Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cars and Trucks REVIEW: Skoda Sets Standard with 4,000,000th Octavia

Cars and Trucks REVIEW: Skoda Sets Standard with 4,000,000th Octavia: Škoda has announced the production of the 4, 000, 000 th Skoda Octavia, 17 years after the automaker united in partnership with Volkswag...

Skoda Sets Standard with 4,000,000th Octavia

Škoda has announced the production of the 4, 000, 000th Skoda Octavia, 17 years after the automaker united in partnership with Volkswagen - an achievement that elicited celebrations and also brought back fond memories of the fall of the Iron Curtain.  
The anniversary vehicle which is a third-generation Octavia was painted in ‘Race-Blue.’
Škoda Octavia has been setting standards in the compact segment since 1996 and is by far the brand’s best selling model.
Professor Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, Škoda CEO said: “This impressive figure represents the great success of the model and brand and as the ‘heart of the brand’, the Octavia has decisively shaped Škoda’s outstanding development and made the company what it is today – an internationally successful manufacturer, present on over 100 markets worldwide. We are continuing this development with the third generation. The new Octavia is once again a winner with its excellent Škoda genes.  It is the largest, lightest, safest, most practical, comfortable and environmentally friendly Octavia ever.”
The Octavia has always been the epitome of a Škoda: timelessly elegant design, above-average space, highest functionality, many Simply Clever features, sophisticated modern technology, quality and precision and not least unbeatable value for money. The launch of the third generation in early 2013 topped all of that again.  The new Octavia offers mid-class qualities for the price of a compact, now more than ever.
Nearly four million Octavias had been delivered to customers worldwide between 1996 and July 2013 - around 38% of the brand’s total sales in this period, making the Octavia the undisputed to customers worldwide between 1996 and July 2013 – around 38 percent of the brand’s total sales in this period, making the Octavia the undisputed best seller in the 118-year history of the company.
This also makes the new Octavia the most important model in the most comprehensive product campaign in Škoda’s corporate history. The manufacturer is promoting its high-impact path of growth with a powerful model extravaganza. The aim of this growth strategy is to increase the number of vehicle sales worldwide to at least 1.5 million per year by 2018. 


Monday, 23 September 2013

How Stallion NMN Celebrated new Nissan Dealership at Oriental Hotel

L-R: Mr. Haresh Vaswani, Vice Chairman, Sunil Vaswani, Chairman both of Stallion Group of Companies, Mr. Mr. Mike Whitfield, Managing Director and Mr. Jimmy Dando, General Manager both of Nissan South Africa at the celebration of Stallion NMN Limited brand custodianship and national sales company of Nissan at the Grand ball Room, Oriental Hotel Lagos recently. 
Nissan celebrated an evening of innovation and excitement with special guests in Lagos last week, following the launch of the new Nissan distributor, Stallion NMN, in May this year.  The new partnership affirms Nissan’s commitment to strong representation in Nigeria, a vibrant market that is expected to deliver significant growth and contribution to Nissan’s global midterm plan, Nissan Power88. Nissan’s three year fiscal objective conveys the responsibility of repositioning and enhancing Nissan’s influence in Nigeria on Stallion NMN Limited, as new Nissan custodian and national sales company.
This was how Mr. Mike Whitfield, Managing Director, Nissan South Africa, summarized the key objective of the occasion where Stallion NMN custodianship was crystallized and a number of intriguing Nissan models were launched.
He envisioned that by the end of fiscal 2016, “We aim to achieve a global market share of eight percent and sustainable operating profit of eight percent and Nigeria is an important market in that plan.”

“Nissan is already reaping the dividend of Power 88 globally,’ he said, ‘We started the year 2013 on a high note, and markets in Africa, with their favourable growth indices, are key to our achievement.”
Mr. Whitfield attributed the growth potentials in Africa to improved economic governance, rapid urbanisation with expanding middle class and growing workforce, saying “It is inevitable that this growing consumer base will become increasingly motorised with Nissan at the forefront of initiatives to capture the market.”
Nissan will be tapping into Africa’s markets with its smart and fuel-efficient B and C segment passenger vehicles such as Nissan Micra, Almera and Sentra.
Mr. Parvir Singh, Managing Director, Stallion NMN Limited, acknowledged in his keynote address the ingenuity of Nissan’s technology, remarking that “Nissan has transcended the challenges of yesterday, living up to its new tagline ‘Innovation that Excites’ – one of the compelling reasons why the brand has become the toast of many discerning automobile lovers worldwide.”

He highlighted Nissan’s relationship with Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic gold medalist and world’s fastest sprinter who is Nissan’s ‘Ambassador of Excitement’, as proof of Nissan’s imaginative technology.
“Capturing the imagination of customers is one of the conditions for Nissan’s diverse range of models cutting across various applications,” Mr. Singh stated.
The highpoint of the event was the unveiling of Nissan’s star attraction, GT-R and some other exciting models that have undergone real time transformation such as the 370Z, Pathfinder, Teana (also known as Altima in other markets) and Sentra.
Mr Singh explained that Stallion Group with strong local experience had joined forces with Nissan as a global brand, to position the brand as Nigeria’s preferred choice of automobile.
A subsidiary of the Stallion Group, Stallion NMN would be guided by the parent company’s four decade experience that has crisscrossed vital sectors of Nigeria economy, and establish state-of-the-art showrooms and service facilities at Victoria Island and Lekki, both in Lagos, as well as Abuja and Port-Harcourt.

The company’s track record is manifested in infrastructures such as world-class showrooms, workshops, vehicle assembly plants, factories, warehousing, cold storages, agriculture, logistics and transportation.
Other notable achievements are in shipping, commodities trading, rice milling, deep sea fishing, plastics, packaging, home automation and office technology. Stallion has similarly excelled in banking, and in 2005 its fully owned Reliance Bank merged with other banks to become Skye Bank PLC.
Armed with this plethora of achievement, Mr. Singh said:  “We will combine the Stallion philosophy with the Nissan Way for a customer experience that will set a new standard in Nigeria. Our obligation is to make ownership of Nissan an exciting experience both in the quality of Nissan vehicles and in after sales service.”

L-R: Mr. Haresh Vaswani, Vice Chairman, Stallion Group of Companies, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director, Uba and Mr. Sunil Vaswani, Chairman, Stallion Group at the celebration of Stallion NMN brand custodianship and national sales company of Nissan at the Oriental Hotel Lagos recently.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Cars and Trucks REVIEW: Porsche Centre Lagos Celebrates 50 Years of Iconic...

Cars and Trucks REVIEW: Porsche Centre Lagos Celebrates 50 Years of Iconic...:   Porsche Centre Lagos is celebrating with other dealerships worldwide as the Porsche 911 clocks 50 years in production. You may wond...

Porsche Centre Lagos Celebrates 50 Years of Iconic 911

Porsche Centre Lagos is celebrating with other dealerships worldwide as the Porsche 911 clocks 50 years in production.
You may wonder why is this is so significant in the life of the Porsche brand. The reason isn’t farfetched. The number of vehicles that have made it to the half-century mark can be counted on one hand.
Even the venerable Model T lasted barely two decades in production - despite Henry Ford's stubbornness.
So it's not surprising that the folks at Porsche worldwide are celebrating.
Porsche's iconic 911 sports car made its debut exactly 50 years ago on the stands at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
To celebrate this success, Porsche is introduced a special anniversary edition at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, with a limited run of just 1,963 to honour the year the 911 made its debut.
What's particularly unusual about the sports car's longevity is the fact that, despite all the changes that have been made under the skin and to the interior, today's Porsche 911 maintains the original's basic exterior profile.
When he was asked to create the latest model, designer Michael Mauer was quick to recognize some serious challenges. Though he was charged with coming up with something distinctive for the seventh-generation model, he knew that a radical redesign simply "wouldn't be a 911." That meant maintaining the distinctive silhouette—starting with the long hood, bulging headlamps, "flyline" roof and, of course, rear-engine layout.
That didn't mean standing still. Introduced last year, the Gen-7 model was a bit lower, wider and longer than the previous model. It was more aerodynamic and, defying conventional wisdom, more powerful while being about 16 percent more fuel-efficient.
Not all changes over the years have been uncontroversial; Porsche fanatics raised a fuss in 1998, when the maker abandoned the time-tested air-cooled 911 engine in favour of a more modern water-cooled power train. But the 911's distinctive rear-mounted engine layout has held since Day One.
Porsche reported that it has sold 820,000 911s.
The original design was sketched out by Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche in 1959, and the auto was intended to serve as the replacement for the original 356. Delivered to showrooms in early 1964, the car was originally going to be called the Porsche 901, but the manufacturer had to make a quick change when French automaker Peugeot claimed a monopoly on using "0" in the middle of three numbers.

A year after the European launch, the first 911 reached the U.S., incidentally, going for a then-pricey $6,500. The base Porsche 911 Carrera model carries an MSRP of $83,050. Few get out of the showroom at that price, however, as Porsche traditionally makes almost every feature an option that rapidly drives up the price.
And the 911 is really a family of variants, including models such as the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S and the top-line turbo, with a base price of $138,450.
The 911 50th Anniversary Edition will be offered in two unique colours: light-gray metallic and dark graphite. It will also feature a "two-tone 3-D-effect" badge on the rear marking it a "911 50" edition. The edition will be available in the U.S. for $124,100.
But while the 911 is no longer the brand's best-seller, it is the icon and generally rated the most popular of the German maker's offerings. Indeed, in the 1999 international balloting for the Car of the Century, the Porsche 911 came in No. 5, behind the Model T and the Volkswagen Beetle—which just happens to trace its roots to the Porsche family.

Toyota Clever car, Auris in Triumphant Debut

This car though looks very much like Toyota Matrix but Toyota is unmistaken about it. Toyota calls it Auris. Available in a choice of three petrol engines, diesel and hybrid, Toyota Auris is a completely new model in Toyota lineup. It is cleaner, responsive and more efficient car to drive. The car features Sat Nav, with real-time traffic patterns and eco-friendly routes to drive. It has Bluetooth connectivity which can pair up to five mobile phones. Skyview, an optional extra available on the Excel model is one of the longest panoramic sunroofs in its class – filling the cabin with natural light. The new Auris comes with Toyota’s multimedia touchscreen system, Touch & Go. This smart piece of kit is the brains behind this truly intelligent vehicle. This car would no doubt turn heads going by its sleek design and stylish lines that provide streamlined aerodynamics and a low centre of gravity for a sportier ride.