Automotive brands and their franchisees in the country are getting set for honours come December 1, as organisers of the 2021 Nigerian Auto Awards; Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) announce finalists in each of the awards categories.
Eventual winners in each of the categories will be declared at the event. According to the chairman of the award committee, Theodore Opara, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Creta and Kia Rio will contest for the Car-of-The-Year (COTY) award.
Weststar’s Associates Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and Coscharis Motors’ BMW 7-series will compete in the Luxury car of the year segment. In the compact SUV segment, Toyota RAV4 is coming back to compete with Hyundai Tuscan and Ford Escape for the coveted crown in this ever-growing sector of the Nigerian auto market.
In the Pickup of the year segment, Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Hardbody NP300 are set for another showdown as the contenders are on solid ground. Hilux has won the awards in the past, likewise the Ford Ranger; but this time, the die is cast as anything can happen within the competitors and those that are yet to win the award in the category for the first time.
While Jet Systems is captured in the Electric bus promoter of the year, OMAA is also mentioned on the Gas-powered vehicle promoter of the year as well.
Geely Coolray, being marketed by Mikano international limited, is going head to head with Jaguar F-Pace from the Coscharis Motors’ stable in the outstanding design and technology of the year category.
Elizade Nigeria Ltd will be competing in the auto workshop of the year with Dana Motors and Mandilas Enterprise (Motor Division). In the assembly plant of the year, Dana Motors, Stallion Motors’ VON assembly plant will slug it out in this category.
The Suzuki brand, which is being marketed by CFAO, is listed on the strongest comeback brand award, while PAN has been nominated for the most resilient auto company of the year. Nigeria’s indigenous automaker, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co is captured in auto assembler of the year (local content) because of its immense contribution in the development of the local auto industry and other ancillary allied automotive component makers.
Also giving some insights into some special recognition award, Opara disclosed that the executive governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma will be honoured for his massive patronage of locally assembled vehicles from Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company.
“His gesture has immensely helped to develop the local auto industry and secure jobs for several thousands of Nigerians, and he has been nominated for the Governor of the Year: Automotive Industry Support,” he added.
In his remark, incumbent Chairman of Nigeria’s Auto Journalists Association, Mike Ochonma, said all vehicles nominated in the various categories represent exceptional value and designs. Ochonma said one thing has remained true to the contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence in the country.
“The NAJA award, which is held every year, is part of our contribution towards the development of Nigeria’s automotive industry,” he said.