The Hyundai Creta has emerged as Nigeria’s Car Of The Year (COTY) 2021, after being nominated alongside the Kia Rio and the Toyota Corolla.

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Making the announcement yesterday at a well attended Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Award event held at the high end Eko hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, NAJA explained that the compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) came tops because of it quality and popularity on Nigeria roads.

The highest product award given by the Nigeria Automotive journalists annually, was handed over to Stallion Motors (authorized distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Nigeria) team led by Mr. Gaurav Vashisht.

Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi delightfully handed over the award plaque to the winner on behalf of NAJA.

Aside the COTY, some other products/services and frontline personalities were also recognized by NAJA, including Boboye Oyeyemi PhD, MFR (Corps Marshal, FRSC) as Road Safety Personality Of The Decade; and Chief Diana Chen (Chairman/CEO, CIG Group) as Nigeria Auto CEO Of The Year

Others are Chief Michael Ade.Ojo (founder, Toyota Nigeria Limited) as Pillar of Nigeria Auto Industry; Jelani Aliyu MFR (DG, NADDC) as Auto Personality Of the Year (Public Sector); and Jacky Hathiramani (MD, Dana Motors) as Auto Personality Of the Year (Corporate).

Also included in the winners list are Mercedes-Benz S-Class – Luxury Car Of The Year; Range Rover Velar as Luxury SUV Of The Year; Toyota Hilux as Pick Up Of The Year; and Lanre Shittu Motors (JAC) as Auto Plant Of The Year (Truck).

Mandilas Motors won as Auto Workshop Of The Year; Shacman (TSS) as Truck Of The Year (Heavy Duty); Suzuki (CFAO) as Outstanding Comeback Of The Year; Toyota Starlet as Most Transformed New Entrant Of The Year; and Hyundai Kona as Electric Vehicle Of The Year.

PAN Nigeria Limited was named as the Most Resilient Auto Assembler; Jet Systems as Electric Vehicle Promoter Of The Year; OMAA s Gas Powered Auto Assembler Of The Year; Funmi Abiola and Beatrice Oyesile as Communication/Marketing Managers Of The Year; Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) as Auto Manufacturer Of The Year (Local Content); and Massilia Motors as Most Innovative Auto Company of The Year.

NAJA also announced Work & Play as Motor Rally Promoter Of The Year; Nord Tank as Outstanding New Pickup Of The Year; Geely Coolray as Compact SUV Of The Year (Outstanding Design/Technology); GAC GS8 as Most Fascinating SUV Of The Year; Kia K5 (Optima) as Executive Car Of The Year; Autochek as Online Auto Company of the year; and Toyota Hiace as Mini Bus Of The Year.

Chairman of the planning committee of the 2021 NAJA Awards, Theodore Opara explained that this year’s awards covered 2020 and 2021 because the event did not hold last year due to covid-19 restrictions.

In the same vein, the Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma stated that the awards remain a credible means to review and reward players in the automotive industry in both the public and private sectors.