By Theodore Opara
THE Founder of Work and Play (Motorsport), Mr. Adeoye Ojuoko, has commended the founder of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, for his contributions to the development of the Nigeria auto industry.
Ojuoko in a chat with journalists at the just concluded Motorsport rally at the Smokin Hills Resort, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, said that Chief Ade Ojo has supported the company, especially in building tracks at the resort for the promotion of motor rallies in the country which is not popular in the country.
He urged other players in the industry to become interested in the sport which he said would help in developing the sector faster.
Ojuoko who is the brain behind the test drive project, said that this year’s event was sponsored by Toyota Nigeria Limited, stressing that Hilux test drive had shown how people could engage the two-wheel drive or L2 to do a lot more than they thought.
Ojuoko also spoke on the choice of Ilara-Mokin for the event.
He said, “We are doing off-road rally at the Smokin Hill, Ilara-Mokin because of the terrain and we are building track there with the support of Chief Ade-Ojo.
“We are trying to look at the idea of creating a good environment for motorsport events as well as test drives.
“One major thing the automobile industry in Nigeria lacks is an avenue or a centre to compare the performance of different brands of vehicles.”
He expressed optimism that the event would spur other automakers and dealers to take part in future motorsport programmes.
“What we are doing is not for Toyota alone; what we have built is for other brands and dealerships too. They will be given the opportunity for their customers to test drive available and new vehicles and engage them well in what they are doing,” Ojuoko said.
He said he was satisfied with the outcome of the programme, which attracted visitors from Ondo, Lagos and Abuja, among others, adding: “It has become a passion for me; it started from my hometown, Ilara-Mokin with the support of Chief Ade-Ojo; and it is growing.”
X-raying the performance of the Hilux at the event, Mrs. Angela Idiong, Business Development Manager at RT Briscoe said: “The vehicle is rugged and one can use it for private family ride (on road) or official taking it to project sites (off road).
“Even in remotest places, Hilux will go there and pull through. Its parts are available and easy to fix should it break down. Its fuel efficiency is also superb. It’s a vehicle that you can easily find a good buyer even after using it for 25 years.”
Toyota being the most visible automobile brand on Nigerian roads has always kept to international standards in everything it does.
From its annual awards which it spends millions of naira rewarding customers, dealers and even journalists for outstanding professionalism, the company expends so much on training and retraining its staff locally and abroad to keep abreast with international standard and practices.
Apart from consistently hosting the annual awards, ensuring regular training of staff, Toyota Nigeria Limited partakes annually in Motor fairs both in Abuja and Lagos.
The recent test drive on a motor sport track takes Toyota to the next level in its quest to sustain the lead on the nation’s automotive sector just like in South Africa, France, Germany, Korea, etc. where test drives are conducted to the highest industry standards.
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