NAJA, said that NAJA award was the most prestigious and only recognised auto award in the country.
On the modalities for picking the winners, Ochonma stated that they were arrived at after an exhaustive, but objective evaluation of competitors in each of the categories selected.
He said that, the award winners, which were arrived at through members’ votes, would among other things; provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Moses Ebosele, Chairman of the Award Committee, emphasised that the annual event always provided 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.
Besides, Mr. Parvir Singh, Managing Director of Stallion Motors Nigeria Limited (HMNL), lauded the organisers for putting up the award and for finding the Hyundai Creta worthy for the car of the year award.
He promised that the company would continue to uphold the integrity, which the company was known for, while contributing positively to the country’s auto industry.