Hyundai Creta, on Wednesday, clinched the prestigious laurel of the Car of the Year 2021, beating other popular brands in the most sought after category at the annual Nigeria Auto Journalists Award.
The award which is the only recognized auto industry award and a replica of the global auto award recognizes auto brands in various categories, providing guidance to auto enthusiasts and car lovers in choosing a bespoke automobile.
In the award held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, Mercedes-Benz S-Class emerged as the Luxury Car Of The Year 2021 while Range Rover Velar was declared as the Luxury SUV Of The Year just as Shacman (TSS) emerged as the Truck Of The Year (Heavy Duty).
Other categories include the Pick Up Of The Year won by Toyota Hilux; Auto Plant Of The Year (Truck) by Lanre Shittu (JAC); Auto Workshop Of The Year (Mandilas Motors); Electric Vehicle Of The Year (Hyundai Kona); Most Resilient Auto Assembler (PAN Nigeria Ltd) while Massilia Motors clinched the honour of the Most Innovative Auto Company of The Year.
In other categories, Suzuki (CFAO) was crowned the Outstanding Comeback Of The Year; Toyota Starlet won the Most Transformed New Entrant Of The Year; OMAA emerged as the Gas Powered Auto Assembler Of The Year; Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) emerged as Auto Manufacturer Of The Year (Local Content) while Jet Systems was crowed as the Electric Vehicle Promoter Of The Year.
Other categories include Mini Bus Of The Year won by Toyota Hiace; Executive Car Of The Year (Kia K5 Optima); Most Fascinating SUV Of The Year (GAC GS8); Compact SUV Of The Year with Outstanding Design/Technology (Geely Coolray);
Outstanding New Pickup Of The Year (Nord Tank); while Autochek emerged as the Online Auto Company of the year.
Some individuals were also honoured for their contributions and strides in the auto industry.
They included Chief Michael Ade -Ojo as Pillar of Nigeria Auto Industry; Chief Diana Chen (Chairman/CEO, CIG Group) as
Nigeria Auto CEO Of The Year; Jelani Aliyu (DG, NADDC) As Auto Personality Of the Year (Public Sector) Jacky Hathiramani (MD, Dana Motors) as Auto Personality Of the Year (Corporate) while Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, FRSC Corps Marshall emerged as Road Safety Personality of the Decade.
Also Beatrice Oyesile and Funmi Abiola were honoured as Communication/Marketing Manager 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 pandemic.
In the same vein, the Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma stated that the awards remained a credible means to review and reward players in the automotive industry in both the public and private sectors.
Reacting, Mr. Gaurav Vashisht, Head, Sales and Marketing at Hyundai Motors Nigeria commended the organizers (NAJA) for putting up the prestigious award and for finding the Hyundai Creta and Kona worthy of honours.
Vashisht described the two award winning vehicles (Creta and Kona) as a testimony of Hyundai’s core vision of always developing high-quality vehicles.
He said: “We are honoured to, again, win the most prestigious automotive award in Nigeria. We dedicate the awards to our teeming customers and lovers of Hyundai brand across the country.
“We thank the motoring media and jurors who have chosen CRETA as the Nigerian Car of the Year 2021 and crowned the Kona as the Nigerian Electric Car of the Year.
“With innovation at its core, Hyundai is committed to continuously make global quality cars with cutting edge technologies and fortify the Hyundai brand, caring for our customers in Nigeria and globally.”
Currently selling in Nigeria is a new generation 2021 CRETA created for an unparalleled driving experience for customers across sub-Sahara Africa, including Nigeria.
Transformed into the ultimate sub-compact SUV for any terrain, the redesigned and more powerful CRETA comes with a choice of three engines. The Smart stream G1.5 (maximum power of 115ps/6,300rpm and maximum torque of 14.7kgf.m/4,500rpm) and the Kappa 1.4T-GDI (140ps/6,000rpm and 24.7kgf.m/1,500-3,200rpm) are both gasoline engines, providing better fuel economy on the roads.
Offering more choice is the diesel U2 1.5 VGT (DSL) engine, which has a maximum power of 115ps/4,000rpm and a maximum torque of 25.5kgf.m/1,500-2,750rpm.
Inside and out, the new CRETA is longer and wider than its first-generation predecessor. Due to its 2610mm-long wheelbase and extra amounts of legroom, headroom and shoulder room, the CRETA’s cabin is able to accommodate five persons more comfortably than ever.
In addition, its ergonomically sculpted seats use multi-density foam to provide varying degrees of firmness and softness that compensate for uneven weight distribution on the seat cushion, backrest, the side bolsters, and headrest.
The CRETA SUV offers multiple levels of protection, including its ultra-rigid monologue steel body shell that is designed to safely absorb impact forces. Ample stopping power is provided by 16-in front discs and ABS, which are standard equipment. Dual front depowered airbags, curtain airbags and front row thorax protection are also available as part of the six-airbags option.