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Peugeot 508 GT takes competition to cleaners by Mike Ochonma

As Argungu Motor Rally returns 15 years after

This year’s Motor Rally tied to the Argungu Festival may have come and gone, yet the memories that the event would linger until the next edition is held.

Argungu Motor Rally, a key segment of this year’s event which held amidst pomp and pageantry was unique and novel in a number of ways.

The Motor Rally held up a major promise for vitality and creativity in the annals of competitive local culture and tradition.

The festival held from March 11- 13, 2020, coming after 15 years when the last event held was most remarkable as it featured major auto brands in the Nigerian auto-market. These include GAC Motors with the GA3S, GS4, GS3 and GA4 variants; JMC pick-up and Dongfeng trucks from Elizade while Kojo Motors joined with its Yutong range of buses.  

Globe Motors took part with the Hyundai brand even as PAN Nigeria showed presence with its legendary Peugeot brand alongside its new Pan-Higer H5C entrant.

Specifically, the rally which was intended for products assembled in Nigeria had PAN Nigeria feature the Peugeot 301 Allure and the 508 GT Line alongside the Higer-H5C, a 16-seater bus also with a 19-seater variant. All the variants, including the new Peugeot Pick-Up 4×4, were seen on display both at the Show and Tell event held to flag-off the Rally in Abuja as well as at the pavilion display at the flag-down centre in Argungu.

At the heart of consideration for the contest was that participating auto brands should feature vehicles assembled in Nigeria. The vehicles were to run the race under normal road conditions with natural road obstacles, observing speed limits of 120KM/hr.

To ensure that speed limits were well measured, GPRS kits were fitted on each vehicle. Also considered in the course of the contest were vehicles with engine capacity not exceeding 2.0 liter, amongst others.

Other considerations include vehicle design, general aesthetics and performance. In all stated rally prerequisite, the Peugeot 508 GT ticked all boxes and gallantly stood far out from the pack.

The rally which held across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to Nasarawa, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi States was Peugeot’s moment of glory as the rally brought out more poignantly, the brand’s value, essence and promise before the Nigerian auto consumers.

PAN Nigeria indeed made a very categorical statement with its outstanding win as the overall best winner of the Motor Rally. The winning driver of the 2020 Argungu Motor Rally was Shima Shimbe, who drove the Peugeot 508 GT.

Commenting on the company’s feat, Ibrahim Tanko managing director and chief executive of PAN, who was visibly elated over his company’s performance during the event said, “PAN Peugeot 508 was adjudged the overall best winner because it met all the criteria stipulated by the organizers of the rally’’.

He stated that the original motive to participate in the contest by the car company was the desire to share and demonstrate support for the aspiration of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) in proving the importance of the nation’s auto-policy as well as create opportunities for the sector to make formal presentation of all locally manufactured vehicles to the executive and the legislature at an elaborate “Show and Tell” media ceremony. The PAN boss commended the organizers for a job well done.

In a similar vein, Joseph Adesanya, PAN’s head of marketing disclosed that PAN featured in the Motor Rally in order to showcase its capabilities as a foremost manufacturer and car assembler in Nigeria.

On the implication of being the over-all best winner, Adesanya said the brand is customer-centric as all the vehicles presented excelled in the contest.

Peugeot’s unique selling points Adesanya noted lies in its performance, comfort, fuel economy, adaptability and safety, adding that all of these are the things that worked in favour and enabled the clear win by the Peugeot 508 GT.

Besides, he stated that the its major attractions to the users are ruggedness and durability in addition to the selling points earlier mentioned.

The auto assembler, which has remained a milestone in Nigeria’s automobile industry, was conceived in 1969 under the leadership of the Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former head of state.

Decades after the launch into the market, Peugeot still commands a reverent top of the mind awareness amongst Nigerian auto brands patrons as it retains its maximum awareness level amongst Nigerians, being the first and still the best.

From the launch of its first automobile to the creation of its latest concept car, Peugeot has remained the legendary Nigerian car that shares in the euphoria of the nation’s independence and also reveled in the opulence of post-independent nation.

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