P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Auto Industry http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:02:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 Toyota Nigeria Recalls Hilux, RAV4, Other Models http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/toyota-nigeria-recalls-hilux-rav4-other-models/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/toyota-nigeria-recalls-hilux-rav4-other-models/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:18:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191442 Daniels Ekugo Toyota Nigeria Limited, franchise holder of Toyota brand in Nigeria has started recalling the Hilux, RAV4 and Yaris models in the Nigerian market. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) last week  said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled globally  to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. […]]]>

Daniels Ekugo

Toyota Nigeria Limited, franchise holder of Toyota brand in Nigeria has started recalling the Hilux, RAV4 and Yaris models in the Nigerian market.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) last week  said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled globally  to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned.

The fault could cause the air bag to fail in the event of a crash, while the Yaris were recalled to check for a fault in the seat rails that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash, risking injury for the driver or passengers.

The models recalled are Hilux 2005 to 2010 models; RAV4 2006 to 2008 models, while the Yaris are 2006 to 2008 model.

Number of vehicles  affected by the company’s recall in Nigeria is yet to be ascertained as the company is still  collating and would make known the exact figure and VIN numbers through sponsored advertisements in local media across the country.

Kunle Ade-Ojo, Executive Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, said on Tuesday  that as part of a global voluntary quality measure, it was taking the precaution of  replacing the spiral cable on Hilux and RAV4 and the  seat track on the Yaris models.

“We don’t know the number of vehicles  that are affected in Nigeria as we are still collating. Customers will be notified via advertisement to book their car into the nearest Toyota dealer for repairs at our own cost. The recall campaign will only be implemented in Nigeria  after collation and goes onwards,” he said.

According to him, “The vehicles remained safe to drive and there was absolutely no need for concern”.

The Executive Director stressed that Toyota  Nigeria’s recall campaign was pre-emptive and it has not received  any issues recorded locally.

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P.M.NEWS Investigation: Auto firms never recall defective cars in Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/09/p-m-news-investigation-auto-firms-never-recall-defective-cars-in-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/09/p-m-news-investigation-auto-firms-never-recall-defective-cars-in-nigeria/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:11:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=190746 Daniels Ekugo Today’s announcement by Toyota Japan to recall about 6.39 million vehicles worldwide is causing anxiety among motorists worldwide, while in Nigeria, automobile owners wonder why the representatives of Toyota, Ford and others never recall their vehicles in use in Nigeria. Toyota, considered a leader in quality and customer satisfaction in the global automotive […]]]>


Daniels Ekugo

Today’s announcement by Toyota Japan to recall about 6.39 million vehicles worldwide is causing anxiety among motorists worldwide, while in Nigeria, automobile owners wonder why the representatives of Toyota, Ford and others never recall their vehicles in use in Nigeria.

Toyota, considered a leader in quality and customer satisfaction in the global automotive industry, now faces the largest recall in the history of the automotive industry as a total of 27 models sold around the world are affected by various mechanical and electronic issues, prompting their second-largest recall in the automaker’s history. Among the cars affected in the latest recall are Yaris, Camry and RAV4, all in popular use in Nigeria.

Recently, Ford recalled about 434,000 vehicles comprising 385,750 Escape compact SUVs and 48,950 models of 2013-2014 Fusion and C-MAX vehicles to replace seat-back frames that did not comply with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards as rust could cause the vehicle’s subframe and lower control arm to separate, potentially diminishing steering control.

General Motors also recalled more than 1.5 million vehicles because they may unexpectedly lose power steering, the company stated. This brings to 6.26 million the number of vehicles recalled by GM since the start of this year. And BMW has also had cause to recall their brands worldwide.

a toyota camry car: part of the cars recalled

a toyota camry car: part of the cars recalled

In spite of these massive recalls, some dealers and owners of these cars in Nigeria feigned ignorance of the recalls when P.M.NEWS sought their opinions Wednesday.

In a reply to a mail sent to Toyota Nigeria Limited, a representative of the firm denied any recall from the Nigerian market.

“Mail duly received. Please specify the reason for the recall of the cars you are referring to as I am not aware of any recall in Nigeria as per vehicles brought in by Toyota (Nigeria) Limited,” the representative who responded to the mail said and declined to disclose his identity.

Also responding to mail sent to them, Maja of Ford Sub Saharan Africa, said “Can you clarify which vehicles you are referring to? Obviously recalls are handled according to what the issue with the product is, so there isn’t really a blanket statement we can make. If you can clarify what you are referring to we could look at formulating a specific response.”

Funmi Lawuyi, of Weststar Associates, distributors of Jeep, Mercedes Benz and Chrysler range of vehicles, said: “Only recently in the United States of America (Forbes), Mercedes-Benz was rated number one in terms of the brand with the lowest cases of technical recalls. However, we do have a process in place for our Mercedes-Benz, as well as our Chrysler range of products, in the event of such a situation. This necessitates a timely announcement to our customers who are affected, and contacting them individually from our regularly updated customer data-base. The said process involves efficient team work between our Dealers, Sales and After-Sales departments to ultimately ensure our customers are kept happy and loyal.”.

According to a Jabez Aina Scott, publisher of Onwheels magazine, “the Toyota recall can be considered a result of the rising pressures and ever growing complexity in vehicle production that automotive companies face to become market leaders in today’s economy. For example, to maintain the number one position in the automotive industry now requires that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) brings to market new vehicles that come with style and advanced technology every 12 to 15 months. This competitive environment has created numerous challenges: shorter development time, rising cost pressures and mounting demands for reliable, high quality products. Furthermore, the increasing electronic content of vehicles, technological innovation and escalating competition amongst OEMs, coupled with strict safety and environmental regulations imposed by governments, has considerably added to this vehicle production complexity.”

Ken Egbas, a Public Relations Officer said: “I use a Chevrolet, Peugeot 307 and Toyota. The representatives here are totally incompetent. They are more interested in sales figures than maintenance. Three years ago I bought a Peugeot 307 brand new through SCOA. Six months after, I had a series maintenance issues. I doubt if the people they hire as maintenance people actually know how to handle the complexities of these cars. Today, I am looking to get rid of the car because of the huge expenses I have incurred annually. None of them has ever called out to consumers in times like this.”

Segun Adio, a journalist said “though I drive the Infinity Q30, I think the representatives of different auto brands in Nigeria do not do enough to help facilitate their repairs in Nigeria. The Federal Government must rise to the occasion by instituting legislation to address the atitude of the operators.

A car dealer in Omole area of Lagos was dumbfounded when he was confronted with the fact that Toyota has recalled some brands of the automobile in some parts of the world. To the 52-year-old man, the issue of recall has neither affected his turnover rate nor reduced the number of his customers.

He said, “I’ve just heard this recall story from you. My supplier has not informed me of recall of any Toyota brand lately. I took delivery of some units of Toyota last week and none of my customers complained of a defect in them.”

A car dealer in Aguda area of Lagos, simply identified as KOB, told our correspondent that he was not aware that Toyota or Ford recalled some of its brands.

According to him, he has nothing to worry about since his supplier did not import brands from Japan and the United States.
Oscar Ifeanyichukwu of Triple H Connection, a fleet user, however, told P.M.NEWS that the recall will definitely affect Nigeria.

He said: “Toyota Nigeria does import from Japan or wherever and hence this global recall will surely affect Toyota brands in the country. I think Toyota Nigeria should start an awareness campaign that has been lacking.”

Jide Olaitan furiously asked: “are they (Toyota) really the world leading car manufacturer, if they have so many car recalls?”

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Toyota recalls 6.39 million vehicles worldwide http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/09/toyota-recalls-6-39-million-vehicles-worldwide/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/09/toyota-recalls-6-39-million-vehicles-worldwide/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:37:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=190640 .Corolla sedan, the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and Yaris affected Japanese auto giant Toyota on Wednesday said it was recalling 6.39 million vehicles worldwide for five different problems, none of which had caused any accidents to its knowledge. “Toyota Motor Corporation announced five recalls involving 26 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia… […]]]>

.Corolla sedan, the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and Yaris affected

Japanese auto giant Toyota on Wednesday said it was recalling 6.39 million vehicles worldwide for five different problems, none of which had caused any accidents to its knowledge.

“Toyota Motor Corporation announced five recalls involving 26 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia… since a few models are involved in more than one recall, the total number of vehicles that will be remedied is 6.39 million,” the company said in a statement.

In October 2012, Toyota announced a global recall of 7.43 million vehicles, including its popular Camry and Corolla models, over a possible fire risk, while in February it recalled 1.9 million of its signature Prius hybrid cars.

Toyota Corolla: model among vehicles recalled

Toyota Corolla: model among vehicles recalled

On Wednesday, the firm’s Tokyo-listed shares took a hit, falling 3.07 percent to 5,450 yen ($53) by the close.

Toyota announced five separate recalls involving 26 Toyota models, as well as the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia.

“Since a few models are involved in more than one recall, the total number of vehicles that will be remedied is 6.39 million,” Toyota said in an e-mail.

Among the problems are a driver’s seat defect, steering column problems, and an engine starter glitch that poses a fire risk, the company said.

The vehicles affected include the Corolla sedan, the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and Yaris subcompact.

Toyota said it had received two reports about fires owing to the starter defect, but added that none of the issues had caused any accidents to its knowledge.

The vehicles, made over the past decade, include 1.08 million in Japan, 2.3 million in North America, about 770,000 in Europe and 62,000 in China, Toyota said.

- $1.2 bn criminal charges settled -

In March, the Japanese automaker agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle US criminal charges that it lied to safety regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects.

Dozens of deaths were blamed on the problems, which caused vehicles to speed out of control and fail to respond to the brake.

Toyota eventually recalled 12 million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010 at a cost of $2.4 billion as the scandal over sudden, unintended acceleration spread and tarnished its once-stellar reputation.

In reaching the settlement, Toyota admitted that it lied when it insisted in 2009 that it had addressed the “root cause” of the problem by fixing floor mats that could trap the accelerator.

As part of the cover-up, Toyota scrapped plans to fix the “sticky pedal” defect in the United States and instructed employees and its parts supplier not to put anything about the design changes in writing.

The latest recall came as Japan’s Jiji Press news agency said Wednesday that Toyota’s global sales in the fiscal year to March topped 10 million units for the first time.

The company, which declined to comment on the report, kept the title of world’s biggest automaker last year sales of 9.98 million vehicles, outpacing Germany’s Volkswagen and General Motors, and said it expects 2014 to become the first to break the 10 million vehicle sales barrier in a calendar year.

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Toyota pays record $1.2bn penalty for covering up defects http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/19/toyota-pays-record-1-2bn-penalty-for-covering-up-defects/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/19/toyota-pays-record-1-2bn-penalty-for-covering-up-defects/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:41:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=188654 Toyota Motor Corp. will pay $1.2 billion to settle US criminal charges that it lied to safety regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects. The Japanese auto giant eventually recalled 12 million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010 at a cost of $2.4 billion as the scandal over sudden, […]]]>

Toyota Motor Corp. will pay $1.2 billion to settle US criminal charges that it lied to safety regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects.

The Japanese auto giant eventually recalled 12 million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010 at a cost of $2.4 billion as the scandal over sudden, unintended acceleration spread and tarnished its once-stellar reputation.

“Rather than promptly disclosing and correcting safety issues about which they were aware, Toyota made misleading public statements to consumers and gave inaccurate facts to members of Congress,” Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters.

“When car owners get behind the wheel, they have a right to expect that their vehicle is safe.”

Toyota-NS4

Toyota-NS4

In reaching the settlement, Toyota admitted that it lied when it told both the public and US safety regulators in 2009 that it had addressed the root cause of the problem by fixing floor mats that could trap the accelerator.

In fact, Toyota had just weeks earlier taken steps to hide another defect from safety regulators which had first surfaced in Europe the year before.

As part of the cover-up, Toyota scrapped plans to fix the “sticky pedal” defect in the United States and instructed employees and its parts supplier not to put anything about the design changes in writing.

Toyota eventually revealed the sticky pedal problems and recalled millions of affected vehicles.

But it continued to try to cover its tracks by lying to the public, safety regulators and even a US congressional hearing about when the problem was discovered, the settlement agreement said.

Toyota said it has made “fundamental changes” to improve its handling of safety issues and consumer complaints and is “committed to continued improvement in everything we do to keep building trust in our company, our people and our products.”

“Entering this agreement, while difficult, is a major step toward putting this unfortunate chapter behind us,” Christopher Reynolds, chief legal officer for Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement.

“We remain extremely grateful to our customers who have continued to stand by Toyota. Moving forward, they can be confident that we continue to take our responsibilities to them seriously.”

Holder warned other car companies to “not repeat Toyota’s mistake.”

“A recall may damage a company’s reputation, but deceiving your customers makes that damage far more lasting,” he said at a press conference.

The Toyota settlement came as General Motors is under fire for taking more than 10 years to address an ignition problem linked to more than 30 crashes and 12 deaths.

Holder declined to confirm or deny reports that the Justice Department is investigating GM’s conduct.

However, he said the Toyota settlement is “reflective of the aggressive nature we would take” should an automaker try to deceive the public, “and the way we would resolve it.”

The settlement does not free Toyota from potential prosecution.

The Justice Department agreed to defer prosecution on criminal charges, and will withdraw the charges in three years, if Toyota abides by the settlement, including cooperating with an independent monitor assigned to review and oversee the its policies with respect to auto safety and its public communications.

The $1.2 billion fine is the largest financial penalty that the US Justice Department has imposed on an automaker.

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Customs agents oppose tariff for used cars, paralyse Tin Can port http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/06/customs-agents-oppose-tariff-for-used-cars-paralyse-tin-can-port/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/06/customs-agents-oppose-tariff-for-used-cars-paralyse-tin-can-port/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 17:51:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=187498 Business activities at the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos were on Thursday paralysed as clearing agents staged a protest over the implementation of a new tariff on imported used vehicles.

Reports said that the agents barricaded the APM terminal at the Tin-Can Island port and barred people from going in and out of the port.

The Federal Government, had in 2013, raised the tariff on imported used vehicles to 70 per cent against the earlier maximum of 55 per cent.

The agents, under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), told NAN that they wanted the government to reverse to the old tariff.

Mr Emmauel Onyeme, the Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, said that the protest was not only in the interest of importers, but of the entire population.

“’We appeal to the government to look into the tariff in the interest of the country. We are not protesting for our interest alone, but for the 140 million Nigerians.

“We want the tariff reversed. The duty they are asking us to pay is too much. We will continue this protest tomorrow,” Onyeme said.

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Volkswagen set to buy 100 per cent of Scania http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/21/volkswagen-set-to-buy-100-per-cent-of-scania/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/21/volkswagen-set-to-buy-100-per-cent-of-scania/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:57:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=186807 Europe’s biggest carmaker, Germany’s Volkswagen, said Friday it was making a 6.7-billion-euro ($9.19 billion) offer to grab the nearly 40 percent of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania it does not already own. Volkswagen currently has nearly 90 percent of voting shares in Scania, and owns 62.6 percent of the company. It is telling shareholders of the […]]]>

Europe’s biggest carmaker, Germany’s Volkswagen, said Friday it was making a 6.7-billion-euro ($9.19 billion) offer to grab the nearly 40 percent of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania it does not already own.

Volkswagen currently has nearly 90 percent of voting shares in Scania, and owns 62.6 percent of the company.

It is telling shareholders of the outstanding stock it is willing to pay them 200 Swedish kronor (22.24 euros, $36.84) per share, a premium of more than 50 percent that values the total offer at 6.7 billion euros.

The buy is conditioned on Volkswagen ending up with at least 90 percent of Scania. If that happens, the German group will withdraw the listed Swedish firm from the Stockholm stock exchange.VOLKswagen

Volkswagen already owns German truck- and bus-maker MAN. It bought into Scania in 2000. Taking full control of the Swedish company, it reckons it will make annual savings of 650 million euros through synergies.

The German group used the Scania announcement also to reveal its 2013 results, which were not expected for another three weeks.

Volkswagen’s net profit last year sank 58 percent to 9.1 billion euros — a forecast dip brought on from its integration of Porsche into the group in 2012.

Revenues rose slightly, by 2.2 percent, to 197 billion euros, as did its operating profit, up 1.5 percent to 11.7 billion euros.

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Toyota doubles profits http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/04/toyota-doubles-profits/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/04/toyota-doubles-profits/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 06:46:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=184526 Toyota said Tuesday it is on track for a record annual profit as it announced its nine-month net earnings more than doubled to $15 billion on a sharp drop in the yen and surging overseas sales. The world’s biggest automaker earned 1.52 trillion yen ($15 billion) between April and December on sales of 19.12 trillion […]]]>

Toyota said Tuesday it is on track for a record annual profit as it announced its nine-month net earnings more than doubled to $15 billion on a sharp drop in the yen and surging overseas sales.

The world’s biggest automaker earned 1.52 trillion yen ($15 billion) between April and December on sales of 19.12 trillion yen — propelled by a five-fold jump in third-quarter earnings.

It also boosted a fiscal year to March profit forecast to a record 1.90 trillion yen.

Japanese automakers have been big winners over the past year as a sharp drop in the yen inflated exporters’ repatriated profits, further boosted by improved overseas demand.

Toyota has ramped up its bid to tap emerging markets while key US demand has also been on the upswing, helping the firm book ever-increasing profits.

“In addition to the positive impact of the weaker yen, our operating income increased due to marketing efforts such as increased vehicle sales and cost reduction activities through collaboration with our suppliers,” Toyota managing officer Takuo Sasaki said in a statement.

Profits double

Profits double

Last month, Toyota kept the title of world’s biggest automaker with calendar-year 2013 sales of 9.98 million vehicles, outpacing Germany’s Volkswagen and General Motors, and said it expects this year to become the first automaker to break the 10 million vehicle sales barrier.

Toyota broke GM’s decades-long reign as world’s top automaker in 2008 but lost the crown three years later as Japan’s quake-tsunami disaster hammered production and disrupted the supply chains of Japanese automakers.

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Auto companies scramble for ANAMMCO http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/03/auto-companies-scramble-for-anammco/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/03/auto-companies-scramble-for-anammco/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:42:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=184478 Three automakers are jostling to take over the production lines of the moribund Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company(ANAMMCO), Enugu, eastern Nigeria, an official said. Chief Godwin Okeke, the Chairman of the company’s board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday that it was awaiting the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to pick […]]]>

Three automakers are jostling to take over the production lines of the moribund Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company(ANAMMCO), Enugu, eastern Nigeria, an official said.

Chief Godwin Okeke, the Chairman of the company’s board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday that it was awaiting the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to pick one of the three.

Okeke said an agreement had been reached on how much should be paid to the former owners to hands off the plant, which previously produced Mercedes Benz trucks and buses.

“We are waiting for BPE to say `pay off’ and the deal is done. We are ready with the money; what is delaying it is BPE approval,’’ he said.

The renowned transporter declined to name the automakers but said they were ready to move if given the approval.

“Once these people are paid off, the new people will move. Two or three companies are ready to move in,’’ he said.

Okeke had last year appealed to the National Automotive Council to intervene in the acquisition process in the spirit of the new automotive policy.

He said that the former owners of the company were unduly delaying the process.

NAN reports that ANAMMCO is a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Daimler Chrysler AG.

Before it became moribund, ANAMMCO manufactured commercial vehicles and led in the commercial vehicle market with five tonnes capacity and above in Nigeria.

The plant, which occupies a sprawling 300,000 square metre site at Emene, near Enugu, was an example of economic and technological cooperation between the government and people of Nigeria and Daimler Chrysler AG.

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Toyota leads the rest in record sales http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/23/toyota-leads-the-rest-in-record-sales/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/23/toyota-leads-the-rest-in-record-sales/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:32:58 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=183247 Toyota sold a record 9.98 million vehicles last year, it said Thursday, outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen to maintain its title of world’s biggest automaker. The Japanese auto giant’s highest-ever annual sales volume came thanks to a weaker yen as well as strong US and China sales, signalling it had recovered from a series […]]]>

Toyota sold a record 9.98 million vehicles last year, it said Thursday, outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen to maintain its title of world’s biggest automaker.

The Japanese auto giant’s highest-ever annual sales volume came thanks to a weaker yen as well as strong US and China sales, signalling it had recovered from a series of damaging safety recalls and Japan’s 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.

The figures beat US-based GM, which said it sold 9.71 million cars last year, while Germany’s Volkswagen logged annual sales of 9.5 million.

Toyota broke GM’s decades-long reign as world’s top automaker in 2008 but lost the crown three years later as the quake-tsunami hammered production and disrupted the supply chains of Japanese automakers.

Toyota-NS4

Toyota-NS4

However, in 2012 it once again overtook its Detroit rival, which sells the Chevrolet and luxury Cadillac brands. GM’s strong results come after it emerged from bankruptcy and a government bailout during the 2008 global economic crisis.

Toyota, maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, also said Thursday it expects this year to become the first automaker to break the 10 million vehicle sales barrier.

That growth would be driven by overseas demand — Toyota expects volume at home to slip 5.0 percent this year as consumer demand takes a hit from an April sales tax hike.

Toyota has outmanoeuvred other automakers with a “comprehensive edge” in product lineup, sales network and cost structure, said SMBC Nikko Securities auto analyst Shotaro Noguchi.

“They have maintained that balance well, compared to its rivals,” he said.

“Toyota should have reached the 10 million mark sooner if they had not faced major negative factors like the impact of the quake disaster and flooding in Thailand.”

But he warned that the auto giant should not get complacent, adding: “If they only pay attention to production and sales figures, they could lose their competitive edge and wind up in trouble.”

China, emerging markets driving sales

The sales figures cap off an impressive comeback for Toyota, which took a heavy blow from a series of mass recalls affecting millions of cars that damaged its once-stellar reputation for quality and safety and led to US congressional hearings in 2010.

The firm has said it expects a net profit of 1.67 trillion yen ($16.02 billion) in the fiscal year to March thanks to a sharply weaker yen and improving sales in North America.

Toyota has ramped up its drive to tap emerging markets while key US demand has also been on the upswing, helping the firm book ever-increasing profits with its half-year earnings surging 82.5 percent.

Japanese industry has benefited from the big-spending and easy-money policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with huge monetary easing measures from the premier’s hand-picked team at the Bank of Japan helping push down the currency.

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Nigeria to become car exporter soon, says Jonathan http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/21/nigeria-to-become-car-exporter-soon-says-jonathan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/21/nigeria-to-become-car-exporter-soon-says-jonathan/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 05:14:39 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=183061 President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said with the new National Automotive Industry Policy introduced by his administration, Nigeria would soon be exporting cars to other countries. He did not however give a time frame for the export. The President who said this when he received a delegation of members of the business community from Anambra […]]]>

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said with the new National Automotive Industry Policy introduced by his administration, Nigeria would soon be exporting cars to other countries.

He did not however give a time frame for the export.

The President who said this when he received a delegation of members of the business community from Anambra State that was led by the state governor, Mr. Peter Obi added that the new automotive policy is designed to industrialise the country.

“If any country will be great, we must industrialise. If Nigeria must be a great country, we must industrialise. To this end, we will continue to encourage industrialists in Anambra”.

 PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, GOV. PETER OBI OF ANAMBRA STATE, HON. CHRIS AZUBOGU, REPRESENTING NNEWI FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY AND CHIEF AZUBUIKE OKAFOR, CHAIRMAN, MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA  (ANAMBRA, ENUGU AND EBONYI STATE BRANCH), DURING THE VISIT.

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, GOV. PETER OBI OF
ANAMBRA STATE, HON. CHRIS AZUBOGU, REPRESENTING NNEWI FEDERAL
CONSTITUENCY AND CHIEF AZUBUIKE OKAFOR, CHAIRMAN, MANUFACTURING
ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (ANAMBRA, ENUGU AND EBONYI STATE BRANCH),
DURING THE VISIT.

President Jonathan added that this was why his administration is also giving so much attention and resources to the power sector because of its critical role in industrialisation.

He also promised that the demands of the delegation like road, power and port would be addressed appropriately.

“I will refer all the issues you raised to the various departments of government.

“We are totally committed to creating jobs. Nigeria is a country with huge population of youths. If jobs are not created, there will be crisis. The housing, agriculture and power sectors are also receiving attention.

“In the next few years, Nigeria will begin to export cars to other countries. We are encouraging government to support local manufacturers.”

Vice President Namadi Sambo told the delegation that Jonathan had recently approved $3.7 billion to improve power transmission across the country.

Governor Obi had earlier told the President that the industrialists are ready and well-positioned to assist in the achievement of the federal government’s transformation agenda.

“You have excess credit in your political account that these people (members of the delegation) are ready to pay you when you need it.”

While thanking the President for the inclusion of Nnewi in the National Automotive Industry Policy of the Federal Government, Obi urged government to complete the 330/132/33KV power substation at Nnewi, provision of uninterrupted power supply in the Onitsha Harbour Industrial Area and Ozubulu Industrial Hub, completion of Nnamdi Azikwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi and the inclusion of Anambra State in the rail master plan.

The Governor also urged government to build federal roads within the state such as Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Section 1, Nnewi-Okija, start of Onitsha Second Niger Bridge, completion of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriageway and completion of Umueze-Anam Kogi Roads.

The Governor said the provision of the infrastructure demanded will attract to the state ancillary industries especially with the coming on stream of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant and will drive up local content in vehicle manufacturing from 40 to 60 per cent.

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Lamborghini joins SUV segment in 2017 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/15/lamborghini-joins-suv-segment-in-2017/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/15/lamborghini-joins-suv-segment-in-2017/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 08:18:04 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182414 Lamborghini SpA, Volkswagen (VOW) AG’s Italian supercar division, plans to start building the Urus sport-utility vehicle in three years, the brand’s first model in the segment since the Rambo Lambo of the 1990s. “The expectation” is to introduce the SUV in 2017, Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer Stephan Winkelmann said yesterday in an interview at the […]]]>

Lamborghini SpA, Volkswagen (VOW) AG’s Italian supercar division, plans to start building the Urus sport-utility vehicle in three years, the brand’s first model in the segment since the Rambo Lambo of the 1990s.

“The expectation” is to introduce the SUV in 2017, Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer Stephan Winkelmann said yesterday in an interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The luxury SUV market is poised to continue to grow.”

Volkswagen’s Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche high-end brands are all adding SUVs to their line-ups as the models’ high-riding position and larger storage space attract buyers in the U.S. as well as in emerging markets. Upmarket European producers entering the segment in the past 20 years include global luxury leaders Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), VW’s Audi unit and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz.

“The SUV segment is almost exclusively sold to the retail customer: it has better price points and better residual value” than sedans sold to fleet buyers, Erich Hauser, a London-based automotive analyst at International Strategy & Investment Group, said by phone. “In emerging markets, you have a real need for cars with better ground clearance” to handle poorly kept roads.

Lamborghini's SUV Urus unveiled in Beijing

Lamborghini’s SUV Urus unveiled in Beijing

SUVs accounted for 30.9 percent of the U.S. auto market in 2013, an increase from 29.7 percent a year earlier, according to estimates by industry research company Autodata Corp. Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW, Europe’s biggest car manufacturer, said yesterday that its mass-market namesake brand will introduce a mid-sized SUV designed for North America in 2016.

Audi, which said on Jan. 9 that its Q line-up of the models helped propel sales growth in 2013, will begin selling the subcompact Q1 SUV in 2016. The best-selling vehicle at Stuttgart, Germany-based Porsche, a brand better known for the 911 sports car, is now the Cayenne SUV, and the unit plans to roll out the new Macan crossover in April.

Bentley got VW’s go-ahead in July to produce a crossover that will be the most powerful and, at about 180,000 euros ($246,000), the priciest in the SUV segment. The Crewe, England-based unit has received 2,000 advance orders for the model, even though customers haven’t even seen the reworked design, CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said yesterday in an interview at the Detroit show.

“Preparations for the SUV are progressing as planned,” with the vehicle scheduled to be unveiled toward the end of 2015 and sales to start in 2016, Schreiber said.

Rolls-Royce Consideration

The vehicle may encounter competition from BMW’s Rolls-Royce Motor Cars super-luxury unit. Division CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in a Jan. 9 interview that Rolls-Royce is considering whether an SUV would fit into its line-up. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT)’s high-end British car brand Jaguar displayed a prototype small SUV, dubbed the C-X17, at the Frankfurt auto show in September, though has yet to outline production plans.

Aston Martin, the U.K. sports-car maker that’s the only global luxury-vehicle producer not owned by a larger manufacturing group, is considering developing an SUV amid a wider investment drive to double vehicle sales, a person familiar with the situation said in September.

BMW X4

BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, is bringing out the X4, its fifth SUV, this year. Stuttgart-based Mercedes, which ranks third in the premium-auto industry after Munich-based BMW and Audi, is scheduled to start deliveries of the GLA small SUV in March.

Fiat SpA (F)’s upscale Maserati division plans to introduce its first SUV as part of a strategy to expand sales to 50,000 vehicles in 2015. The model will be built in Italy starting next year, Maserati CEO Harald Wester said yesterday in an interview.

Lamborghini stopped producing the LM002 SUV, popularly known as the Rambo Lambo, in 1993 after a failed effort to make military vehicles. The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based carmaker unveiled a prototype of the Urus in 2012, when Winkelmann predicted the model could generate 3,000 deliveries a year.

Reported by Bloomberg

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Car makers dazzle with new designs at US auto show http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/14/car-makers-dazzle-with-new-designs-at-us-auto-show/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/14/car-makers-dazzle-with-new-designs-at-us-auto-show/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 09:37:08 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182333 Automakers paraded their newest models at the Detroit Auto Show, many with more horsepower, more aggressive profiles and ever-swankier cockpits, almost in celebration of the US market, now close to its pre-crash highs and girding for more solid growth this year. With some four dozen new models on offer, consumers were spoiled for choice — […]]]>
The new AudiS8 crossover vehicle

The new AudiS8 crossover vehicle

Automakers paraded their newest models at the Detroit Auto Show, many with more horsepower, more aggressive profiles and ever-swankier cockpits, almost in celebration of the US market, now close to its pre-crash highs and girding for more solid growth this year.

With some four dozen new models on offer, consumers were spoiled for choice — if not overwhelmed.

Already last year the industry offered some 340 models, a sharp increase since the early 2000s, according to Jessica Caldwell of industry analysts Edmunds.com.

But as cars from Mercedes Benz’s new C-Class and Honda’s little third-generation Fit showed, consumers are getting more amenities, from connectivity to power to comfort, in the lower ranges of the automakers’ fleets.

“There’s a tremendous amount of innovation taking place in the industry right now,” said Robert Carter, senior vice president for automotive operations at Toyota.

Automakers, after a hugely successful 2013, forecast more growth and unveiled powerful new trucks, sexy sports cars and luxury models.

General Motors logged an early win after its Chevrolet brand swept the car and truck of the year awards with the Corvette Stingray sports car and the Chevy Silverado pickup truck.

“Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history,” Chevy chief Alan Batey said, hailing its wins.

Eyes were on Ford, however, as it gambled with a major change for the best-selling F150 pickup, replacing steel body panels with aluminum to drastically lower body weight and boost fuel economy.

The move, which helped Ford slash the truck’s weight by up to 700 pounds (317 kilos) is seen as a big risk, because truck buyers tend to focus on sturdiness and power.

Toyota, meanwhile, revved up its design credentials with a provocative new concept for a sports car, with a race car pit crew opening a shiny red box to reveal the FT-1 sports concept — Future Toyota 1.

Chrysler unveiled its hotly anticipated revamp of the 200 sedan, which aims to bring a new level of luxury and styling to its midsized offering with a low entry price of $21,700.

Here are some of the models on display:

The Audi E-Tron Quattro Allroad Concept vehicle

The Audi E-Tron Quattro Allroad Concept vehicle

The Audi E-Tron Quattro in full view

The Audi E-Tron Quattro in full view

Porsche new 911 Targa: Matthias Muller, President and CEO of Porsche AG  shows off the roof

Porsche new 911 Targa: Matthias Muller, President and CEO of Porsche AG shows off the roof

The Porsche 911 Targa

The Porsche 911 Targa

The new Mercedes Benz S Class coupe

The new Mercedes Benz S Class coupe

The Chrysler 200c

The Chrysler 200c

the Nissan Sports Sedan

the Nissan Sports Sedan

front headlights of the Nissan Sports Sedan

front headlights of the Nissan Sports Sedan

The Volvo XC Coupe

The Volvo XC Coupe

The new Ford F150

The new Ford F150

Hyundai introduces 2015 Genesis

Hyundai introduces 2015 Genesis

Kia's GT4 Stinger

Kia’s GT4 Stinger

The Nissan Sports Sedan Concep

The Nissan Sports Sedan Concep

The 2015 Honda Fit

The 2015 Honda Fit

MINI introduces the John Cooper Works Concept

MINI introduces the John Cooper Works Concept

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06

 Toyota FT-1 concept car: the front view

Toyota FT-1 concept car: the front view

 Toyota FT-1 concept car : the back

Toyota FT-1 concept car : the back

All Photo by AFP.

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GM’s Chevrolet sweeps US car, truck of year awards http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/13/gms-chevrolet-sweeps-us-car-truck-of-year-awards/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/13/gms-chevrolet-sweeps-us-car-truck-of-year-awards/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:17:56 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182282 General Motors’s Chevrolet division swept both the US car and US truck/utility of the year awards as the annual North American International Auto Show kicked off Monday. The Chevrolet Silverado beat out co-semifinalists Acura’s MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the Jeep Cherokee SUV for the truck/utility of the year. And Chevrolet’s Corvette Stingray sports […]]]>

General Motors’s Chevrolet division swept both the US car and US truck/utility of the year awards as the annual North American International Auto Show kicked off Monday.

The Chevrolet Silverado beat out co-semifinalists Acura’s MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the Jeep Cherokee SUV for the truck/utility of the year.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

And Chevrolet’s Corvette Stingray sports car, introduced at the Detroit show a year ago, grabbed car of the year honors. Runners-up were the Mazda3 small sedan and the luxury Cadillac CTS.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette stingray

“Wow! It’s been quite a year for us. This is an unbelievable exclamation point on what’s been a fantastic year,” said the Corvette’s executive engineer Tadge Juechter as he accepted the award.

“We took a few risks on the Stingray,” he added.

GM was to introduce a new hyper-powered version of the Stingray, the Corvette Z06, with a 625 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter direct-injection V8 engine.

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2 Indian vehicle makers show interest in Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/11/2-indian-vehicle-makers-show-interest-in-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/11/2-indian-vehicle-makers-show-interest-in-nigeria/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 04:21:23 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182063 Two vehicle manufacturing companies from India, TATA and TVS Motor Company, on Friday indicated their interest to establish automotive plants in Nigeria, the Principal Executive Officer (Information) of the National Automotive Council (NAC), Mr Bello Rasheed has said. Rasheed said that top management executives of both companies made their intentions known during separate visits to […]]]>

Two vehicle manufacturing companies from India, TATA and TVS Motor Company, on Friday indicated their interest to establish automotive plants in Nigeria, the Principal Executive Officer (Information) of the National Automotive Council (NAC), Mr Bello Rasheed has said.

Rasheed said that top management executives of both companies made their intentions known during separate visits to the Director General of NAC, Mr Aminu Jalal, in Abuja.

The TATA delegation comprised Messrs P. Gangadharan, N. Menon and Fred Obi, while the TVS team included Messrs K. Srinivasan, J. Vignesh and Rajan Menon.TATA logo

Rasheed quoted the representatives as saying that both companies were encouraged by the new National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) approved late last year by the Federal Government.

The visitors were provided with the technical details, administrative requirements and NAIDP guidelines for setting up vehicle industrial plants in the country.

“Established in 1945, TATA Motors is the world’s fifth truck manufacturer and India’s largest automobile maker with products ranging from cars, buses, utility vehicles, SUVs, trucks, armoured and military vehicles. It is also the new owner of Land Rover and Jaguar brands.

“Similarly, TVS Motors manufactures a wide range of motor cycles and three-wheelers. It is among the world’s top ten two-wheeler manufacturer,’’ Rasheed said.

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Nigeria, Africa the new El Dorado for luxury cars http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/29/nigeria-africa-the-new-el-dorado-for-luxury-cars/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/29/nigeria-africa-the-new-el-dorado-for-luxury-cars/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2013 06:01:00 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=180996 Porsches, Range Rovers and even Maseratis… luxury cars are no strange sight weaving through the old bangers that rumble along Abidjan’s chaotic streets, another indication of the emergence of a wealthy class in Africa. Each of the vehicles costs at least tens of thousands of euros, representing decades of work for an Ivorian earning the […]]]>

Porsches, Range Rovers and even Maseratis… luxury cars are no strange sight weaving through the old bangers that rumble along Abidjan’s chaotic streets, another indication of the emergence of a wealthy class in Africa.

Each of the vehicles costs at least tens of thousands of euros, representing decades of work for an Ivorian earning the minimum wage, even after it was recently hiked 60 percent to 60,000 CFA francs (around 90 euros, $125) a month.

Yet in wealthy Abidjan neighbourhoods the streets are jammed with more luxury autos than in rich quarters of European capitals.

It’s the same story in Johannesburg, Lagos, or even Libreville. In the Gabonese capital it is common to see SUV after SUV snaking along the oceanside boulevard.

Wealthy Africans love the big, high, four-wheel drive vehicles.

Not only are they better adapted to the roads, regularly in a poor condition, they have also become something of a status symbol.

In Gabon, 70 percent of the 6,000 new vehicles sold each year are big 4x4s, mostly Japanese models, according to the Gabonese Federation of Car Importers.

“Here, its a 4×4 or nothing,” said one car importer who declined to give his name. For the Gabonese, the SUV has become “the symbol of success, much more than a house”.

In Ivory Coast, luxury cars make up only 3 percent of the 8,000 new cars sold each year, said one industry expert who asked to remain anonymous.

“However certain customers are looking for the top of the line — “bling-bling” cars — there are people with money like that in the market,” he added.

But the high taxes slapped on new cars have given the second-hand car market a boost. A significant proportion of luxury cars enter the country this way from Europe, the United States and even the Middle East.

And it isn’t just SUVs.

Despite the potholes that riddle Abidjan’s streets, there are importers offering low-slung sports cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

A former rebel military leader turned security official, Issiaka Ouattara, known as “Wattao”, was recently seen on national television driving a Maserati.

This brash display of luxury cars is an indication of the growing wealth in Africa despite increasing numbers living in extreme poverty.

The African Development Bank put the size of the African middle class at 300 million in 2011.

Ventures financial magazine recently put the number of African billionaires at 55 — more than triple the previous count. That figure is likely an underestimate, the Nigerian magazine said, as many are not comfortable disclosing the true extent of their wealth.

Expansion across the continent

Luxury automakers are not letting this bonanza pass them by.

Porsche boasts a brand new showroom in Victoria Island, one of Lagos’ most chic neighbourhoods.

The German carmaker’s sales have jumped by nearly 40 percent the past two years in South Africa, where it has been present for decades.

It has recently set up shop in Angola and Ghana as well as Nigeria, according to Christer Ekberg, Porsche’s managing director for the Middle East and Africa.

Porsche showroom in Lagos

Porsche showroom in Lagos

With 2,000 Porsche cars sold in sub-Saharan Africa in the first three quarters of this year, which the company described as a “promising” figure, the automaker is committed to expanding further across the continent.

Local partners are being sought for dealerships in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.

Mercedes also views the potential of the African market as “enormous”, a spokeswoman said.

The German carmaker has an assembly line in South Africa, where it sells 20,000 vehicles per year.

BMW said it also intends to keep expanding across Africa, where it saw 15 percent sales growth in 2012 to 34,000 vehicles.

As for Audi, the company expects further growth in certain parts of Africa, where its sales have doubled in three years to 22,000 vehicles.

The carmakers are also being pulled in by the need to service their vehicles that have already found their way into African countries.

A lack of parts and diagnostic equipment has led to these high-performance vehicles being kept off the road for months in Abidjan, according to an expert on the local car market.

“If Porsche comes to Ivory Coast, customers will be overjoyed to be able to repair their cars in a company garage,” said another expert on the African market.

“But they won’t necessarily buy there,” he added.

“Well-heeled clients are no different than others” and will likely plump for a second-hand vehicle in good condition that is much less expensive, he said.

.An AFP feature story

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FAAN admits buying 2 armoured limos for Princess Oduah http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/faan-admits-buying-2-armoured-limos-for-princess-oduah/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/faan-admits-buying-2-armoured-limos-for-princess-oduah/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 21:07:53 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=176190 The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, on Wednesday said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) purchased two armoured vehicles for its Managing Director and another two for the embattled minister, Princess Stella Oduah. Uzodinma spoke to newsmen on the sidelines of the investigation into the purchase of two armoured vehicles by […]]]>

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, on Wednesday said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) purchased two armoured vehicles for its Managing Director and another two for the embattled minister, Princess Stella Oduah.

Uzodinma spoke to newsmen on the sidelines of the investigation into the purchase of two armoured vehicles by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for Aviation Minister Stella Oduah.

He said that FAAN Managing Director, Mr George Uriesi, told the committee on oath that his agency purchased 202 operational cars and two bullet-proofs cars for the office of the managing director.

•Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah,

•Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah,

“Uriesi did confirm that among the operational vehicles they purchased, four of them are armored vehicles, two for the managing director and two for the minister.

“We told them to go back and put everything in writing and make comprehensive statements on all vehicles purchased.

“They bought a total number of 202 vehicles for different operations so until they come back on Monday we cannot rush into conclusion.

“The managing director of FAAN said they did a funding arrangement with a commercial bank,’’ he said.

Uzodinma, who said investigations were still ongoing, promised that the committee was committed to undertake a holistic probe to ensure that all anomalies were corrected to reposition the sector.

He quoted the FAAN managing director as saying that the Minister of Aviation gave approval for the purchase of the armoured vehicles.

The Senate Committee on Aviation had on 29 October queried FAAN over the purchase of four bullet-proof cars for use by the managing director

Uriesi told the committee that the vehicles included two Lexus Limousine cars and two Prado jeeps.

He said that contrary to insinuations, the limousines were purchased at the cost N60 million each and not N70 million.

Uriesi, who said that he did not have details of the cost of the Prado jeeps, however, said the vehicles were still in the custody of the bankers which funded the purchase.

The committee ordered the managing director to appear before it on Nov. 4, with comprehensive details of the transaction and the documents for all the purchases.

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Oduah’s BMW cars: Can of worms as Coscharis faces Reps panel http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/oduahs-bmw-cars-can-of-worms-as-coscharis-faces-reps-panel/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/oduahs-bmw-cars-can-of-worms-as-coscharis-faces-reps-panel/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:59:52 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=176178 The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said that the Federal Ministry of Finance granted a waiver of N10.1 million to Coscharis Motors for the purchase of the two BMW cars by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The NCS told the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation investigating the alleged importation of the cars […]]]>

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said that the Federal Ministry of Finance granted a waiver of N10.1 million to Coscharis Motors for the purchase of the two BMW cars by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The NCS told the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation investigating the alleged importation of the cars by the NCAA for the Minister of Aviation Ms Stella Oduah that the said waiver was to import 300 vehicles, including the controversial two BMW cars.

Representative of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Mr Manasseh Jatau, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, disclosed this in his presentation at the public hearing of the case on Wednesday in Abuja.

•Stella Oduah : breached the rules

•Stella Oduah : breached the rules

He said the point of entry of the cars was Tincan Port in Lagos, adding that no import duty was collected from the owner of the goods (Coscharis Motors) as a one-year duty waiver for 300 cars was granted in the name of the company for importation of cars for Eko 2012 Games in Lagos.

Jatau said the exemption on the two BMW cars along with 298 others was at the expense of the Lagos State Government, who would have been the beneficiaries of the payment.

Documents presented to the committee by the NCS showed that the Import Duty, VAT, ETLS, CISS and Port Charges Waiver Certificate was issued by the Ministry of Finance on Nov. 20, 2012.

The document was signed by the Director of Revenue, Mrs Rose Ngozi-Maranzu, on behalf of the finance minister.

Jatau also disclosed that contrary to earlier reports, the Office of the National Security Adviser duly issued an approval for the purchase of the armoured cars.

He said a signed copy of a pre-shipment inspection end-user certificate issued by the NSA on June 6, 2013, showed that due approval was gotten from the office for Coscharis Motors to import three armoured cars valued at 223,653.48 dollars into Nigeria for commercial purposes.

The document, identified as “Form A’’, had the stamp of the Office of the National Security Adviser appended on it.

Members of the Committee were engaged, for over 30 minutes, in a heated argument with Coscharis Motors in a move to ascertain the market price of the vehicles.

While the committee insisted that the current price of the vehicle should not exceed N50 million each, Coscharis outrightly refuted this position, saying it could never be the case with BMW B7 series anywhere in the world.

Coscharis, represented by the company’s Chairman Mr Cosmos Maduka, alleged that the NCAA demanded an increase in the prices of the controversial vehicles over what the company had submitted earlier.

“NCAA told us that the initial price is not proper,” Maduka, said.

He also said the cars were sold to NCAA as used vehicles following the delay encountered when the company sought clearance from the office of the NSA.

But the committee insisted that Coscharis deceived the public and the government by saying that the cars were bought for NCAA when actually they were purchased on behalf of the Lagos State Government.

The committee also accused the company of ripping Nigerians off.

According to the committee, the change in the prices of the vehicles from the initial N70 million to N127.5 million, even when the company had admitted that it got waiver from the government not to pay customs duties on the cars, cast aspersion on the company’s position on the prices.

NAN also reports that the hearing later took a dramatic turn when the committee discovered that the company supplied different make and type of vehicles.

A member of the committee and spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said that the chassis number of one of the vehicles inspected by a delegation from the committee read DW68011.

He argued that the number differed from what Coscharis gave in their correspondences with the office of the NSA.

But in a swift response, Maduka refuted this, quoting the chassis numbers as 68044 and 68432, respectively.

He, however, promised to send the certificate issued by the NSA for the purchase of the cars to the committee.

Earlier, the company had requested to play a video to demonstrate how exotic the cars were in a bid to justify the prices, but the request was turned down by the committee.

Also the former Acting Director-General of NCAA, Mr Joyce Nkemakolam told the Committee that he approved a leasing agreement rather than a loan, with First Bank Plc on the purchase of the cars because of an advice he received from his colleagues.

A member of the committee, Rep. Raphael Nnanna-Igbokwe had asked why the NCAA insisted on going on with the leasing agreement after being informed by First Bank Plc that it was not disposed to leasing facility but loan facility.

“I signed the agreement based on advice from my colleagues that leasing and loan facilities are the same. I thought the templates are the same,’’ Nkemakolam said.

But Committee was shocked when the acting Director-General said though as the Chief Executive Officer during the period under investigation, he was not aware of the details of the delivery of the two vehicles.

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PAN wants total ban on car imports http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/pan-wants-total-ban-on-car-imports/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/30/pan-wants-total-ban-on-car-imports/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:05:24 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=176172 Mr Ibrahim Boyi, the Managing Director, Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN), has called on the Federal Government to ban importation of cars into the country. Boyi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Wednesday. He urged the Federal Government to fortify the porous borders for the growth […]]]>

Mr Ibrahim Boyi, the Managing Director, Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN), has called on the Federal Government to ban importation of cars into the country.

Boyi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Wednesday.

He urged the Federal Government to fortify the porous borders for the growth of local auto industry.

He said that if the measure was put in place, it would enable the local industry to compete favourably with foreign counterparts in the global market.

“The development of the country’s automobile industry is hinged on proactive measures towards fortifying the porous borders.

cars: PAN wants imports banned

cars: PAN wants imports banned


“The choice of leaving wide our border will definitely affect the country in the long run to develop its own automobile industry.’’

Bovi commended the Federal Government on the new automotive policy.

“My appeal to the government is to ensure thorough implementations of the new automotive policy which will enable it achieve the aim and objective it was designed for,” he said.

He said that the new management of PAN had reawakened its commercial and technical agreement with Peugeot Automobile France.

He said that PAN was currently working on how to introduce pick-up vans into the Nigerian market.

He said that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) now owns over 70 per cent of PAN following the 2012 debt restructuring.

Bovi said this was as a result of the financial challenge faced by the company and the consequence was its inability to run as a business entity.

“AMCON under the government policy of buying over toxic assets, agreed to restructure the debt of PAN to equity and today, AMCON is the biggest single investor in PAN,” he said.

He said that the primary objective of AMCON’s intervention was to ensure that it delivered on the benefits and objectives for which PAN was established.

He noted that the auto industry had great potential to grow the economy.

He said that PAN’s management would do everything within its capacity to restore its past glory.

“Our next plan is to start Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) assembly, we hope that the factory will come to full production before the middle of next year.’’

Bovi expressed the hope that the company would make significant impact in the development of the economy within the next few years.

“PAN, which once produced 90,000 cars in 1985, and had about 4,000 permanent staff, now produces about 3000 vehicles annually with its existing 250 staff,” he said.

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Toyota unveils cars of the future, with auto pilot http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/11/toyota-unveils-cars-of-the-future-with-auto-pilot/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/11/toyota-unveils-cars-of-the-future-with-auto-pilot/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:08:47 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=174471 Toyota on Friday unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an auto pilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel. The Japanese giant autos using the self-driving technology could be available on the market in just a few years’ time. […]]]>

Toyota on Friday unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an auto pilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel.

The Japanese giant autos using the self-driving technology could be available on the market in just a few years’ time.

“These advanced driving support technologies prevent human errors, reduce driving stress and help drivers avert accidents, which has a big potential to reduce the number of traffic deaths,” Toyota managing director Moritaka Yoshida said at a presentation in Tokyo.

Leading automakers and technology firms, including Toyota, rival Nissan and Internet giant Google, have been working on self-driving and assisted-driving technology for years.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, said that while drivers would still need to be alert and take part in the driving process, it essentially lets them put the vehicle on auto-pilot, leaving most of the work to the computer system.

a prototype model of a fuel cell vehicle, made by Toyota, which is covered with a camouflage masking sheet, in Tokyo. Cars that drive themselves -- and avoid collisions -- could be on the market within a few years

a prototype model of a fuel cell vehicle, made by Toyota, which is covered with a camouflage masking sheet, in Tokyo. Cars that drive themselves — and avoid collisions — could be on the market within a few years

The Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) system lets vehicles communicate wirelessly to avoid running into each other while keeping the car in the middle of the road lane — no matter how many twists and turns lie ahead.

Toyota demonstrating its "pre-collision system" which uses automatic steering in addition to automatic braking to prevent collisions, in Tokyo.

Toyota demonstrating its “pre-collision system” which uses automatic steering in addition to automatic braking to prevent collisions, in Tokyo.

“Cars with these technologies recognise the accelerating or slowing speed of those ahead, which also helps avoid traffic jams,” said project manager Mitsuhisa Shida. “They can wirelessly exchange data once every 0.1 seconds.”

The company plans to install AHDA in its commercial models over the next few years.

Toyota has already introduced the pre-collision braking assist system in its Lexus luxury sedan and plans to install it in other models by 2015, with the other technologies to follow.

Many cars already have systems that gives drivers a panoramic view to keep watch for nearby objects while parking itself.

The latest collision-avoidance system has doubled the detection time of oncoming objects to four seconds from a previous two seconds, Toyota added.

The automaker said such advances would be especially helpful for older people. Japan’s society is rapidly ageing with over-65s already making up around a quarter of the 128 million-strong population.

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No immediate ban on used cars, says Nigerian minister http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/04/no-immediate-ban-on-used-cars-says-nigerian-minister/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/10/04/no-immediate-ban-on-used-cars-says-nigerian-minister/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 23:18:15 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=173719 Nigeria’s Federal Government said in Abuja on Thursday that the new automotive policy was not aimed at immediate ban on the importation of fairly used vehicles, also known as tokunbo in local parlance. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, made this explanation at a news conference on the content of the […]]]>

Nigeria’s Federal Government said in Abuja on Thursday that the new automotive policy was not aimed at immediate ban on the importation of fairly used vehicles, also known as tokunbo in local parlance.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, made this explanation at a news conference on the content of the new automotive plan.

Aganga said the policy would, instead, focus on promoting investments in affordable made-in-Nigeria vehicles that will in future minimise importation of vehicles.

The New Automobile Industrial Policy Development was approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council.

“This policy will not result in the banning of the importation of vehicles in Nigeria but focus on promoting investments in affordable made-in-Nigeria vehicles that will in future minimise the importation of vehicles,” he said.

cars: Nigeria dreams new auto industry

cars: Nigeria dreams new auto industry


Aganga said phasing out second hand vehicles, would be a gradual process.

He said what government has done was to raise tariff on importation with a view to discouraging the influx of used vehicles into the country while also encouraging local manufacturing.

According to him, no responsible government would ban importation of used cars without putting in place viable alternatives.

“The importation of tokunbo cars will not be a major threat to the plan. Production of vehicles is in stages and involves a long process.
“You do not remove a thing without providing a viable alternative,” he said.

The Director General, National Automotive Council, Mr Aminu Jalal, said the policy would help to open up the industry to many international auto manufacturers.

He said Toyota, Nissan, Renault and GM have all indicated keen interest to invest in Nigeria following the articulation of a comprehensive automotive development plan.

“These companies are now conducting feasibility studies on assembling vehicles in Nigeria.

“The elements of the plan, which will ensure competitiveness and increased productivity of the sector, are: industrial infrastructure improvement, skill development, standards, investment promotion, market development and anti-smuggling measures.’’

The Chief Executive Officer of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), Mr Ibrahim Boyi, commended the Federal Government for the initiative.

He urged the government to map out strategies for the gradual banning of importation of used vehicles.

Boyi, who held that the importation of used cars had been a great challenge to the industry, said there must be a strict regime on the importation of fairly used vehicles.

“It is something that we have been clamouring for and something we have been hoping for.

“When you look at the performance of the industry, it has been a very unfortunate situation for the country.

“Apart from the environmental effects, importation of used cars had remained a great challenge to the industry.

“Most of the vehicles shipped into the country fall short of the stipulated environmental standards of the exporting countries”, he said.

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