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New Land Rover Defender dubts




his is the new Land Rover Defender. An icon reimagined for the 21stcentury, it is clever, capable and safe for all the family, and in a category of its own. New Defender is built for adventurous hearts and curious minds, for those who know the value of community and strive to make a difference.



The unmistakable silhouette is familiar yet new. It looks tough and is tough but designed with purpose and engineered to excite. Iconic in name, shape and capability, Defender can be personalised to allow owners to make the most of their world.


Across seven decades of pioneering innovation, Land Rovers have earned a unique place in the hearts of explorers, humanitarian agencies and adventurous families across the world. Proven in the harshest environments on earth, the new Defender maintains this bloodline.



Beside the peerless luxury and refinement of the Range Rover family and the highly capable and versatile Discovery SUVs, new Defender completes the Land Rover dynasty. The 110 is just the start for this family of the most capable and durable 4x4s in the world. It will be swiftly followed by a short wheelbase 90 in 2020.



Driven by a passion and respect for the original, new Defender delivers transformational breadth of capability. Advanced all-terrain technologies redefine adventure for the 21stcentury, remaining true to the pioneering spirit that has been a Land Rover hallmark for 71 years.

Emotionally charged design



A distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles. Land Rover’s designers re-envisioned familiar Defender trademarks for the 21st century, giving the new 4×4 a purposeful upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and externally-mounted spare wheel that make the original so identifiable.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “We have created the new Defender to ensure it is ready for anything, with a design that has been inspired by the past, not constrained by it. Its elemental grille, sophisticated surfacing and commanding stance give the entire family a modernity and confidence that set it apart, while simultaneously retaining the essential elements that make a Defender so recognisable.”


The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, where structural elements and fixings usually hidden from view have been exposed, with the emphasis on simplicity and practicality. Innovative features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional central front ‘jump’ seat, which provides three-abreast seating across the front like early Land Rovers.



As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations, with a loadspace behind the second-row seats of up to 1,075 litres, and as much as 2,380-litres when the second row is folded. The Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family hatchback.



User-friendly features include practical touches and advanced technological innovations. Durable rubberised flooring shrugs off the spills of daily adventures and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions, providing a brush or wipe clean interior.



The definition of durability



Land Rover’s new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. It is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, providing perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension and supports the latest electrified powertrains.


The new Defender has been through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.



During development testing, prototype models have covered millions of kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from the 50-degree heat of the desert and sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10,000ft in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.



A world-class expert off and on-road



A transformational breadth of capability sets new Defender apart. Permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential ensure it has all the hardware required to excel in the soft sand of the desert, the freezing tundra of the arctic and everywhere in between.



Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Defender, allowing experienced off-roaders to fine-tune individual vehicle settings to perfectly suit the conditions, while inexperienced drivers can let the system detect the most appropriate vehicle settings for the terrain, using the intelligent Auto function.



The new body architecture provides ground clearance of 291mm and world-class off-road geometry, giving the 110 approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (Off Road height) respectively. Its maximum wading depth of 900mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system, which ensures drivers can ford deep water with complete confidence.



On dry land, Land Rover’s advanced ClearSight Ground View technology helps drivers take full advantage of Defender’s all-conquering capability by showing the area usually hidden by the bonnet, directly ahead of the front wheels, on the central touchscreen.



As a result, the new Defender redefines breadth of capability, raising the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort. It can negotiate crowded city streets as effortlessly as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and withstanding freezing temperatures. Its carefully honed handling delivers both a rewarding drive and first-class long-haul comfort across all terrains.

21st century technology

New Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable. It introduces Jaguar Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The next generation touchscreen is more intuitive and user-friendly, requiring fewer inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’ve embraced Defender’s stunning capability and minimalistic, functional interior to reinvent the icon for the 21st century. New Defender gives us the licence to do things differently, to push the boundaries and do the unthinkable, without ever losing the character and authenticity of the original. From the start we had an absolute obsession with functionality beneath the skin, from choosing the right materials through to state of the art connectivity. The result is not only the most capable Land Rover ever made, but also a truly comfortable, modern vehicle that people will love to drive.”

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  1. Kiana Golemba

    November 12, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    very cool

  2. Rolf Mayson

    November 12, 2019 at 5:42 am

    very cool

  3. Laine Sais

    November 12, 2019 at 2:02 am

    very cool

  4. Pingback: Nigeria Breaking News Today Headlines Sunday 15th September 2019 - Nigeria News Headlines Today

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Motorbike-hailing firm Gojek, others to start test runs in Malaysia



Motorbike-hailing firm Gojek, others to start test runs in Malaysia

Malaysia will allow motorcycle-hailing firms such as Indonesia’s Gojek and local start-up Dego Ride to start operations on a limited scale from January 2020, Malaysia’s transport minister said on Tuesday.

Gojek – whose backers include Alphabet’s Google and Chinese tech companies Tencent and – and Dego Ride will start operating based on a proof-of-concept basis to measure demand for the service over six months, Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said.

“Bike hailing will be an important component in providing a comprehensive public transport system, as a mode for first- and last-mile connectivity,” Loke told parliament.

The pilot project would be limited to the Klang Valley, Malaysia’s most developed region and where the capital Kuala Lumpur is located, although the government would consider expanding it to other areas if there was demand, reports Reuters.

The six-month, proof-of-concept pilot programme would allow the government and participating firms to gather data and evaluate demand, while the government worked on drafting legislation to govern bike-hailing.

“Bike-hailing will be subject to similar regulations as laid out for e-hailing,” the minister said, referring to existing ride-hailing operations by companies such as Grab.

Gojek did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but its co-chief executive, Andre Soelistyo, told reporters on Saturday that the company was preparing expansion into Malaysia and the Philippines.

“It is our dream for the next year. The services that we have in Indonesia can be opened in other countries quickly. We leave (it) to the leader of the countries to choose,” Soelistyo said.

In March, Philippines regulators upheld a decision to refuse Gojek a licence due to its failure to meet local ownership criteria, but Soelistyo said they would build the business on their payment system already set up in the country.

Gojek’s impending entry into Malaysia will likely pose the biggest challenge to Grab, which took the lion’s share of the nation’s e-hailing market after it bought over Uber Technology Inc’s operations in Southeast Asia last year.

Grab, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, has struggled to adapt to new regulations requiring all ride-hailing drivers to apply for specific licences, permits and insurance, and have their vehicles and health checked.

Grab Malaysia said in October that only 52% of its driver-partners were licensed under the regulations that took effect the same month.

“Bring it on! It is indeed healthy competition,” Grab Malaysia said on Twitter after the minister’s announcement.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Peugeot, Fiat agree to $50bn merger



Peugeot, Fiat agree to $50bn merger

France’s PSA, which owns Peugeot, and Fiat Chrysler have agreed to pursue a merger that would create the world’s fourth-largest carmaker and reshape the automotive sector.

PSA and FCA said their boards had agreed to “work towards” a tie-up that would give shareholders of each group 50 per cent ownership in the new entity.

“Both boards have given the mandate to their respective teams to finalise the discussions. . . in the coming weeks,” said the two companies on Thursday morning after board meetings the evening before.

The deal would create a company with revenues of €170 billion, recurring operating profit of more than €11 billion and combined vehicle sales of 8.7 million, putting it ahead of General Motors and Hyundai-Kia in sales. In Europe, the company’s sales would even outpace Volkswagen, which has historically dominated the region’s industry.

At the current market prices, the combined entity is worth just under €43.4 billion (about $50 billion).

Adjusting for the difference in market cap and the dividend paid to respective shareholders, achieving a 50-50 shareholding suggests PSA is paying a 32 per cent premium to assume control of FCA

A memorandum of understanding giving further detail is expected in two to three weeks, with final details expected to be nailed down around the end of the year, said people familiar with the timing.

While FCA shares soared 8.7 per cent, PSA shares fell 12.8 per cent with analysts at Citi pointing to the lack of a cash payout: “On balance, the terms of the deal favours existing FCA shareholders (who benefit from a cash distribution equivalent to 30 per cent of the market cap), while Groupe PSA shareholders are being asked to remain patient.”

In order to balance the value of the two companies, PSA will distribute its 46 per cent stake in parts maker Faurecia to shareholders, worth €2.7 billion at Wednesday’s close, analysts said.

FCA shareholders will receive a €5.5 billion cash payout and proceeds from the sale of its robot-making Comau unit, estimated at between €200 million and €300 million.

The two companies intend to forge a 50-50 all-stock merger in which PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares runs the business and FCA chairman John Elkann — the scion of Italy’s Agnelli family, which controls FCA — becomes chairman. Mr. Tavares would have an initial mandate of five years.

“Adjusting for the difference in market cap and the dividend paid to respective shareholders, achieving a 50-50 shareholding suggests PSA is paying a 32 per cent premium to assume control of FCA,” said Philippe Houchois, an auto analyst at Jefferies.

Mike Manley, chief executive of FCA, is likely to be named as the number two, with responsibility for the Americas region, said two people.

FCA on Thursday disclosed it made a net loss of €179 million last quarter, because of €1.4 billion impairment over its European and Alfa Romeo businesses. Stripped out, the company made €1.3bn of profit, including record profits and margins in its North American heartland.

Earlier in the day, the two companies outlined that the proposed combined 11-person board will comprise six members appointed by PSA, including Mr. Tavares, and five members appointed by FCA.

The combined group will be based in the Netherlands, a neutral location, where FCA is domiciled, and will be listed in Paris, Milan and New York. It will “continue to maintain significant presences in the current operating head-office locations in France, Italy and the US”.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Nissan Motor may axe Datsun brand –Report



Nissan Motor may axe Datsun brand –Report

Nissan Motor Co Ltd is likely to axe its Datsun brand, drop some unprofitable products and close a number of assembly lines worldwide as it seeks to boost profits by getting smaller, two company sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Known internally as the “performance recovery plan”, the proposed steps mark a sharp break with Nissan’s strategy under ousted leader Carlos Ghosn, who pursued ambitious vehicle sales targets in the United States and other major markets.

The plan is the Yokohama-based automaker’s latest attempt to pull itself out of crisis after Ghosn was arrested for financial misconduct – charges he denies. The scandal has further strained an already dysfunctional alliance with Renault SA and thrown Nissan into disarray as it finds itself on course to book its lowest operating profit in 11 years.

The sources said Nissan will likely kill loss-making variants for the Titan full-size pickup. Unprofitable variants include the single-cab and diesel versions.

A planned shuttering of under-utilised production lines will most probably hit plants in emerging markets building Datsun and other small cars hardest, they added.

“We need to chart a recovery but the rot goes deep,” one of the sources said of the many problems facing Nissan.

The second source said all markets with factories except China were being looked at for possible reductions in production capacity. That source also said, however, that there were no plans to close an entire plant or withdraw completely from any country.

In the United States, one of Nissan’s biggest markets, the plan calls for fresh efforts to weed out the practice of buying market share by selling vehicles to rental car and other fleet operators at heavy discounts – a practice which destroyed profitability and undermined Nissan’s brand image.

“We’re trying to clean up what had happened in the past,” one of the sources said, adding that under Ghosn, Nissan sought to meet sales objectives at any cost, including “practically giving away cars” to fleet customers.

A team led by Jun Seki, a senior vice president and incoming vice chief operating officer, is expected to unveil the wide-ranging plan this month though some aspects are still being finalised, said the sources, who were not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

FRSC: Operation show your permanent drivers license begins tomorrow



FRSC: Operation show your permanent drivers license begins tomorrow

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Sector Command said it will from tomorrow commence enforcement of use of permanent drivers license by motorists in the state. The Command stated this in statement at the weekend signed by the Acting Sector Public Education Officer, DRC Olabisi Sonusi on behalf of the Sector Commander, Hyginus Omeje.

The statement read in part: “As part of activities lined up towards 2019 Ember Month patrol will from Monday, November 4, 2019 embark on a special patrol code named “Operation Show Your Drivers License Phase 2.” It disclosed that the special patrol is aimed at addressing the high incidences of driving without permanent valid drivers’ license in Lagos, saying the operation will last for two weeks.

It further said that the operation necessary in view of the fact that “most motorists who applied for licenses never care to go back to the licensing offices to collect their permanent license. Consequently, we have a total of 61,221 uncollected permanent drivers’ license across the state yet to be collected.” The statement further indicated that the Mr. Omeje frowned at the attitude of some drivers driving without valid license which is the only legal document that permit anyone to drive on Nigerian roads. It added that the fine for driving without a valid license is N10, 000 if the offender cannot produce the license within 24 hours.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Audi abandons air taxi plans




udi has suspended work on its Pop.Up air taxi and has put its partnership with Airbus to develop the vehicle up for review.

Audi said it is working on a fresh direction for its urban air mobility activities as part of its new strategy announced in May.


“At present we are working on a new direction for our urban air mobility activities and have not yet made a decision regarding potential future products,” Audi said in a statement to Automotive News Europe.

Audi said it had stopped all work on the Pop.Up concept that was developed by its Italdesign subsidiary with Airbus.


The concept has a flying passenger capsule that sits on top of a car chassis. The idea was to pick up a customer up at home, drive them to a heliport where the car connects with the flight module.

The Pop.Up had a successful trial flight as a scaled down model during Drone Week in Amsterdam last November.


Audi executives said then they wanted to continue with the project.  “We want to have fully flightworthy prototype ready by the end of next year, that’s our development goal,” Audi board member Bernd Martens said at the time.

Audi had also planned to test air taxis in Ingolstadt, its German home city.


In the statement, however, Audi reversed course, citing the challenges specific to the project.


“We believe it will be a very long time before an air taxi can be serially produced that does not require passengers to change vehicles. In the modular concept of Pop.Up, we were working on a solution with the highest complexity,” it said.


Airbus declined to comment on the potential end of the partnership. It said the Pop.Up was not envisaged to flank its own CityAirbus and Vahana flying demonstrators.


A number of automakers are working on autonomous flying cars that can be used as taxis and for ride-sharing purposes. They see flying taxis as a mobility solution in crowded urban cities because they can soar above congested roads.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Hope rises on 1,400km East-West railway




ope has risen over the commencement of the East-West rail as indication are that the Russian Government might have agreed to support the development of Nigeria’s rail infrastructure by constructing the 1,400 kilometres track which commences from Lagos and terminates at Calabar.


Sunday Telegraph learnt that the development was one of the highpoints of the agreement reached at a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.


The bilateral meeting was held on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, in Sochi, Russia.


Besides, the deal is expected to put China on its toes as the country is the only one saddled with the responsibility of building railway presently in the country, but the coming of Russia could engender competition and enhance quality.


A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, explained that there was also discussion on the advancement of ongoing project for the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Nigeria.


The document also states that the parties will seek to expand cooperation for the development of the railway industry and the improvement of railway equipment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Russian Railways will determine the extent of its participation in the proposed projects in Nigeria, in particular the Lagos-Calabar railway project and Port Harcourt – Maiduguri railway project, taking into account its technical and personnel resources.


In addition, Russian Railways will offer the directions of development of railway transport systems through the design, construction, management and maintenance of railway infrastructure in Nigeria and the introduction of other modernisation solutions that may be proposed to Nigeria.


According to Putin, the next step in the implementation of the project should be the commencement of construction of a power plant.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Self-driving prototype Jaguar I-PACE hits road





aguar Land Rover engineers recently tested a self-driving prototype Jaguar I-PACE on the streets of Dubai demonstrating the company’s latest autonomous driving research technologies and giving a glimpse into the future of mobility.


Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to an autonomous, connected, electric and shared (ACES) future is a cornerstone to delivering on its Destination Zero mission; the ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner.



The all-electric, zero emissions Jaguar I-PACE – current 2019 World Car of the Year and World Green Car of the Year – was chosen due to its strong sustainability credentials. The prototype Jaguar I-PACE was modified to include enhanced vehicle detection and avoidance capabilities through a combination of radar and cameras, alongside a traffic light detection system.


The vehicle’s speed and steering, from stationary up to highway speed, was also controlled autonomously during test drives, with the system following routes from a detailed HD map showing route location and a detailed bird’s-eye view of junctions.


Jaguar Land Rover continues its drive for conscious innovation focusing on achieving its vision with Destination Zero – a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion – across its facilities, and through its products and services. Autonomous vehicle technology plays a major role in realising the strategy. To date, Jaguar Land Rover has successfully completed real-world testing of the technology on complicated inner-city roads in the UK and continues to collaborate with academia and industry to accelerate innovation.


“Jaguar Land Rover shares similar goals to Dubai’s government with regards to mobility and sustainability. We both wish to make driving safer, to free up time we spend travelling, and to reduce the negative impact travel has on our planet,” commented Bruce Robertson, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover MENA.


“The Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport tackles these same important challenges head-on, and our autonomous Jaguar I-PACE prototype is proof positive of the impressive progress our company and industry are making.”


Successfully tested on the streets of Dubai in preparation for its appearance at the congress, the prototype model demonstrates the progress being made in the autonomous driving space globally, and Jaguar Land Rover’s contribution to the Emirate’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Nigeria off radar on global race for electric vehicles




lectric vehicles are a novel and eco-friendly technology designed to reduce man’s dependence on fossil fuel, and potentially a threat to the conventional fuel car market. This new technology has remained to toast of many countries of the world, but Nigeria has been assessed to be lagging from the global race.


For many developed countries, the switch from fossil fuel to cleaner and renewable sources of energy is ongoing and inevitable. Despite many obstacles electric vehicles (EVs) are being relied on to help halt climate change.


Globally, the production of electric cars and hybrid electric vehicles has come with incredible speed and are getting more deeply rooted than ever. In fact, they are operational in the economies of Asia, Europe and America.

The electric vehicles are flourishing in countries like: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France, United States, Canada, among others.


With perhaps the exception of South Africa, Africa, including Nigeria, has remained mere observers in the array of the emerging revolutionary breakthroughs in the world of vehicle manufacturing.

Media Consultant and Public Opinion Analyst, Stanley Okereke, said electric vehicles are a welcome idea, but Nigeria needs to sincerely set the structures on the ground right before hollowing into it.


“Hybrid vehicles or cars running on rechargeable and renewable energy is just an excellent idea to run on but my question however is, are we in concrete terms ripe and ready for it?” he queried.


Okereke said electric vehicles have been considered to have attained a good and remarkable success in Europe, especially Norway, but there are “very many” challenges we have here that are obvious, which we have to deal with before we start off talks and possibly preparation in that angle.


He recalled that Senator Murray Bruce’s idea that was brought on the floor of the Senate for deliberations and considerations were stalled due to lack of tenacity to buy into the future.


Their reasons according to him might be multi faceted. Firstly, it may have been done out of fear or lack of conviction that it’s a great task that is not pursuable in Nigeria at the moment.

“Secondly, they may have spuriously done that with a mindset to still shade properly the undercover business in the oil terrain where almost a trillion naira is put forward as expenses on oil subsidy.”


Okereke, who decried the electricity challenge in the country said: “What is the average supply of light per day in an area you might even consider that electricity distribution companies are fair to? Answer to this question is crucial. What is the state of our turbines and facility in and around it currently in Nigeria? Knowing well that these are primarily where this power is being generated.


“Is the government willing to restructure the unparallel arrangement they themselves put in place in our GENCO’s and DISCO’s? So as we will have just an optimal distribution? Responses to the questions are the solution Nigeria needs to have on how successfully the hybrid car revolution will fly here in Nigeria.”


Dean, School of Transport, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof Samuel Odewumi, said Nigeria is yet to wake up from her slumber for industrial revolution.

Odewumi said nature has its way of dragging those who refuse to walk.


“Whether we wake up to adopt “Green Technology” or not, the world will move on without us. I know we will be very sluggish in adopting for many reasons: educational technological, cultural, attitudinal, ignorance, superstitious beliefs, difficult research environment and poor governance.

“But the world is already on the move and sooner than expected, fossil fuel guzzling vehicles will gradually stop rolling out of the manufacturing plants. Just as coal fired engines became archaic,” he said.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Auto policy reversal will turn Nigeria to dumping ground for pre-owned vehicles



Auto policy reversal will turn Nigeria to dumping ground for pre-owned vehicles

FG warned against removing 70% duty on imported cars



With the recent suspension of the Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), otherwise known as Auto Policy, PAUL OGBUOKIRI reports that the suspension of the 70 per cent duty on imported cars to increase Customs revenue, will turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for used vehicles



Legislating auto policy into law

The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Agency (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, had in an interview with news men after inspecting the Honda HR-V, which was newly introduced into the Nigerian market, called on the government to legislate the auto policy into law.

He said that the automotive development plan which contains a number of policy measures needed to revitalise the industry for job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition has six components.



He said the need for a legislation to support the policy was based on the conviction that it would assist in strengthening the policy as well as preventing it from being changed by subsequent governments.



He said: “We need to have the auto policy become law. As you are aware, the auto policy is a set of fiscal incentives that are designed to boost production.



“The big question in Nigeria is, are we after short-term benefit? The only way we can ensure that this country continues to be a successful nation is to provide industrialisation and provide jobs.



“The only way we can provide jobs is to boost industries and support those local and international investors in coming into Nigeria and producing.



He added: “That is why the automotive policy is so important for local production. We are making progress because this shows there are investors from around the world especially from Japan which is the heartbeat of automotive industry.”



Suspension, akin to policy summersault



Despite consistent advice by auto makers and industry stakeholders in Nigeria and Africa, the Federal Government recently went the way of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) by suspending the Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) as they have been requesting. OPS believe that the 70 per cent duty on imported fully built cars meant to protect infant assembly plants in Nigeria; is adding to their cost of production and such the policy should not be allowed.



But in reaction to the government action, some stakeholders argued that the outright suspension of the policy was not the best.



A former Acting Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Mamudu Lukman, said the minister must have been wrongly advised.



He said the auto policy bill was designed with input from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). “If indeed the minister said what is published, then it must have been out of ignorance. Those responsible to brief him should be held accountable. Not him. He has barely resumed and perhaps is not aware that he cannot unilaterally suspend a regional policy. It was negotiated with ECOWAS. All you can do is to review,” he said.



Also speaking, board member representing the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) at NADDC, Dr. David Chukwudi Obi, said government should give the industry legal backing through the auto policy, saying that will reverse the retrogression in the industry.



He said government should consult widely with stakeholders if it wants to come up with a new bill, adding, the country is not presently assembling. “If they want to re-write the bill, fine, because a lot of things are wrong in the bill. We are not assembling vehicles for now; what we have are screw driver assembly plants.”



Setbacks to auto policy



Contacts in the industry believe that despite the fact that the auto policy has been around since 2014, and over 35 companies licensed to commence assembling in the country; the sector at full capacity can only produce a total of 10,000-50,000 units per year.


They believe that in all, it appears the high import tariff regime aimed to discourage imports and spur local assembly has not achieved the purpose.



Car imports (mainly used units) rose significantly in 2018, an indication of an impending threat to assemblers. Although cars and related components are not on the Central Bank’s list of 42 products ineligible for foreign exchange, the difficulty of obtaining foreign exchange has led to increased prices and reduced consumer demand.



Also, corporate organisations, the largest buyers of new vehicles, have reduced or postponed purchases thereby extending the replacement cycle of their fleet from four years to seven years.



OPS self-serving demand



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry had called for an urgent review of the 2013 National Automotive Policy, saying that it made the prices of vehicles prohibitive.



The LCCI, in a recent statement signed by its Director General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said: “A review of the Automotive Policy, which was decreed by the Jonathan administration in 2013, is long overdue.



“Six years after, the policy has not only failed to achieve the desired outcomes, it has adversely impacted the cost of doing business, the welfare of the people, government revenue and the capacity of the economy to create jobs.  It has caused massive trade diversion to neighbouring countries.

“High compliance cost has put enormous pressure on firms moving them into uncompetitive positions in the face of weak institutional capacity to enforce the extant tariff regime.”



He pointed out that the policy had a negative impact with far-reaching consequences, adding: “The automobile sector was hit by the double shock of currency depreciation [of over 80 per cent] over the last six years and an import duty hike to 70 per cent on new cars and 35 per cent on used vehicles and commercial vehicles.”

The LCCI DG noted that although the auto policy was an import substitution industrialisation strategy to reduce importation of vehicles and incentivise domestic vehicle assembly, import substitution strategy would only thrive in the context of high domestic value addition.

He said the high cost of vehicles had taken a severe toll on the economy, from a logistics cost and welfare point of view as over 90 per cent of the country’s freight and human movements are done by road, which implies heavy dependence on cars, commercial buses and trucks.

He recommended a reduction of import duty from 70 per cent to 35 per cent, while 35 per cent should be reduced to 25 per cent.



Policy summersault to boost Customs revenue



The Minister of Finance, Hajia Zinab Ahmed disclosed that the neighbouring countries are giving vehicle importers incentives to berth Roll On Roll Off (RORO) vessels in their ports.



She said that auto policy is yet to achieve optimum result and restore the automotive industry for indigenous vehicle production for Nigerians. Recall that the automobile policy was introduced in October 2013 to encourage local manufacturing of vehicles and discourage importation of cars as well as gradually phase out used cars (popularly known as Tokunbo cars).



The policy makes provision for commercial vehicles to attract 35 per cent duty without a levy. Cars are to attract 35 per cent levy charged on the fully built units (FBU), in addition to the 35 per cent import duty.



Also, the Federal Government gave incentives of zero per cent, five per cent, and 10 per cent respectively to assemble plants who imported completely knocked down parts (CKD), semi knocked down parts I (SKDI) and semi-knocked down parts II(SKDII) to be used by local assembly plants attract.



Assembly plants importing FBU for cars pay 35 per cent duty without a levy, whereas commercial vehicles attract 20 per cent duty without a levy, in numbers equal to twice their imported CKD/SKD kits. However, the Federal Government has identified abuse in the incentives given to assemble plants to one of the reasons for the review of the policy.



She said: “The auto policy is presently being reviewed because neighbouring countries are giving incentives to vehicle importers to bring in their vehicles through their port because of our own rate.” Though, she said the policy was introduced to trigger growth in the nation’s auto sector but, the prevailing situation has shown that it has not achieved the desired result.





“The auto policy was meant to trigger a growth in the auto industry and because of that policy, incentives were given to assemble plants by giving special rates to bring in Completely Knock Down (CKD) to assemble in Nigeria.”



Speaking on the abuse of the special rates given to assembly plants, the Minister said: “We are seeing some abuse in that aspect (CKD special rate) but we have to do a holistic review of the auto policy to get optimum result and the target is to restore the automotive industry so that we have assemble plants being set up again that could lead to actively producing vehicles here in Nigeria for use of Nigerians.”


Mrs. Ahmed however, disclosed that the review has started but the process is led by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in partnership with the Ministry of Finance.



“The review of the auto policy has started and the process is led by the ministry of industry trade and investment and we are working in partnership with them,” she stated.



Last line

A report by PWC indicates that the growth of companies with products and services supporting auto assembly will improve Nigeria’s chances of becoming an automotive hub and provide more economic activity.



Progression from basic SKD assembly to CKD or manufacturing is highly dependent on growth of auxiliary industries and supporting infrastructure such as electricity. Therefore, building the capacity for components such as batteries, belts, lights and tires is key for the success of the auto policy.



In addition, there are existing gaps in repair, which will become even more obvious with increased local manufacturing. Plugging this gap will require capacity building, training of skilled labour and adequate supply of spare parts.



Other business opportunities which the industry brings include the supply of equipment to domestic assemblers, supply of spare parts and the setting up of local component manufacturing plants.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Nissan recalls 1.2m vehicles for noncompliant rear camera display systems




issan is recalling 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada, South Korea and Israel over noncompliant rear visibility camera display systems.



The recall, submitted Sept. 12, affects certain 2018 and 2019 Nissan Altima, Frontier, Kicks, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, NV, NV200, Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Sentra, Titan and Versa vehicles. Infiniti Q50, Q60, QX30 and QX80 vehicles also are affected by the recall.


Drivers could adjust rearview camera display settings “to the degree that the image is no longer visible,” and the system display would not return to the required default image when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, NHTSA documents said.


“Nissan Group has notified NHTSA and Transport Canada that it is recalling certain MY 2018-2019 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to South Korea and Israel, to remedy a technical non-compliance by updating the rear visibility system,” a spokesperson for Nissan told Automotive News in an emailed statement. “Nissan Group will update the rear-visibility system software to remedy this condition.”

Nissan will begin notifying customers October 21.

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