[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he 2017 Toyota Prius is the prime reveal at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, the Group Vice President and General Manager, Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Bill Fay has said.

Fay stated this at the beginning of the 2016 New York Auto Show, recently, adding that, “About two months ago, we started to transition the Scion brand over to Toyota, bringing with it, over 13 years of knowledge on how to attract and engage young customers. As part of the brand transition, remaining Scion vehicles will join the Toyota brand lineup…and I’m happy to introduce the first to join the family…the 2017 Toyota 86.

“We’re really excited to have a bona fide sports car back in the Toyota lineup. The name 86 is shared globally, and is passed down from the car that inspires it, the Corolla GT-S, known by its true fans as the AE86 or “hachi-roku,” which means 8-6 in Japanese.”
The AE86, Fay said did not rely on brute horsepower, but instead a remarkable combination of a lightweight design, responsive power and perfect balance…much like the 86 of today.

“As you can see, the name isn’t the only thing that has changed. We’re investing in the 86 to make it better than ever, with styling updates, new wheels and more premium materials throughout.
“We’ve increased performance with: superior shock and spring tuning; and for you manual transmission enthusiasts…a 5 horsepower bump…combined with a change in the differential ratio…results in improved acceleration. He said the new 86 will go on sale at all Toyota dealerships this fall.”

He said another exciting vehicle that will soon enter the Toyota lineup is the C-HR, stating that “the timing couldn’t be better, as the small SUV segment has increased 20 percent in the last year to become the largest segment in the industry…and half of that growth is coming from entry level models.

“If you haven’t yet seen this concept in person, I encourage you to visit the Toyota display today and have a look. We’ll have more news on a production version later this year.
“So we’ve got the youth and entry level market covered…Now let’s turn our attention to the hottest part of the market….trucks and SUVs.”

Fay said in 2015, light trucks dominated, accounting for 58% of the total market. “With historically low gas prices and favorable interest rates, we don’t see a cool down in the near future…and we have great news to share.
“Just three years ago right here at the NY auto show, we introduced an all-new third generation Highlander…and it has been a huge success. We’re selling them as fast as we can make them at our factory in Princeton, Indiana.
“But in the spirit of “ever better cars”, we found ways to make it even better for our customers. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 Toyota Highlander.”
Available for the first time on Highlander, this new SE grade features an aggressive attitude, complete with: new front fascia, with darker accents on its front grille, headlamp housings and roof rails unique 19-inch wheels; a sporty interior with black leather seats; and of course, a performance-tuned suspension to back it all up.
“Sure the new Highlander looks fantastic…but it’s the upgrades that you can’t see that are the most significant. For 17, all V6 Highlanders will feature a new, more powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter engine with D-4S direct injection and Stop and Start technology. We also paired it with an all-new Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission.”
He said the 2017 Highlander Hybrid would also benefit from this new V6, further enhancing its already impressive driving performance and fuel economy. The hybrid model will also be available in two additional grades, LE and XLE, making hybrid technology more accessible to a wider variety of customers.
The new Highlander also raises the bar on safety…with the class-leading Toyota Safety Sense package available on all grades. The 2017 Highlander will begin arriving in dealerships this fall.

Nigerian Government Insists on Compliance with Policy on Local Content in Procurement of Goods

The Nigerian Government has instructed the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to reverse any transactions made by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) without the prescribed percentage of local content.

For this reason, the BPP will meet with the management of all MDAs tomorrow in Lagos to sentise them on the strict enforcement of the policy.
The policy, as stated in the Gazette, stipulates that goods purchased by MDAs must have 50 per cent local content, but the threshold for procurement of vehicles is 30 per cent local content.
The information on government’s determination to enforce the local content policy for MDAs was presented in Lagos yesterday by two senior officials of the BPP, Engr. Eze J. Obasi, Director, Special Procurement and Adebowale Adedokun, Head, Research, Training and Strategic Planning Department.

Both officials, who visited the United Vehicle Assembly Limited (UVAL), said they were there to assess the plant for consideration as one of those to be included on the list of plants that assemble vehicles in the country.
Already, three plants, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) in Kaduna, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Nnewi and VON Automobile in Lagos.

The BPP officials, who represented the Bureau’s Director General, Mr. Ahmed Abdu said MDAs have been instructed to buy from these assembly plants only, adding that when vendors bring their tenders, these assemblers would be notified to ensure they are not cheating.
They said any MDA that flouts the policy would be made to face the rout of the law, including a reversal of the purchase order, urging these assemblers and other stakeholders to provide information to them whenever there was contravention of the policy.

According to them, the facilities of the United Vehicle Assembly Limited (UVAL) were not up to the high standard they are presently when they drew up the list of plants to be patronized by the government.

They said they were going to present their report to their principal for decision to be made on the Uval Assembly multi-vehicle plant.

Barbedos Unveils Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

The Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class was officially unveiled in Abuja recently by Barbedos Cars Limited, one of Weststar’s Authorised Dealers for Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria.

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class combines stylish, effortless superiority with trend-setting exclusivity and features distinctive characteristics that set the Maybach apart from its standard production model, which include more space, special seats, lavish designs and prestigious interior.

Unveiling the newest addition to the Luxury family, Mrs. Elisabeth Itegbe – General Manager, Weststar Associates Limited, said the much anticipated Mercedes-Maybach has finally made its first appearance in the Barbedos Showroom in Abuja. Safety is at the forefront in the manufacture of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and the Maybach S-Class is no exception. The model has a number of innovative assistance systems that make driving more comfortable and safer.

The PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, Adaptive High beam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus are part of the Intelligent Drive systems.

She said, “The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is truly in a class of its own; rugged yet with class and luxury.”
According to the event host, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the new Mercedes-Maybach S-class is the First in its segment. “There is no doubt that passengers of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are enveloped in lounge style modern luxury. “The Mercedes-Benz brand stands for the aspiration to deliver ‘The best’ in terms of products, technology and services. In the S-Class segment in particular, customers have very high expectations with regard to exclusivity and individuality and Mercedes-Maybach enables us further to fulfill these desires in the exclusive top segment of the market.
“With the Mercedes-Maybach, it is clear that Mercedes made a strategic decision for its newest Maybach badges.”

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class extends the range of S-Class Saloon models with the addition of a vehicle in the luxury segment: the generous interior and extended wheelbase, which fully benefits the rear compartment, create maximum spaciousness and the use of fine materials and quality appointments makes the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class an impressive chauffeur vehicle for demanding customers throughout the world.

Maybach Motorenbau was a German manufacturing car company founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son. It was, however, acquired by Daimler Benz in 1960, and now the Maybach is a luxury car brand of Mercedes-Benz.

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