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Kia shines at TopGear awards, wins ‘Manufacturer of the Year’  

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Korea’s oldest automaker, Kia, is excited ending the year on a high, having just received the Top Gear’s Manufacturer of the Year award.

Top Gear is a British automobile magazine, owned by BBC Worldwide.

The recognition was given at the magazine’s 2022 awards, according to a statement from the Kia office in Nigeria on Wednesday.

“This is the second consecutive year that Kia has taken home a win at the TopGear.com awards; last year, the newly launched EV6 won the ‘Crossover of the Year’ category,” the statement by spokesman for Kia Nigeria, Olawale Jimoh, added.

Kia recalled that it launched several game-changing models in Europe this year – notably the fifth-generation Sportage and all-new Niro, consistently two of Kia’s best-sellers across Europe, must have influenced the choice of the brand for the award.

Both models are said to offer a major update over their predecessors in several areas, including exterior and interior design, technological advancements, and sustainability credentials.

It quoted the Editor of BBC Top Gear Magazine, Jack Rix, as saying, “Kia’s recent form is remarkable. Despite unprecedented headwinds, the upward trajectory shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it’s getting braver. The latest Sportage is a superior family crossover in comparison to its closest competitors, the new Niro looks striking, and offers hybrid or electric versions and Kia seems to be landing on its feet when it comes to the transition to fully electric. The EV6 GT offers a 577bhp version with mind-blowing drift mode.”

President of Kia Europe, Jason Jeong, also responding, said, “This has been an outstanding year for Kia in terms of new product, brand awareness and sales. Our year-to-date market share across Europe has held strong at 5.1% over the past two months, and that success is due to our incredible electrified line-up. As we expand our electrified offering throughout 2023 and beyond, we hope to inspire more customers to make the switch and support a sustainable future for all.”

Marketing Director at Kia Europe, David Hilbert, accepted the award on behalf of Kia and said: “2022 has been a milestone year in Kia’s history where the brand became synonymous with electrification and set the new gold standard for the future of mobility. The introduction of EV6 GT was a defining moment for us as we extended our electrification leadership into the high-performance arena. Thank you to TopGear.com for naming us ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ – it is welcome recognition of the brand’s achievements so far, and we look forward to a successful 2023.”

The company says its ‘Plan S’ strategy outlines its sustainability targets, including a line-up of 14 fully-electric models by 2027.

It adds that the next model to launch will be Kia’s highly anticipated EV9, which will be revealed to the European market in 2023.

“The Kia EV9 will represent the pinnacle of what is possible with an electric SUV. Developed on the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the large electric SUV will usher in a new era of sophisticated, high-tech, sustainable mobility for Kia,” it states.

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Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors

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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.

 

 

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Lagos gov, FRSC boss for Nigeria Auto Awards where Chinese, popular brands will flex muscles

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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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Accidents: FRSC boss recommends truck barrier on Ojuelegba Bridge, warns against ‘one-way’ driving

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has recommended the construction of a truck barrier on Ojuelegba Bridge in the Surulere area of Lagos to prevent articulated vehicles especially trucks carrying containers from using the bridge and falling on other vehicles.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, made the recommendation while reacting to an accident around the bridge on Sunday in which a container-carrying truck fell on a passenger bus, killing nine people including two children.

A statement by the Corps Public Education Officer of the FRSC, Bisi Kazeem reported the corps marshal as expressing deep concerns over the fatal accident, which he noted was becoming a regular occurrence.

Biu also spoke on another accident recorded on Sunday that claimed 11 lives on Soka Bridge on the Lagos-Benin Highway and warned against excessive speeding and driving against the traffic popularly called one-way.

The statement said, “Whilst his concerns stem from the reoccurring container crashes on Ojuelegba bridge that has claimed several lives, the Corps Marshal recommends the construction of barricades against articulated vehicles (tankers, trucks, trailers and other heavy duty vehicles) on Ojuelegba Bridge as a permanent solution to the reoccurring crashes.”

The corps marshal who frowned on the incident explained the importance of barricading the bridge against articulated vehicles citing some of the dangers that come with their continuous use of the bridge as he called for efforts to be made towards expanding the connecting roads under the bridge to accommodate all articulated vehicles.

He revealed that FRSC rescue teams in collaboration with other Emergency Management Agencies had cleared obstructions from the crash scenes for ease of movement while the driver of the Mack truck had been arrested and handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.

The corps marshal also reiterated the need for the enactment of laws that will bring justice to victims of these crashes and where such laws already exist, efforts should be made to activate them so that justice will be served accordingly to both the drivers and the victims.

It stated that a preliminary investigation conducted into the fatal crashes revealed that the Ojuelegba crash involved a Mack Truck with a 40ft container with the registration number KJA 380 KD, who apart from engaging in excessive speed, also indulged in an act of wrongful overtaking and a Suzuki mini bus registered as KTU 921 YD; while the Soka avoidable menace involved a truck driven against the traffic and a Macopolo bus.

The statement said, “The container mounted on the Mack truck at Ojuelegba, according to our operatives, fell off the truck and landed on the Suzuki mini bus filled up with passengers which obviously led to the death of 9 of the passengers.

“As at the time of this statement, 11 victims were burnt beyond recognition at the Soka Bridge while the Ojuelegba crash involved 13 people comprising of nine males and four females. Out of the 13 people, nine were killed comprising five male adults, one male child, one female child and two female adults.

“Out of the four victims who survived the Ojuelegba crash, two were rescued without injuries while the remaining two sustained various degrees of injuries.

He urged the public to always use the FRSC toll free line 122 and the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which are always available for all road users to report emergencies at any given time.

 

 

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