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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Kia Rio emerges Nigeria’s car of the year

Kia Rio has made history having being declared Nigeria’s car for the year 2015, narrowly beating some steep competition including Toyota Corolla, Peugeot 301 and Nissan Almera.

It was the first time the Korean product would displace the Corolla, which had hitherto won the coveted car of the year award back to back at the annual Nigeria auto award.
Rio is currently being assembled in Nigeria and recently did a promo in which it was offered at below N2m.
Before now, Kia Rio had in the last previous three editions been nominated for the award and emerged a first runner up, coming behind the Corolla.
But it was the turn of the Rio to shine at the keenly contested award held on Thursday at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, which was attended by crème de la of the auto industry when the organisers of the NAJA event named it the car of the year.
The event was graced by the the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development, Mr. Aminu Jalal: the Corp Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, represented by Nseobong Akpabio, assistant corp marshal and zonal commanding officer RS-2.
For the car company of the year, Peugeot beat Ford and Nissan to emerge winner as Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing went home with the indigenous auto assembler of the year award.
Other winners at the award night included Mercedes Benz S-class, which bagged the luxury sedan of the year award, Briscoe won the most enterprising auto dealership of the year award as Iron Products Industry bagged the auto builder of the year award.
Others included; Auto Assembler of the Year, Stallion; Auto Workshop of the Year, Elizade Toyota, Luxury SUV of the Year, Range Rover; Pick Up of the Year, Toyota Hilux; and Truck Brand of the Year went to Mercedes Benz.
Also, Mitsubishi Canter emerged the Light Truck of the Year; Independent Auto Workshop of the Year went to Admiralty Motors; Auto Dealership of the Year, Globe; and Sixt emerged as the Car Rental Company of the Year.
The Chief Commercial Officer, Kia Motors Nigeria, Sandeep Malhotra, said the firm was excited about the honour, adding that it would spur the Kia team in Nigeria to do more for the customers.
“Kia will continue to build cars that brighten people’s lives and exceed their expectations; the Kia Rio has just upped the ante once again. We aim to become a ‘one-and-only’ brand for our customers, a brand they will choose again and again,” said Malhotra.
The Chairman, NAJA, Frank Kintum, said in discharging one of its duties and responsibilities as watchdogs of the society, NAJA organised the annual award in recognition of products and persons that had stood out during the course of the year.
Kintum noted that NAJA had become the hallmark of the auto industry having stood the test of time for over 15 years.
“In the automotive/automobile sector, it is our responsibility to watch closely what is happening in terms of the launch of new models, entry of new brands as they affect the industry,” he said.
Kintum charged all stakeholders to cooperate with NADDC in order to drive the National Automotive Industry Development as every stakeholder remained key in making the auto policy a success.
The third generation Kia Rio has a powerful engine with great handling, and lighter platform and adjudged the best amongst its competing brands, according to a report by Kia Nigeria.
Auto reviewers say the Rio does not seem to have any obvious flaws or omissions, although there are definitely areas, like safety, where it could do better.
The 2015 Rio offers crisp, stylish European design, a cleanly styled, feature- packed interior; and an agreeable and fuel-efficient engine.

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