One of Ghana's automobile distribution giants, Stallion Group Limited, dominated the maiden Ghana Auto Awards (GAA) held last Friday at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
The group swept six awards including the ultimate — the Car of the Year — which went to Hyundai Genesis — at the event meant to honour excellence in the automobile industry in Ghana.
The awards jury assessed the vehicles based on technical specifications, including pricing, safety, performance, environment, ride, running and repair cost, seating comfort, handling, fuel consumption, space, warranty, ergonomics, standard features and finish quality.
Organised by Xodus Communications, the purpose of the Ghana Auto Award is to provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new on the market by selecting the best new vehicles in the various categories.
On a sparkling night when long speeches were absent but good music and food flowed among the maestros of the auto industry, the Honda Place, Hyundai Motors and Investment (Gh) Ltd and Stallion Motors Ghana Ltd took the spotlight.
Hyundai Genesis shrugged off competition from 11 others --Citroen C4 Aircross, Hyundai Accent, Audi A6, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Cruize, Isuzu-Max, Ford Ranger, Hyundai 1X35, Skoda Octavia, Honda CRV and VW Passat.
Award will develop buying guide
The Events Director of the GAA, Mr Richard Abbey Jnr, said the award was meant to develop a buyer guide for automobile buyers and enthusiasts in the country.
On a night many praised the award organisers for being exceptional for a maiden award, Mr Abbey said the industry should expect a much better event next year.
In a speech that touched on safety on the country's roads and the government’s efforts to improve transport in the country, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said the ministry's vision was not just to create an environment where new cars were affordable, but also to improve public transport and make it more reliable and efficient.
Other award winners for the night were The Best Micro car-Nissan Micra; Best SUV-Ford Explorer; Family Car of the Year-Honda Pilot; Safety Award-VW Passat; Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility-Toyota Ghana; Best Design-Volkswagen VWCC; Luxurious Car of the Year-Porsche Cayenne; Best City Car-Honda City; Economy Car of the Year-Hyundai i10; Best 4X4--Mitsubishi Pajero 3L; Best Sports Car of the Year-Audi A7; Best in Auto Finance --Stanbic Bank; Green Car of the Year--Ford Escape and Light Truck of the Year- S Tata 709.
The rest are Auto Company of the Year-Hyundai Motors and Investment (Gh)Ltd; Best Performance--Skoda Octavia; Best Pick Up of the Year--Mitsubishi L200 Sportero; Mini Truck of the Year-Tata Super Ace;Best Service Company-CFAO Motors; Brand of the Year--Toyota Ghana; Best Online Auto Market--Cheki Ghana.
There were also special recognition awards for institutions and individuals for their contribution to the growth of the auto sector in Ghana.
Excellence in Auto Engineering —Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) and Apostle Dr Kwadwo Safo, founder of Kantanka Automobiles; Promising Auto Company--MAC Ghana; Corporate Fleet Management-Vodafone Ghana; E-Commerce—Tonaton; Rural Transport--Samir Engineering; Leadership in Transport Industry — Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Transport Minister; Visionary Leadership — Mr Samuel Nuamah Donkor, Managing Director, STC; Technological Innovation — Apostle Dr Kwadwo Safo Kantaka.