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Volkswagen truck & bus to be renamed Traton

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Volkswagen truck & bus to be renamed Traton

Wolkswagen renamed its Truck & Bus division Traton Group as it prepares to raise funds for global expansion in commercial vehicles.

Volkswagen said on Wednesday the brand name helps the division forge a new brand identity for its commercial vehicles business as it integrates its MAN and Scania divisions to challenge rivals Daimler and Volvo.

Volkswagen on Tuesday said it was exploring an alliance in the area of commercial vehicles with Ford Motor Co.

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DFM storms Nigeria with locally assembled cars

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n a bid to bring the best of Chinese auto brands to the Nigerian market, Dana Motors Limited in partnership with Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM) is poised to introduce the widely adjudged best East Asia brand of vehicles to the Nigerian auto market.

Positioned to be the new dress code for Nigeria roads, the introduction of DFM brand in Nigeria, according to the company is aimed at meeting the ever-evolving needs of customers ranging from exceptionally delivered quality aftersales services to the best-in-class model range from the premium sedan, to uniquely built SUV and all terrain Pickup.

DFM is one of the global brands with a uniquely innovative design that continuously remains at the vanguard of leading auto brands and setting the pace in automotive engineering across the globe. Birthed in China, DFM has continued to spread its operations all over the world with its growing footprints in Africa, particularly Nigeria.

Assembled and distributed here in Nigeria by Dana Motors Limited, DFM is set on the path of limitless possibilities in the Nigerian auto market, as it boasts of impressive penetration of Dana Motors operations to give the brand a far-reaching presence across the major cities in the country.

Making its first entry into the local market at the newly opened DFM showroom on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, the leading Chinese brand depicts the forward thinking automotive engineering that’s evident in the top-of-the-segment model range that had continued to draw praises from other countries of operations across the globe, owing to the innovative and stylish designs of the cars.

Speaking on the partnership, Jacky Hathiramani, Managing Director/CEO of Dana Motors said:  “All of us at Dana Motors are extremely proud to introduce DFM, the leading Chinese brand into the Nigerian automotive markets. And we are here to build more than just great cars. We aim to set a new standard in the Nigerian auto industry by providing consumers with world-class products and services while engaging customers exceptionally with quality service deliveries at every touch point.

“Having being a major stakeholder and the leading company in the Nigerian auto industry, Dana Motors Limited has been offering best-in-class brands with a second to none after-sales service to customers in the country for over two decades.  Together, both Dana Motors Limited and DFM Global are committed to providing the best-in-class cars to meet our esteemed customers’ vehicular requirements and exceed their expectations with quality after sales services”.

DFM award-winning products are now among the most popular cars on sale in China and some parts of Africa today, gaining praise for attractive design, high-tech features, and reliability. The company’s distinctive design identity runs through the brand’s entire vehicle the line-up, making the brand’s cars immediately recognizable all over the world.

The newly launched DFM model range in Nigeria is proof of the company’s plans to introduce cars that cater to the changing paradigm of the Nigerian market in the near future, said, Henry Lian, Commercial Manager, Africa, DFM Global. On the provision of after-sales service support for Dana Motors, Henry stated that the DFM global team is readily available to provide all the necessary spare parts and expertise to support Dana Motors Limited in delivering exceptional after sales service to the teeming customers.

Sunday Telegraph learnt that in line with the fit-for-purpose the operational approach of DFM in Nigeria, the newly launched DFM brand vehicles will be rolled out from Dana’s assembly plant in Lagos. The locally produced compact sedan, SUV and all-terrain pick up are specially built for the Nigerian market. “We are delighted to announce that DFM brand model range will be produced here in Lagos,” said Olu Tikolo, Vice President of Dana Motors.“ Producing cars in our assembly plant will enable us to sell highly tropicalized cars in the Nigerian market while providing greater flexibility for our local customers.”

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COSCHARIS debuts all-new BMW 7 series

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he all new BMW 7 series is now available for viewing at Coscharis Motors. The BMW brand flagship comes with a more distinctive, luxurious and outstanding dynamics. It stands out with its prestigious, elegant appearance, superlative comfort and exceptionally sporty performance, a combination that only the BMW 7 Series delivers in this class.

According to Cletus Aregbeshola, Marketing Manager for BMW, Coscharis Motors; “around three-and-a-half years on from the introduction of the sixth generation in 2015, the BMW 7 Series Sedan has undergone a wide ranging and effective updates. These updates have positioned the flagship model as a trendsetter, introducing world-firsts that are being copied by other manufacturers.”

At a glance

Visually, the new BMW 7 Series looks like a completely new model – especially at the front and back. In many respects, it has become even more luxurious, with numerous highly advanced components. This includes more powerful and fuel-efficient petrol engines, a new, pioneering infotainment system and the latest driver assistance systems.

Excellent Ride Comfort

The sixth-generation BMW 7 Series Sedan also sets standards in terms of providing both maximum ride comfort and a sporting and dynamic driving experience. This is due to an advanced chassis design complete with a self-levelling two-axle air suspension included as standard. With its intelligent mix of aluminium, high-strength steel and a body structure benefiting from magnesium and carbon reinforcements (Carbon Core), the BMW 7 Series also has the lowest weight among its competitors.

Competitors

The BMW 7 Series Sedan is the dominant vehicle in the automotive luxury class, along with the S-Class. However, the key difference to the S-Class is that the BMW 7 Series supports a wider range of set-ups allowing drivers to choose between superior ride comfort on the one hand and extremely sporty handling on the other.

Other competitors such as the Audi A8, Porsche Panamera and Lexus LS lag considerably behind the two top models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both in terms of sales volume and in being perceived as the world’s most prestigious volume-produced luxury sedans (Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Maybach excepted). All models but the M760Li and 745Le xDrive are available in a short- and a long-wheelbase version.

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Mercedes-Benz continues leads in premium segment

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fter the first six months of the year, Mercedes-Benz continues to be the leader among the premium car brands in a highly competitive environment worldwide, despite ongoing model changes.

From January to June, 1,134,729 cars were handed over to customers by Mercedes-Benz. Unit sales decreased in the first half of the year primarily due to ongoing model changes for SUVs, the brand’s segment with the largest volume.

In the second quarter, Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 573,856 cars. Sales momentum in those three months came primarily from the new compact-car models, including the new A-Class Saloon worldwide, and the new B-Class and new CLA Coupé in Europe. In June, the Stuttgart-based company with the three-pointed star sold 196,230 vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in the first half of the year in markets including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Greece, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Canada.

“After a challenging first half of the year, Mercedes-Benz continues to be at the top of the premium segment. We are particularly pleased with the great popularity of the new compact models. In the third quarter, we anticipate sales momentum from the new SUVs with the star,” stated Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “In July, two real customer favourites will be in our showrooms: the new GLC and the GLC Coupé. The GLC, which has been the highest-volume model in our SUV portfolio for several years, comes with the latest intelligent driver assistance systems just like the GLC Coupé and is equipped with MBUX as standard.”

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market

In the first half of this year, 457,595 vehicles with the three-pointed star were sold in the Europe region. In Germany, the domestic market, 147,351 units were sold in the first six months and 24,033 cars with the star were handed over to customers in June.

Unit sales increased last month in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz set new records for unit sales in the first half of a year in France, Spain, Poland and Denmark.

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model

Unit sales of the compact cars from Mercedes-Benz increased in the first half of the year, with a total of 313,000 A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA models sold. More than 57,000 compact cars sold in June represents growth of 13.7 per cent compared with the same month of last year. Demand for the new A-Class was strong worldwide last month, while the new CLA Coupé also posted strong double-digit growth in Europe in the second month after its market launch there.

More than 206,000 units of the C-Class Saloon and Estate models were delivered to customers worldwide in the first half of the year. During the same period, unit sales of the long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Saloon increased by 4.7 per cent. Unit sales of the C-Class Estate were 23.4 per cent higher in June than in the prior-year month and increased by 3.4 per cent in the first half of the year.

Sales of SUVs in the first six months of this year were below the high prior-year level due to model changes, with approximately 367,000 units of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class sold. Despite ongoing model changes, one third of all Mercedes-Benz cars sold worldwide in the first half of the year were SUVs. The G-Class set a new sales record in the first six months of its 40th anniversary year; deliveries actually more than doubled in June.

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Jaguar, Land Rover to wow Goodwood crowd with prototype Defender

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Jaguar and Land Rover will be debuting a series of exciting new models at this year’s annual celebration of all things automotive; the three-day Goodwood Festival of Speed, which ends today.

Continuing the most demanding test regime of any pre-production Land Rover to date, a camouflaged prototype Defender will be putting its on-road dynamic abilities to the test on the hill in the ‘First Glance’ batch twice daily.

Taking a short break from the world’s first all-electric production based international race series supporting Formula E, the all-electric Jaguar eTROPHY I-PACE race car will be silently storming the Goodwood Hill every day in front of the Goodwood crowds for the first time.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, and making use of their 441kW and 405kW respectively, the recently-unveiled Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring Pack the new Range Rover Velar SVAutobigraphy Dynamic will feature in the First Glance batch.

British rally driver, Jade Paveley will be returning to the Goodwood Rally stage to push the limits of the one-off Jaguar F-TYPE rally car throughout the weekend.

Jaguar Land Rover will continue to welcome guests from around the world to its stand where all the product ranges will be on display with visitors being invited to get involved in the action too. Whether experiencing the thrill of the Jaguar F-TYPE from the passenger seat on the handling course or enjoying the ups and downs of Land Rover’s legendary off-road course in a Discovery or Range Rover, there is something for everyone

Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Rawdon Glover said: “Annually, Goodwood Festival of Speed is our largest event, and we have pulled the stops out this year to bring our award-winning Jaguars and Land Rovers to both our stand and the hill.

“We have created an inviting space for customers to come and spend some time with the team and we remain one of the only stands to offer in-car experiences which have proved incredibly popular with festival goers.

“I myself am particularly excited about seeing the new Defender testing on the hill, and I know our customers will love the thrill of a passenger ride in our Jaguar F-Type on our handling circuit or a Land Rover on the off-road course,” he said.

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NADDC, FRSC to speak at NAJA training workshop

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NADDC, FRSC to speak at NAJA training workshop

 

 

As the 2019 edition of Nigerian Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) training workshop gets set to hold on Thursday, July 25; Aliyu Jelani, Director-General, National Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC ) and Boboye Oyeyemi, Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps ( FRSC) are expected to grace the training event as special guest speakers.

The annual training workshop which is designed to boost human capacity for journalists reporting the automotive sector in the country is the fourth edition in the series.

During the one-day comprehensive training programme, experienced technical trainers and facilitators will be taking on the automotive reporters on basic principles of mechatronics, automotive maintenance, electrical/electronics systems and air-conditioning systems.

A university don will also be taking a look at the contemporary automotive policy as well as zero tariff, while an insurance company will be dwelling on transport insurance amongst other relevant industry related issues.

According to the organising committee of the automotive journalists workshop and capacity building programme, the event will also provide avenue for critical stakeholders to ventilate their perspectives on some of the burning issues that relate with the auto industry and the way forward.

Julie Chi-Nwaoha, Chairperson of this year’s event, said the auto industry is one fundamental industry in Nigeria that one cannot ignore because of its huge contribution to the nation’s economy.

She said there is need for consistent training and retraining because of its benefit to the motoring journalists that are reporting the beat. On how the training can benefit journalists and stakeholders, Mrs. Chi-Nwaoha said: “There is no way we can finish the training and remain the same.”

Also commenting on the training programme, Mike Ochonma, Chairman of Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, said the training workshop will impact positively on members as knowledgeable and competent instructors will be on hand to give their best to members. “Journalism is wide and we must open ourselves to consistent training and retraining. It is important that journalists reporting the automotive sector are well informed; they must be well educated and empowered to write effectively without fears,” he said.

The NAJA training workshop is an annual training programme organised to refresh the minds of practicing auto journalists on the trend of auto journalism worldwide. Members of the association are motoring journalists that cut across the newspapers, television and online media organisations including bloggers from across the country.

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The powerful all-new Arocs

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Last year, Weststar unveiled two new powerhouses in the commercial vehicle segment; the all new Actros and Arocs. The latter has since been touted as the new force in construction, one that promises to take on every challenge in the construction business with tailor-made solutions for every vehicle body. PAUL OGBUOKIRI looks at hard facts to determine just how powerful the all new Arocs really is

 

Combining power, robustness and efficiency in a unique way, the Arocs continues the 120-year old tradition of Mercedes-Benz Trucks in the construction industry while bringing them into the future with innovative technology. Designed to provide a reliable, high-torque drive configuration to suit the construction industry down to the ground, the Arocs offers a number of frame and suspension configurations developed to excel both on and off-road.

The new Arocs powerfully masters every driving situation, equipped with a robust and high-torque engine, Mercedes PowerShift 3 and a new unique suspension and frame design, all as standard. It comes with a durable powertrain that delivers precisely the power you need in off-road transportation, construction sites or extreme terrain. The new Arocs also comes with increased ground clearance with high angles of approach to ensure optimized agility even in challenging road conditions. From platform vehicles and concrete mixers to heavy-duty tippers, the new Arocs is a particularly tough and robust vehicle that will meet any challenge in construction and off-road transportation.

The new in-line 6-cylinder engines have higher engine efficiency through the wastegate turbocharger, the optimized viscous fan clutch and the intelligent auxiliary consumers. The OM473 (Euro III), a state of the art 6-cylinder in-line 15.6 liter engine opens a new dimension in high performance engines. The turbo compound unit transforms thermal energy into mechanical energy and thus increases the operating efficiency of the engine: the engine has additional power but lower fuel consumption by using the X-Pulse fuel-injection system which reduces the fuel quantity utilized in the engine.

The new Arocs comes with Mercedes PowerShift 3 as standard and manual gearshift as an option. The gearbox is 100 per cent made by Mercedes-Benz ensuring the best integration with engine and axles, providing a wider range of gears for operation in optimal torque ranges and optimized start-off capabilities. With Mercedes PowerShift 3 you get the best shifting strategy at any time (30-50 per cent faster gear changes than manual) with friction reduction for minimized wear and tear of the driveline. It provides a wider range of gears for operation in optimal torque ranges and various driving modes for different road situations, such as power mode, crawl function and rapid reverse.

The narrow frame in the new Arocs comes with a width of 744 mm and a longitudinal member thickness of 8 or 9 mm, which is made of cold formed, high-strength fine-grained steel, is used in vehicles intended for deployment mainly on construction sites and for off-road driving. This ensures highest reliability and torsional flexibility even in difficult conditions.

The new Arocs is also equipped with a durable steel suspension. For use in heavy-duty construction site operations, the steel suspension impresses with its robust, solid construction, high performance and loadability. With the weight-optimized parabolic springs and precisely matched shock absorbers and stabilizers you are optimally prepared even in difficult conditions.

The range of different front and rear axles, which are available in job-specific variants are a further key contributory factor to the large ground clearance in the new Arocs. Depending on the type of application and chassis, front axles with varying offsets and with a permissible front axle load of up to 9 tonnes are available. The particularly robust planetary axles with a load capacity of up to 16 tonnes also offer high ground clearance.

Never compromising on safety, Mercedes-Benz offers many safety and assistance systems to reduce risks and increase comfort for the driver. More safety is provided due to more than 400 sensors which are fitted on the truck to ensure safe and efficient driving. These safety systems include the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR), Hazard warning lights flashing in case of emergency braking, Active Brake Assist 4 and Attention Assist as some of the highlight features.

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VW moves to raise $2bn for truck unit

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Volkswagen Group aims to raise up to 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) by floating a stake of at least 10 per cent in its Traton trucks unit later this month, its second attempt to bring the business to market.

 

VW intends to offer stock in Traton, which sells MAN and Scania vehicles, for 27 euros to 33 euros each, it said in a statement Thursday. The sale values the division at 13.5 billion euros to 16.5 billion euros ($18.6 billion).

 

VW plans to invest proceeds in transforming its auto production as it readies the launch of dozens of electric vehicles over the coming years and deepens an alliance with Ford Motor.

 

It is also seeking to capitalize on the premium that truck stocks command over automakers to create an acquisition currency, having earlier shown interest in potentially boosting its 16.8 per cent stake in U.S.-based truck maker Navistar.

Management denies that a Navistar deal is in immediate prospect, but such a move would fit with a broader pivot by VW toward the United States to balance its reliance on China, where it sells half its cars.

 

 

Besides Swedish heavy-truck specialist Scania and Germany’s MAN, Traton includes a smaller operation in Brazil that sells VW-branded commercial vehicles for emerging markets.

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Mercedes-Benz delivers over 195,000 vehicles worldwide

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Mercedes-Benz delivers over 195,000 vehicles worldwide

Mercedes-Benz sold 195,690 vehicles worldwide in May. The sales success of the new A-Class and the new CLA Coupé, which was launched in Europe in May, had a positive effect last month. In a highly competitive market environment worldwide, the new compact-car models in particular generated sales momentum in many key markets.

Nonetheless, ongoing model changes in the highest-volume SUV segment had a dampening impact on total unit sales in May. Mercedes-Benz sold 938,499 units in the first five months of the year.

In May, Mercedes-Benz maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in markets including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

 

“Despite a challenging market environment and ongoing model changes, Mercedes-Benz increased its unit sales in many markets in May. We are very confident that the significant sales momentum from our model offensive will be reflected in the second half of the year, particularly with the SUVs,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.

“The third month in a row with worldwide growth in sales of Mercedes-Benz compact cars demonstrates the strong demand for our new models. We are very pleased with the excellent feedback, especially from our younger customers, on the launch of the new CLA Coupé in Europe, on the new A-Class and on our MBUX multimedia system.”

 

 

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market

This May, deliveries in Europe were above the high level of the prior-year month: 81,762 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were sold in the region. The company with the three-pointed star posted a sales increase in its core market of Germany, where a total of 27,806 cars were delivered to customers in May. In Spain, Mercedes-Benz surpassed its unit sales of the prior-year month with a double-digit growth of 14.6 per cent. Mercedes-Benz was also able to achieve sales growth in the past month also in the markets of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal and Hungary.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 77,694 cars were sold with the star. Deliveries in May in China, the region’s core market, were slightly below the strong prior-year month with a total of 55,589 vehicles handed over to customers. In the first five months of this year, deliveries of 287,639 units were 1.6 per cent higher than in the prior-year period. In Malaysia, unit sales increased at a double-digit rate, while a new record was set for the month of May in South Korea and Vietnam.

 

Mercedes-Benz sold 31,933 cars in the NAFTA region last month. In the region’s core market, the United States, the Stuttgart-based company with the star was able to maintain the high level of sales of the previous year and even slightly exceeded it: 27,080 customers were delighted to receive a new Mercedes-Benz automobile. In Mexico, deliveries of Mercedes Benz cars increased to 3.0 compared with May 2018.

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Innoson set to release made-in-Nigeria SUVs

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Innoson set to release made-in-Nigeria SUVs

 

Innoson has made it known that after so much waiting time by its customers, it will be releasing its anticipated SUVs vehicles. The SUVs to be released are the IVM G80 and G40 SUVs.

The IVM80 is one of the SUVs to be made by Innoson motors

The production of this car models will be a fulfillment of the promise made by the chairman of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, OFR, when he told Nigerians that the company would be producing a ‘Made-in-Nigeria luxurious SUV’ that will be added to its range of vehicles. The new SUVs are targeted at the high end Nigerian market.

According the CEO, the date for the official launch of the new SUVs will be publicized soon and indeed many Nigerians are anticipating it. Besides these SUVs soon to enter the market, other car models by Innoson Motors are the G20 and Innoson IVM Granite, which is a five-seater double cabin Pick-Up of 2018 model and a 7-seater Sedan respectively.

Though not much information about the cars were given but a few revelations about one of the SUVs was available at press time, but indications were that the IVM Granite comes in three variants that include a 2WD, 2.7 Petrol; 4WD, a 2.7 Petrol and a 4WD of 2.4 Diesel.

Though there have been previous controversies about whether Innoson is completely manufacturing their own cars or assembling it, Nigerians will happy to see the welcome development that is a vehicle made in Nigeria. Furthermore, this could help decrease the number of imported cars in Nigeria.

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Lexus RX getting carplay, android auto

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Lexus Thursday announced that CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard features in its new 2020 Lexus RX in the United States, marking the first time that either software platform is available in the luxury crossover SUV.

 

CarPlay and Android Auto will be accessible through an 8-inch touchscreen display that is standard in all models of the 2020 Lexus RX. A larger 12.3-inch split-screen touchscreen is available as an upgrade option. CarPlay appears to be wired, so the iPhone will have to be connected with a Lightning to USB cable.

 

The new RX will enter production in the third quarter of 2019, according to Lexus. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

CarPlay provides convenient access to frequently used iPhone apps such as Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Apple Music, and Spotify directly from the dashboard. The platform was introduced in 2014 and is now available in over 500 vehicle models in the United States, according to Apple.

 

Lexus and its parent company Toyota were among the last major automakers to adopt CarPlay, but the duo now offer Apple’s software platform in nearly two dozen vehicle models, ranging from the latest Corolla to the latest Lexus LS.

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