By Daniels Ekugo
Names of finalists in the 2018 Nigeria Auto Journalists Association Auto Awards scheduled for Thursday, December 13 at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island has been released.
Surprisingly, a Chinese brand, GA3, a sedan model among the GAC product line is appearing for the first time among the top three contenders for the prestigious Car-of- the-Year crown (COTY) in Nigeria.
The GAC brand is under the sole franchise-ship of CIG Motors, the automotive subsidiary of CIG International Limited.
Other contenders in the category are Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Creta
According to the chairman of the NAJA 2018 Awards planning committee, Moses Ebosele, the finalists in all the categories were selected by jury members of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) while the eventual winners would be determined by all motoring journalists and professionals with utmost objectivity, credibility and integrity
He said the Awards will among other things provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market, and a platform for the automotive industry to demonstrate and celebrate in the key areas of manufacturing, efficiency, innovation and technology, corporate social responsibility and safety.
In his own comment, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma said the relevance, objectivity and credibility of the Awards cannot be put to question as the committee on annual basis painstakingly makes sure it brings out the best out of the event.
“The reason for setting up the NAJA Awards is still the same, which among other imperatives is to ensure that those who are driving a very impactful agenda in the auto industry are recognized,” he said.
He said, this year based on the teams research over the period, a few categories has been added to the already existed ones.
Competing for the Luxury Car of the Year are Mercedes Benz S-class and BMW 7-series; Executive Car of the Year- Toyota Camry, BMW 5-series, Honda Accord; Luxury SUV of the Year- Mercedes Benz GLE and Range rover Autobiography; Pick-up of the Year- Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi and Toyota Hilux; Mini Bus of the Year- Toyota Hiace, Nissan Urvan and Foton; Light Truck of the Year- Isuzu N-series, Mitsubishi Canter and JAC Light truck.
Others are: Heavy Duty Truck of the Year- Mercedes Actros, Sino Truck and JAC Truck; Most Improved Showroom- Massilia, Mercedes Benz Centre and Nissan Showroom; Tyre Brand of the Year, Dunlop, Michelin and Ceat; Most Resilient brand of the Year- Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Insurance Company of the year and other categories.