Coscharis, Toyota, CFAO shine at Auto Awards

The 2019 Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Awards held recently at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, lived up to its billing as a night of pomp, excitement and a few surprises  –  with Toyota Nigeria Ltd {TNL}taking the most coveted prize of Car Of The Year {COTY} for its current Corolla.

The award night, had the representatives of the Corp Marshal, Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, and the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council {NADDC}, Jelani Aliyu, as special guests.

The Zonal Comanding Officer {Lagos and Ogun states}, Assistant Corps Marshal Samuel Obayemi stood in for Dr. Oyeyemi, while Mrs. Felicia Izuorah represented the NADDC boss.  Also in attendance were Chief Executive Officers and other stakeholders in the auto sector.

In the Luxury Car of The Year category, Mercedes Benz S-Class emerged the winner ahead of BMW 7-series and Porsche Panamera, while the   Luxury SUV of The Year award went to Range Rover Autobiography from the stable of Coscharis Motors Ltd. Mrs. Betrice Oyesile of Weststar Associates Ltd received the luxury car award on behalf of the company, which is the authorised Mercedes-Benz distributor in Nigeria

Mitsubishi L200 overtook the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger to clinch the prize for the pick-ups this year, while the award for the Mini Bus category went to Toyota Hiace.

New Auto Lubricant of the Year went to Motul, just as Ondo Motor Rally organisers smiled home with the Motor Sports award.

Not many were surprised when Cars.45 was named the Online Auto Marketing Company of The Year. JAC emerged the Most Improved Brand; even as Hyundai was declared the Highest Selling Brand of The Year.

Mandilas Motors’ General Manager, Kemi Koyejo, earned a loud ovation when the company was announced the Auto Workshop of The Year and she stepped out to receive the plaque.

With Hyundai’s award already in the bag, Stallion Motors got more: While Changan won the Fastest Growing Auto Brand, Honda was honoured with the Executive Car of The Year award earned by the Accord.

The Managing Director of VON Automobiles Ltd and leader of the local auto makers’ group, NAMA, Mr. Tokunbo Aromolaran, made a rare appearance at the awards to receive his company’s Assembly Plant of the Year prize.  All together, the visibly elated Stallion team, including the General Manager {Marketing}, Arpita Roy Luthra; Director of Sales, The Honda Place, Deepak Daryanani; and Head of Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motors Nigeria, Gaurav Vashisht, left the venue with four top awards.

Managing Director/CEO of CFAO Motors, Thomas Pelletier, was declared the Most Innovative CEO of The Year, but was represented by the Deputy Managing Director, CFAO Motors, Kunle Jaiyesimi, who was accompanied by the Head, Marketing and Communications, Massilia Motors, Funmi Abiola.

Special recognitions were given to the Advert and Public Relations Manager of TNL, Bukky Ogunnusi, and the General Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde..

In his welcome remarks, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, described the annual event as the most prestigious and most credible auto award in the country.

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