The Nigerian auto industry has come alive again following the announcement by the Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) to hold the 2022 edition of its annual awards on Wednesday January 25, 2023 at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Towers, Victoria Island.
Auto industry players are particularly excited about the introduction of new categories including the most popular brand whose products are most visible cutting across different models.
Speaking on the new date, Chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr Rasheed Bisiriyu, stated that it had always been the tradition of the organizers to schedule the award ceremonies to coincide with the end-of-the-year festive period, but it had to be rescheduled for the New Year due to some unforeseen circumstances.
According to him, the NAJA awards which annually reward excellence in the Nigerian automotive industry, has over the years become a great platform to bring together critical stakeholders in the industry.
“One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in the automotive field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector.”
He also said nominated vehicles would be judged based on value for money, pricing, cost of maintenance, depreciation rate, fuel consumption, warranty & dealer access and insurance.
“It will also be judged on design and functionality which will take into account factors such as safety, environment, seating comfort, space, practicality and ergonomics.
“Nominated vehicles will also be selected based on performance such as handling, braking, smoothness and quietness,” he added.
He said once the expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money are applied, the nominees in all the categories would be announced.
“Every year, we adapt the scoring system slightly to consider new global and local market trends to ensure the credibility and objectivity of the awards, ” Bisiriyu said.
In his own remarks, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, explained that the change in the traditional date would not in any way affect the glamour and credibility of the awards.
He said new categories such as Most Popular Auto Brand had been added to the 2022 edition.
He assured stakeholders of utmost objectivity, credibility and integrity.
“NAJA awards present a platform for the automotive industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of manufacturing, assembling, technology, stewardship, franchising and innovation,” he added.
$1bn investment recorded in auto industry – Minister
The Federal Government has recorded more than one billion dollars’ worth of investments in the automotive industry. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this in Abuja on Tuesday when he featured at the 20th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series organsied by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
“Over one billion dollars in investment has been recorded in the automotive sector and we are ready to move on to the next phase for the automotive industry,” the minister said.
He said the review of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was almost completed, adding that the plan was going through validation process.
Adebayo restated the ministry’s commitment toward enabling business environment to attract and retain investments.
According to him, the ministry and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) are committed to attracting and protecting investments that genuinely benefit Nigeria and its citizens.
He said that the revised Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would boost investment.
“Nigeria has successfully revised its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to include a specific provision for investment facilitation, which institutionalizes the principle of assisting investors in completing their investments.
“We are proud to offer Nigeria’s first investment policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.
“This strategic statement, which will outline our priorities, aims, commitments, and expectations, is a turning point for the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and Nigeria as an investment destination,” he said.
Adebayo, who said that Nigeria had Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments, said the ministry was developing more.
“We have IPPAs with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments. The president ratified both accords on Sept. 16, 2022 and we are developing more IPPAs,” he said.
Adebayo said the ministry also distributed 5,571 acceptance certificates worth N7.7 trillion to 2,665,800 firms.
“The acceptance certificates allow businesses claim tax reduction when computing Company Income Tax.
“We also issued more than 130 Production Day Certificates, a crucial Pioneer Status Incentive step,’’ the minister said.
To further accelerate industrialisation, Adebayo said that the ministry was expediting the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.
According to him, the special economic zones will increase infrastructure availability and provide fiscal incentives for value addition.
Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors
Coscharis Motors has announced its readiness to introduce the popular rugged off-road vehicle, Grenadier, to the Nigerian auto market.
This follows the naming of the auto company by INEOS Automotive as its official retail partner in Nigeria.
Nigeria is the sixth market in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the brand after South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.
A statement on Monday by Abiona Babarinde, the auto firm’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “The first Grenadier demonstrator vehicles are expected to arrive in Nigeria in early 2023 with customer deliveries expected to commence within the first quarter.
“All after-sales servicing will be conducted at a dedicated workshop also located in Lagos.”
Commenting on this partnership, the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said, “We are proud that INEOS Automotive has appointed Coscharis Motors to represent its brand in Nigeria. “This milestone marks another step in the evolution of our company. With our history and experience of the Nigerian market, we know that the INEOS Grenadier is going to be a serious player in the off-road segment.
“We have no doubt that the Grenadier has what it takes to handle Africa’s tough terrain and that it is the perfect option to meet the specific demands of those who need a capable, refined, and reliable off-road vehicle in the region. We look forward to the first customer test drives and hearing public feedback, because this vehicle is definitely going to stir things up in Nigeria.”
The statement quoted Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s Head of Region South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, as saying, “We are carefully selecting our partners across the SSA region, to find people who know their local market and customers, and also understand our brand.
“Coscharis Motors shares our belief that the INEOS Grenadier is the perfect vehicle not only for Nigeria, but for the continent. Our shared passion for off-roading, along with their excellent reputation in the automotive industry, makes it the perfect partnership for Grenadier in Nigeria.”
Coscharis says the Grenadier has been developed to be refined on the road and extraordinarily capable off-road.
“The Grenadier is powered by a choice of two straight-six, 3.0-litre BMW engines. Both the BMW B57 diesel and B58 petrol powertrains have a proven track record, regularly appearing in top ten world’s best engine lists since 2016. They have been used in everything from sports cars to SUVs.
“The two power units bring BMW’s sophistication and refinement to the Grenadier, but they have been enhanced by INEOS Automotive’s engineering team. As well as providing powerful acceleration on tarmac, they also deliver peak torque at low revs – sustaining it through the rev range – for optimal off-road performance,” it states.
It also notes that the carefully calibrated characteristics help the driver to confidently manage the vehicle’s momentum and grip without stressing the engine, ensuring full control when tackling tricky terrain.
It adds, “The refined turbo petrol engine produces 286PS (210kW) and 450Nm (332 lb ft) of torque, while the twin-turbo diesel generates 249PS (183kW) and 550Nm (406 lb ft), for even greater pulling power. Start/stop is built-in, increasing range and preserving air quality when the vehicle is stationary.
“While it is every inch a rugged 4X4, it ticks all the right boxes on the road, too. The chassis combines a five-link suspension setup with Brembo brakes and Bridgestone tyres, meaning the Grenadier is composed, well- mannered and fun to drive no matter what the terrain.”
The firm also reveals that by the end of this year, INEOS Automotive plans to have a network of more than 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier spanning over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers.
Lagos gov, FRSC boss for Nigeria Auto Awards where Chinese, popular brands will flex muscles
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dauda Biu, will be special guests at the forthcoming Nigeria auto industry award.
The award scheduled to hold at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, on February 9, 2023 will witness the emergence of the car of year (2022), outstanding pickup and best-performing truck in Nigeria, among others, where both popular brands are competing with Chinese products.
According to the organisers, Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, other stakeholders that have also indicated interest to be part of the prestigious award ceremony are Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), CFAO Motors, Dangote Peugeot, Kewalram Nigeria Limitedrarf, Mikano Motors and Lanre Shittu Motors.
RT Briscoe, Elizade Autoland, Jet System, Nord Motors, Autochek, GUO Transport, among others have equally confirmed their participation in the formost auto industry event in the country.
Already, finalists have been shortlisted for the auto awards, with GAC GS4, Geely Coolray and Suzuki S-Presso nominated for the ultimate car-of-the-year award category.
NAJA Auto Awards is an annual event that celebrates auto brands across the entire industry value chain in Nigeria.
According to the awards committee, dozens of distinguished automotive journalists from different mediums selected the finalists based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their professional work.
In the Truck-of-the-Year category, the contest will involve Sinotruk by Dangote, Shacman truck by TSS and JAC truck from Lanre Shittu Motors.
Innoson, Mikano and GAC will slug it out in the Assembly Plant-of-the-Year category.
In the luxury car segment, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW models are the front runners.
Elizade Autoland (JAC), Stallion Hyundai and CFAO Motors will battle for the outstanding auto workshop honour.
In the SUV category (compact), Kia Selto, Geely Coolray and GAC GS4 have been nominated.
For Large SUV, Toyota Land Cruiser will lock horns with GAC GS8, BMW X7 and Range Rover (Autobiography).
Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger will battle for the Best Pickup award.
Lanre Shittu (JAC truck), TSS (Shacman) and Dangote Sinotruk will also battle again for the truck plant of the year award.
Giving insights into the nominees, Chairman of the 2022 Award Committee, Rasheed Bisiriyu, said all vehicles nominated in the various categories represent exceptional value and designs.
“We are using our respected, trusted platform to recognise and acknowledge best-performing brands in different segments and categories across the entire auto value chain.”
According to him, the award event, which has now become a major industry show, celebrates and rewards automotive excellence.
He also disclosed that the Managing Director of RT Briscoe, Mr Seyi Onajide, and Deputy Managing Director of CFAO Motors, Mr Kunle Jaiyesimi, would be honoured with the Auto Personality of the year in recognition of their immense contributions to the development of Nigeria’s auto industry.
In his own comment, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, said the auto journalist body has always believed in bringing together all the stakeholders in the automotive sector to build a stronger community and strengthen consumers’ confidence and trust in the industry and their brands.
“I would like to congratulate all the nominees for the 2022 edition and look forward to their presence at the grand ceremony,” he added.
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