by Bennett Oghifo
A Peugeot 508 GT from PAN Nigeria cruised to the finish line to win the maiden motor rally, which will now be an interesting component of the prestigious Argungu Fishing Festival.
The Argungu Festival, which was a must-attend international tourism event in Kebbi State was put on hold for 10 years because of security concerns, but was revived this year with the motor rally as an interesting addition. Being first of its kind in the historic life of Argungu, the motor rally held up a major promise for vitality and creativity in the annals of competitive local culture and tradition.
At the wheel of the Peugeot 508 GT which way ahead of other vehicles at the 2020 Argungu Motor Rally was Shima Shimbe. For a leading automobile brand in the country, Peugeot and the management of PAN Nigeria would forever remember the moments of honour and glory they attained at the colorful event that hopefully, will mark the lift of the suspension of the annual festival which last held 10 years ago.
Commenting on the company’s feat, Managing Director/CEO of the auto company, Mr. Ibrahim Tanko 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, PAN Nigeria’s Head of Marketing, Mr. Joseph Adesanya 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.
Speaking further, he said the Peugeot brand’s unique selling points are 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 major attractions of the Peugeot brand to the average Nigerian car users are ruggedness and durability in addition to the selling points earlier mentioned.
PAN Nigeria which is positioned as a leading auto-brand in the Nigerian auto industry is one of the oldest and most renowned auto-brands in the country. The company which is behind the great brand name is believed to be the most responsive and endearing motor manufacturing company with age and pedigree in its favour.
PAN Nigeria Ltd, which has remained a milestone in Nigeria’s automobile industry, was conceived in 1969 by the then Federal Military Government under the leadership of the Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon. 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. It is a car brand name that helped to redefine elite status and elegance by being a proud owner.
Even years and 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.
The Argungu Festival, held between 11th March and 13th March 2020, 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; Elizade featuring the JMC pick-up and Dongfeng trucks; Kojo Motors with the Yutong buses; Globe Motors featuring the Hyundai brand and of course PAN Nigeria which featured its legendary Peugeot brand alongside its new entrant, the Pan-Higer H5C.
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 2.0L, 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.
This year’s Argungu Festival and indeed the Motor Rally leave behind memories that would forever linger. More specifically, the Motor Rally event, a key segment of the famous competition, held amidst pomp and pageantry and was unique and novel in a number of ways.